Our Funding Approach
Our Funding Approach
The systems that create access and opportunities in housing, education, employment, and asset building are core to the well-being of individuals, families, and therefore our region.
Yet, these systems aren’t working for everyone. In fact, how well they work for you is predicated on your racial identity. This is systemic racism – when prejudice and power combine, resulting in a system of structures, practices, policies, and laws that advantage white people while disadvantaging people of color.
At the Meyer Foundation, we seek to invest in solutions that fundamentally shift these systems toward racial equity – when race no longer predicts access, opportunities, how one fares and who thrives. This is the work of systems change – transforming structures, policies, practices, laws and/or their underlying power dynamics and narratives to eliminate racial disparities and achieve racial equity.
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What We Support
As articulated in our Advancing Equity strategy, we have four interconnected goals in the areas of housing, education, employment, and asset building. With the help of our community and grantee partners, we’ve defined four types of systems change efforts in which we seek to invest within our goal areas. We believe that systems change efforts are most attainable and effective when organizations and collaboratives apply a mix of these strategies based upon what’s most responsive to their constituents. We seek to invest in these systems change efforts to ensure long-lasting, measurable improvements in housing, education, employment, and asset building for economically disadvantaged people, particularly people of color:
- Culture Change – Shifting the attitudes, values, beliefs, and aspirations of the Greater Washington region toward racial equity.
- Institutional Change – Using the best available data, evidence, and models to generate sustainable improvements in ideas and practices that govern institutions and currently have a disproportionate negative impact on people and communities of color.
- Policy Change & Reform – Influencing policymakers to reform or enact laws to mitigate and eradicate the consequences of systemic racism and promote racial justice and equity.
- Power Change – Shifting the balance of power so people of color are designing, leading, and ultimately accomplishing change in their own communities.
How We Partner
To be an eligible grantee partner, organizations must:
- Currently hold 501(c)(3) status or have a nonprofit fiscal sponsorship
- Share our beliefs as articulated in Advancing Equity
- Focus on achieving outcomes in the District of Columbia; Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland; the cities of Alexandria, Falls Church, Manassas and/or Manassas Park, and the counties of Arlington, Fairfax, and/or Prince William in Northern Virginia
- Work toward systems change in our goal areas of housing, education, employment, and asset building, or provide strategic direct services to develop voices, knowledge, partnerships, and/or data with the potential to contribute to building movements and systems change efforts in these goal areas
- Determine what systems affect their constituents and how race intersects with those systems
- Resource and reinforce decisions made by people of color and communities affected by inequity
We prioritize opportunities to partner with organizations that:
- Conduct analysis to understand what systems affect their constituents and how race intersects with those systems
- Build leadership from within their constituency
- Employ culturally relevant and appropriate policies and practices
- Balance research and data with community voices
- Share data and findings with their constituents, allies, partners, and the systems they seek to affect
- Focus on systems change to equitably redistribute power
- Actively seek collaboration, partnership, and field building
- Demonstrate a capacity and willingness to share best practices and knowledge with peers and others in the field
- Note: In 2019, we are especially interested in considering requests from organizations who are focused on developing and engaging youth leaders of color, elevating youth voice, and building power among young people, especially young people of color. *Additionally, while youth are largely engaged within the arena of education, we understand that opportunities for this type of work exist within all of our goal areas and we are looking forward to receiving and evaluating applications that include or focus on youth leadership development from all areas of our work.
We typically make general operating investments so nonprofits have the flexibility to focus on their operational effectiveness and can act nimbly and shift strategies appropriately in response to changing external conditions.
We Do Not Fund
- Visual and performing arts
- Access to health care
- Capital for individual housing construction or development
- Start-up and operating support for housing developers
- Hunger relief and nutrition
- Scholarships or financial assistance
- Individual public, public charter, or private schools
- Individuals (including scholarships and emergency assistance)
- Medical or scientific research
- Programs that promote religious doctrine
- Special events or conferences, except by invitation only