As we enter 2018, we wish all of you a happy new year. 2018 is a pivotal and important moment in our evolution as a country, a region, and for the Meyer Foundation as an organization. The two of us have a collective 25 years of experience working in philanthropy, and we have had the privilege of working with countless individuals and organizations doing amazing and tireless work to provide support to people who are persistently challenged by a lack of access to quality education, jobs, and housing. We have consistently been in awe of the commitment and passion our grantee partners display day-in and day-out, and know how many people’s lives have changed for the better along the way. Further, we admire the resilience of individuals and families in our region who are challenged by a constant flurry of efforts seemingly designed to ensure their failure. We recognize that, unless we shift some of our attention to addressing WHY so many in our region continue to struggle, we face a never-ending battle.Read more
Chances are, you already know that there’s not nearly enough housing in the region that is affordable to all the of the low- and even moderate-income people who need it. Research backs this claim, so I won’t use any of my remaining space here to describe the dilemma. Instead, I want you to tell me how the Meyer Foundation should address this crisis.Read more
One of my high school English teachers introduced a unit on poetry with a drawing on the blackboard: a large carton of orange juice, standing tall next to a small can of frozen orange juice concentrate. “Which provides more juice?” he asked, and it didn’t take long for us to figure out that the small can of concentrate produces several more cups of orange juice than the large carton, so long as you added several cans of water to the concentrate. More discussion ensued, and it soon became clear that this teacher (himself a poet, and later an Oprah-featured novelist) saw poetry as the can of orange juice concentrate – seemingly small and inconsequential next to a hefty novel, but able to deliver a more transcendent payoff for readers willing to put in the work.Read more
With nearly 90 funding requests under consideration, Meyer program officers are now fanning out across the region to meet with executive directors and see organizations and programs in action. These meetings almost always inspire, but after doing hundreds of site visits over the years, we—the program staff at Meyer—have assembled a few tips to offer to help ensure these meetings go smoothly.
For many years, and especially since the economic downturn reduced their grant making budgets, funders have been urging nonprofits to merge. Proponents of merger often cite duplication of effort among grantees and the presumed economic efficiencies that can be gained from having larger organizations.Read more