The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is evolving its grantmaking policies to focus on measurable outcomes over both the short and long terms.
According to its newly revamped website, the trust is updating its strategy "to achieve strategic goals that support equitable access to opportunity and effect systems change" by supporting evidence-based interventions and services that assist marginalized individuals and can be scaled for long-term sustainability; fostering systems change at both the organizational and community levels; and promoting innovation by piloting and incubating new ideas. To respond to community needs in a more timely manner, the trust also will shift its funding cycle for outcome-focused grants and responsive grants from a semi-annual to rolling basis.
"We are changing our approach to measure progress along the way, recognizing that while one group can only do so much alone, together inclusively we can accomplish so much more," Laura Gerald, the trust's president, told the Winston-Salem Journal.
According to the Journal, the new strategy will focus on early childhood education "to ensure that children in Forsyth County enter kindergarten ready to learn and leave set for success in school and life," as well as statewide health-improvement initiatives. The trust plans to provide $29 million to nonprofits in the state through its next funding cycle, with $4.9 million in both 2018 and 2019 earmarked to address quality-of-life issues among Forsyth County's working poor and the rest going to health initiatives, including $10 million in support of North Carolina organizations helping individuals sign up for federally provided health insurance at HealthCare.gov.
The trust's efforts to foster an inclusive economy and economic mobility in Forsyth County include expanding educational and job training opportunities for the growing number of disconnected youth between the ages of 16 and 24 who are neither in school nor the workforce.
"Employers, both those here and those thinking of operations here, are constantly asking 'where can I get the workforce for today and tomorrow that I need?' " Gerald told the Journal. "By specifically focusing on opportunities for disconnected youths with innovations, it helps us develop that workforce that makes us more attractive for investment so that all eyes don't automatically go to Charlotte and the Triangle for answers."