The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has announced that it will suspend its grantmaking for the spring 2017 cycle while it conducts a year-long strategic assessment.
With Maurice "Mo" Green taking the helm as its new executive director last month, the foundation decided to evaluate its approach to grantmaking and broader work and produce a strategic plan by next May that will guide its efforts moving forward. As part of the assessment, the foundation has launched "Mo Wants to Know," a listening and learning tour during which Green and foundation trustees and staff will hear directly from state and local leaders and community members about challenges in and opportunities for making North Carolina a better place. They also will meet with smaller focus groups and work with experts to better understand emerging issues in the state, research solutions to those issues, and identify ways in which the foundation can have the greatest impact with its resources.
Due to the time-intensive nature of the assessment process, ZSR will not accept proposals for the grant cycle that normally would close next February. Instead, foundation staff are designing a process that will enable the foundation to consider — and, if appropriate, renew — its support for critical ongoing work. There will be no changes to the fall 2016 grant cycle, applications for which are due August 1.
"The foundation is committed to continuing to improve the quality of life for all North Carolinians," said Green. "However, given the state's changing landscape, ZSR sees this as an opportune time to take a step back, understand those changes, and then work to develop sound strategies for best serving the future needs of North Carolina communities."