The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has announced a new grantmaking and organizational learning framework.
The product of a yearlong strategic assessment process, during which the foundation suspended its grants and conducted a statewide listening and learning tour, the new strategy, All For NC: Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation's Framework for Grantmaking and Learning, is aimed at breaking down silos and enabling more variety and flexibility in its grantmaking so as to "meet people and communities where they are."
The framework comprises three main strategies: a State-Level Systemic Change Strategy in support of organizations working to address systemic and structural barriers in the state and advance public education, foster a healthy and sustainable environment, promote social and economic justice, and strengthen democracy; a Community-Based Strategy centered around two approaches — a Collaborative Problem-Solving program that will support community-based projects that authentically engage communities through inclusive, collaborative, and resourceful processes, and a Community Progressive Fund that will provide short-term funding to local organizations or projects; and an Exploratory, Visionary Ideas Strategy featuring two initiatives — an Inclusive Public Art program that will seek to include historically marginalized people in decision-making processes about art in public spaces, and an All For NC Fellowship program that will enable up-and-coming leaders in the state to explore bold ideas for building a more equitable, fair, and just society.
Alongside the strategies, the foundation expressed its commitment to engage more deeply with local communities and cultivate stronger relationships that create positive change in Winston-Salem; apply a racial equity lens to every aspect of its work across the state and within the foundation; and continue its efforts to be a learning organization.
"A shifting landscape in North Carolina — demographically, economically, and technologically, to name a few — led us to this new framework for Grantmaking and Learning," Reynolds Foundation executive director Maurice "Mo" Green wrote in a post. "In addition, what we heard as we traveled the state is that North Carolinians are feeling great uncertainty about the future. We believe that during times of uncertainty, adaptability and flexibility are key. This new grantmaking framework is the way ZSR feels it can best meet its mission within the current, yet rapidly changing, context of North Carolina."
(Photo credit: Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation)