The Heckscher Foundation Board Development Grant Program Request for Proposals
Start Date: 04/26/12
End Date: 06/29/12
Overview of The Heckscher Foundation for Children
The Heckscher Foundation was founded in 1921 to promote the welfare of children in New York and elsewhere throughout the United States. Today, it provides grants to youth-serving organizations in the fields of education, family services, child welfare, health, arts and recreation.
The primary aim of the Heckscher Foundation's grantmaking is to "level the playing field" for needy youth by providing access to education and the varied experiences that make for a richer, forward-reaching life. It seeks to identify under-funded issues and projects that can provide widespread benefit and generate other engagements and funding, and then help leverage that interest to scale. The Foundation also seeks to incubate ideas and initiatives that will lead to high-impact services and improved opportunities.
Overview of Program
Nonprofits need strong boards to be effective. The skills and resources that board members can bring to an organization have never been more important, yet, nationwide, nonprofit executives report that their boards have difficulty recruiting skilled, experienced, and motivated new members. New York City nonprofits are no exception. Research undertaken by the Heckscher Foundation and the Conjunction Fund confirms that board recruitment continues to be challenge for New York City’s 6,000+ cultural and human service organizations.
Individuals in their 30’s and early 40’s have the potential to be a strong source of new directors. However small to medium nonprofits report a reluctance to bring on “next generation” board members in this demographic for the following reasons:
- Next generation board members often lack the financial resources, professional status and connections desired from board members;
- Next generation board members require significant training; and,
- It is difficult to attract and retain next generation board members when the majority of board members are older.
An investment in the recruitment and development of next generation board members is integral to the future of New York City’s nonprofit sector.
The Heckscher Foundation seeks models for sustainable, high-impact fellows programs with the potential to scale-up over time to address the need for younger (next generation) board members for its grantees---and other non-profits---serving New York's youth. The funded projects(s) will plan and implement a Heckscher Fellows program to identify, train, place qualified and engaged younger New Yorkers and evaluate the impact of new, younger board members on the performance of non-profits. Some elements to consider are effective new trustee training, mentorship programs, demonstration of board commitment to younger members prior to placement and evaluation of impact of new trustees.
The Foundation is open to collaborations---and even new programs---as long as the applicant can demonstrate its capacity to undertake a demonstration project.. If the project is new, the organization must also demonstrate past success in delivering similar programming as well as knowledge of best practices in board recruitment and training. In all cases, the next generation board members participating in the program must be placed on boards of organizations working in the area of children and youth.
Grant Size: $75,000
Grant Period: Two years
- Deadline for applications: 5:00 p.m. EST, Friday, June 29, 2012
- Announcement of award winners, if any: September 2012
Organizations must have 501(c)3 status to apply. Complete the application questions below and submit to BoardDevelopmentRFP@heckscherfoundation.org along with the requested attachments. You may submit any clarifying questions to this email address.
- Organization Information
- Organization Name
- Legal Name
- Tax ID
- Website address
- Project Information
- Project Title
- Brief Description of the Project
Describe your project in one sentence.
- Total Project Budget
- Request Amount
- Primary Project Contact
- Phone Number
- Organizational Experience with Board Development
- Please describe your organization’s history and experience in the area of board development.
- Through your experience in developing boards, what has your organization learned are the keys to success and best practices in recruiting, training, and engaging board members?
- How will you incorporate these best practices and lessons learned in your project?
- Please describe your project’s approach to the two dual goals of a) strengthening the boards of youth-serving organizations in the greater New York City area and b) preparing the “next generation” of board members to serve effectively.
- What is your approach based upon (e.g. past experience, evidence-based research, or a new, innovative idea to be tested)?
- Will this project be a collaboration between two or more organizations? If so, please describe the planned collaboration.
- Please list the key individuals responsible for the implementation of the project and their past experience.
- Please describe the individuals your program will target as potential board members and how you plan to recruit, train, and engage them in board service.
- What do you currently know about these individuals and what will you need to learn more about as you launch your program?
- Please outline the organizations that will receive board members through your program and the rationale you used or will use to choose these organizations.
- How do you plan to work with these organizations during the course of the project including communicating with them, offering training or support, understanding outcomes, ensuring quality control, gathering lessons learned, etc.?
- Do you have existing relationships with any of the organizations you described above? If so, please explain.
- How will you know if your project is successful? What indicators will you use to gauge its success?
- How do you plan to capture lessons learned and best practices throughout the implementation of your project to share with the Heckscher Foundation and the field?
- What period of the grant will be considered a “planning period” and at what point do you anticipate beginning implementation of the program?
- Please list the planned activities and outcomes for each quarter of the grant period.
- Overhead Expenses
- What percentage of the Heckscher grant would be devoted to non-program-related (“overhead” or “indirect”) costs? Please describe the non-program-related expenses.
- Please list other projected or confirmed sources of support for this project, if any.
- Please describe how you intend to fund the project beyond the period a potential Heckscher Foundation grant.
- 501(c)3 Certificate – Tax exemption letter from the IRS.
- List of Officers/Directors/Trustees
- Percentage of your organization’s Board Giving and Other Contributions – Please list the members of your board, their affiliations, their particular skills, financial and in-kind contributions that support your organization and its sustainability. Please list individual and total board financial contributions to your organization during the current and three previous fiscal years.
- Detailed Project Budget – This must show income and expenses.