In the fall of 2020, our board voted to approve a new mission: to support and partner with communities to advance racial equity and eliminate health disparities through advocacy and strategic investments.  During the year that followed, we have been working on reimagining our grantmaking using a racial equity lens and launching participatory grantmaking.  We are excited to share some changes that our board recently approved as we move forward on this journey.

We pre-approved our grant funding for 2022.

We are giving our 2021 operating and advocacy grantee partners one year of unrestricted transitional funding in 2022 and have temporarily paused our typical grantmaking process. We hope that the unrestricted transitional funding will give current operating and advocacy grantee partners time to prepare for changes that may impact their organization’s future eligibility in 2023.  We encourage nonprofits whose leaders are Black, Indigenous, or People of Color to reach out to us to discuss funding outside of the grant process here.

We are prioritizing our grantmaking differently.

Beginning in 2023, we will prioritize nonprofits that are led by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) first, followed by rural applicants, and then all other applicants that don’t fall into those two groups. Applicants that don’t fall into those two groups will be prioritized based on their organizational approach to equity.

We define a BIPOC-led organization as one where:

  • 30% of its Board and Staff are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color
  • 51% of its clients are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color and
  • The CEO is a Black person, an Indigenous person, or a Person of Color

We will partner with and/or fund organizations that:

  • represent the community that it is trying to serve
  • are working to reduce or eliminate health disparities
  • serve under-resourced communities, people who are underinsured or uninsured, and people that are disenfranchised
  • are addressing the immediate needs of the community and/or is aimed at root causes
  • are anti-racist and are working to advance racial equity
  • are engaging with the community and lifting the community’s voice

We are going deeper in fewer counties.

While we have had the option to fund in 40 counties in Middle Tennessee, we are currently only funding nonprofits in 13 of those counties. To have a more transformative impact, we will focus on the needs in the following five counties:

  • Bedford
  • Davidson
  • Maury
  • Montgomery
  • Rutherford

We will meet in the Spring of 2022.

We value transparency and are happy to answer any questions that you have about these changes. Our team will be working on the details over the next few months including some updates to our strategic priorities, and we look forward to updating you at all-grantee meeting in the Spring 2022.