TCIF’s approach to grantmaking is driven by its mission to make a measurable difference in U.S.-based communities by supporting organizations and programs, including in underserved areas, through grants and other resources. We want to produce meaningful and lasting positive impact (it’s in our name!) in our target areas by: (a) funding design, implementation, and oversight of initiatives or programs that are data-backed, and deliver innovative solutions and approaches to identified challenges in the target areas; and (b) sharing best practices, working models, and lessons-learned from grant administration. Consequently, we have a rigorous approach that begins with how we source grantees and ends with sharing our observations, which we hope serve as the starting point for local and national conversations about innovative approaches to addressing key issues.
I. Sourcing & Reviewing
- Periodic review of key issues through community, expert, and stakeholder conversations which inform development of a grant cycle’s target areas.
- Accretive partnerships with stakeholder organizations to source and review grant applications.
II. Grant Structure
- Where it makes sense for us to do so, we deploy our grant capital in tranches based on mutually-agreed value inflection milestones. Our experience demonstrates that such a structure can most effectively support program progress.
- Each grantee is paired with a TCIF representative who works closely with the grantee organization to monitor grant progress and respond to technical assistance needs.
- TCIF supports its grantees through providing technical assistance. Where opportunities are identified by or communicated to the assigned TCIF representative, TCIF will connect the grantee to subject matter expert consultants or organizations that will support the grantee.
- Grantees report periodically on specified parameters.
IV. Communities of Practice
- TCIF aims to develop, nurture, and strengthen communities of practice around select target areas towards expanding the knowledge-base and fostering supportive networks .
- Publish practical white papers (e.g. best practices, case studies) via working groups and other means to enrich issue-specific discourse and assist institutions and/or program managers.
- Publish site visit and grantee meeting notes summaries (without confidential or damaging information) to enrich the field and mainstream discourse.
- Conduct regular webinars and conference calls with grantees to share tools and resources, discuss and identify best practices, solicit ideas for new grant areas, and share organizational updates.
- Annual conferences to convene grantees and stakeholders to share new RFPs and RFIs, discuss developments and trends in target areas, share working models, and highlight programs and organizations. Publish meeting proceedings to enrich field and mainstream discourse.
VI. Measurement & Evaluation
- We measure our impact by establishing benchmarks and tracking metrics.
- We rigorously analyze grant cycle data, not just to identify trends but to also spot opportunities for greater impact.