March 8 is the deadline for the 2019 Give Orcas proposals. So far, we have received over $245k in requests from 24 programs. These include a mix of new applicants seeking seed funding for start-up projects as well as capacity building requests from organizations that are scaling up to meet growing needs. The next step is for Kate and me to go through and ensure all proposals are both complete and within the guidelines. Once that step is complete, the proposals are divvied-up among the Grants Committee to vet.

This year the Grants Committee includes three OICF board members and 10 community members, some who have been on the committee for a round or two, and some new to the process adding new voices and fresh perspectives to the grant cycle. Each member receives 2-3 proposals to review through interviews and site visits. Their goal is to understand the project, assure that the probability of success is good, and be able to provide a brief understanding to the rest of the committee.

Once all the proposals are vetted, the committee prioritizes them in three categories: Critical Need, Important Need, and Opportunity. These are lively discussions, but generally result in basic needs—food, shelter, and security—as critical. Sorting out the rest is thought-provoking and interesting. Once done, all the vetted proposals go online and are open to community investment. OICF has about $40,000 to invest and by opening up the opportunity to the community, we can generally raise an additional $200,000 or so; fantastic support for so many programs serving this community!

I look forward to keeping you posted throughout the Give Orcas campaign process.

Congratulations to OICF Trustee Dimitri Stankevich for his new role as the Director of the Orcas Center! Read more here.

Have a great weekend,