From Reviewer to Co-Designer: Collaborating with Applicants to Strengthen Proposals

Traditionally, grantmaking is a closed, sometimes obscure, process that often creates frustration for both grantseekers and foundation staff. Two years ago, the Health Foundation of South Florida completely revamped their grantmaking approach by, among other changes, introducing the concept of “proposal co-design.”

This presentation uncovers the proposal co-design approach – what it means from a process and change management perspective, as well as its impact on programs funded, and the organization’s efforts to tie values to practices.

Original air date: September 16, 2020

Fernanda Kuchkarian

Director of Programs

Health Foundation of South Florida

Grants Management Professional Competency Model

Cross-Cutting Competencies

  • Communications: Listen to others and communicate effectively.
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in grantmaking practices.
  • Process and Change Management: Plan and monitor processes efficiently and effectively and manage change as needed to contribute to grantmaker's strategic goals and grantee's success.

Lifecycle of a Grant Competencies

  • Planning and Pre-Grant: Apply the grantmaker values, mission, and goals to ensure alignment of application process and guidelines.
  • Planning and Pre-Grant: Design and implement the review process to support an informed grant decision.

Principles for Peak Grantmaking

Steward Responsively - Manage all entrusted resources—people, finances, reputation, time—with care to balance stewardship with an agile approach to risk. 


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