The Florida Bar Foundation’s board of directors approved two projects to help its grantees boost their financial positions. At its quarterly board meeting on December 13 in Orlando, the Foundation passed the Limited Matching Funds Grant Program (LMFGP) and adopted a Spending and Reserve Policy. The LMFGP will provide grantees the opportunity to apply for limited funding in support of or to leverage funding opportunities from other funding sources. The Spending and Reserve Policy will provide greater economic stability to the Foundation and instill a more consistent and predictable grants process.
“One of the ways we can best help our grantees is by planning for the future,” Donny MacKenzie, executive director of the Foundation, said. “The Spending and Reserve Policy provides more stability and transparency to the overall structure, and limited matching grants provide grantees with funding opportunities designed to identify and secure more partners and funding sources.”
The Limited Matching Funds Grant Program was developed in response to Foundation grantees’ desire to apply for grants from other funders that require secondary sources or matching funds as a condition of a primary, larger grant. The LMFGP grants are expected to range from $5,000 to $25,000 and will be awarded on a rolling basis. The Foundation expects the program will help grantees diversify and leverage their funding, which improves sustainability.
The Spending and Reserve Policy’s objective is to develop a systemic approach for the establishment of reserves and resulting spending. The policy will establish a three-year rolling average of Foundation funds available for grant allocation. A dedicated percentage of the rolling average will be allocated for grants with the remainder placed in reserves. The policy will provide greater transparency and more notice of expected grant allocations, allowing grantees more time for planning and budgeting. It will also help the Foundation rebuild its reserves, which were decimated due to low interest rates after the Great Recession.
The spending policy was made effective immediately and the LMFGP begins Jan. 1, 2020.