ENGAGE

A focus on people.

ENGAGE

As the needs of our community change, the Foundation is shifting our grant processes to encourage more cooperation and less competition, more focus on outcomes and not outputs, and opportunities for listening, sharing, and moving forward together. The Foundation will build human capital by bringing together knowledge, experience, and expertise in cooperative efforts to support people and places. The Foundation will serve as a champion for collaboration focused on helping meet basic human needs through real-issue, systemic root-cause outcomes, rather than short-term symptoms. 

GOALS

The Engage pillar focuses on our most underserved populations with these specific goals: 

  • Decrease percentage of families who are liquid-asset poor 
  • Increase healthcare utilization by families below the ALICE threshold 
  • Decrease recidivism rate 

APPLICATIONS NOW AVAILABLE

Organizations working to impact the above goals for impoverished and ALICE families and/or the formerly incarcerated are invited to apply through the Engage program. Please review the Engage Grant Program Guidelines and consult the printable versions of the applications available in the Related Links box at right.

In addition, the Foundation has a Defining Results Guidesheet and a Target, Verification and Milestone Worksheet to assist organizations in strengthening their programs and applications.

Applications are due October 28, 2022, at noon.

APPLICANT WORKSHOP

The Foundation will kick off the application cycle with an applicant workshop on Wednesday, October 5, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the East Baton Rouge Parish Library’s River Center Branch at 250 North Boulevard. Organizations interested in being a partner in Engage are strongly encouraged to register and attend this applicant workshop. Due to overwhelming demand, we are requesting that organizations limit attendance to two representatives.

APPROACH

The Foundation has launched a new grant program to serve families below the ALICE threshold and/or returning from incarceration. Grant applications will be reviewed in terms of the ways in which your efforts help our community members achieve success. We are less focused on your specific activities, the order in which they occur, or who is doing them. They are important as the input, but they are the means, not the end. We want to know who or what will be different as a result of your efforts – the results for those you serve.

GRANT TYPES

Huey and Angelina Wilson Foundation will make three types of investments within the Engage pillar: Direct Service (program support), Partnership & Collaboration Building, and Systems Change.

  1. Direct Service (Program Support): Projects selected for direct service investments will answer the question: what positive gains will occur for individual participants or communities? Projects include new or existing programs that work directly with ALICE and impoverished households and incarcerated or formerly incarcerated individuals. (Learn more about ALICE at www.unitedforalice.org.)
  2. Partnerships & Collaborations: Projects selected for partnerships and collaborations investments will answer the question: how will organizations work differently and what will this enable you and/or them to do better? How will collaboration improve effectiveness or efficiency while improving results for impacted individuals? Projects include efforts that strengthen the collaboration of organizations to achieve results.
  3. Systems Change: Projects selected for systems change investments will answer the question: how will your work inform change on a macro-level, including influencing policy or changing service provider practices? Projects include awareness efforts, research and advocacy efforts that lead to positive changes by state and local lawmakers.
RESULTS-FOCUSED APPLICATIONS

Applicants will select specific outcomes to be achieved by their efforts. Below are outcomes we anticipate partners to achieve, along with the types of projects we anticipate funding. More details are provided in the Program Guidelines and on the Application.

Liquid Asset Poor – Partners aiming to decrease the percentage of families who are liquid-asset poor will focus on one of two avenues – increasing income or decreasing expenses. All programs focused on financial capability and asset building will be considered, including financial education, financial counseling, financial coaching, emergency assistance, benefits navigation, housing programs, workforce development, credit building, and related services.

Healthcare Utilization – Partners aiming to increase healthcare utilization by families below the ALICE threshold will focus on connecting families to preventative and/or basic care, mental and behavioral health care, dental health care, rehabilitation therapies, HIV/AIDS services, hemophilia, expansion of health care providers, health care navigation, benefits navigation, and providing avenues to make care affordable.

Recidivism – Partners aiming to decrease the recidivism rate will focus on building out the continuum of care for the formerly incarcerated that reduces barriers to reintegration, including, but not limited to, education, job readiness, life and soft skills, parenting skills, family reunification, faith-based support, mentoring, employment, housing, and health services.

Partnerships and Collaborations – The Greater Baton Rouge area has many nonprofits that are on the right track to impact the liquid-asset poor, health disconnected, and formerly incarcerated, but lack the resources, partners, and practices to be high performers. The Foundation looks to support change agents to increase their capacity, quality, and collaboration in order to create strong networks of care. This collaboration is intended to increase the efficiency, effectiveness, and sustainability of participating organizations while increasing services for families. Projects we may support include training, professional development, convening, community forums, data sharing, shared assessments, technology solutions, and best practice pilot projects. At the same time, we are open to other approaches that are able to achieve the results we seek from our investments.

Systems Change – Policies and practices of local and state agencies have created ineffectiveness, inequity, and unnecessary barriers for the formerly incarcerated, impoverished and/or ALICE families. Partners aiming to effect systems change will do so by building public awareness and creating policy and practice changes at the state and local levels. Projects we may support include education, convening, community forums, pilot programs, awareness campaigns, success stories, technology solutions, best practice pilot projects, advocacy, and legislative policy changes. At the same time, we are open to other approaches that are able to achieve the results we seek from our investments.

OPERATING PRINCIPLES

We define ourselves as investors and are interested in creating the highest possible levels of human gain for the grant dollars we have available. Given this focus, the Huey and Angelina Wilson Foundation reviews each proposal with respect to available funds and responses to three overarching questions:

  1. What will be the results from this project and how will we know when those results have been achieved?
    Results are defined as the positive changes in behaviors and/or conditions in stakeholders that will be achieved through the project.
  2. How likely is it that the results can be achieved?
    Our assessment will be based on factors such as past result successes of the organization and its programs, validity of the proposed program approach, organizational capability and key personnel leading the project.
  3. Is this the best possible use of Foundation funds given other opportunities before us?
    We consider the cost relative to the gain, looking for projects that increase collaboration, quality and systemic change, and opportunities for replication to other organizations and parishes. When reviewing proposals, we will look at the use of all monies going into a project or program not just dollars contributed by the Foundation, as well as the sustainability of the work.

In making investment determinations, the Huey and Angelina Wilson Foundation will look for projects with the following characteristics:

  • Projects designed to produce and verify specific changes in systems, organizations and participants that directly contribute to the Foundation results we seek in the respective focus areas;
  • Projects that can be effectively implemented and ultimately continued without our funding;
  • Projects that are replicable and can be shared with other organizations looking to produce similar results; and
  • Projects that use evidence-based practices and strategies and/or offer clear results.

The projects supported by Engage should be long-term in nature, and the Foundation is open to multi-year investments of up to three years. Partners will be expected to report on progress and participate in learning sessions quarterly. Opportunities for additional support will be provided to partners who make meaningful progress toward the Engage results.

For more information, please contact Tristi Charpentier.

HAVE A QUESTION?

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We’d love to hear from you! Whether you’re working on an application, want to share good news, or need to brainstorm a new idea, we appreciate every opportunity to visit and learn with you.

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