Gaining "Sight" Through Site Visits

betsy daySeeing is believing! Over the next couple of weeks, our trustees are visiting our grantees to discuss the use of their strategic grants over the past year. These grantees are the nonprofits that received money to prepare children for kindergarten, provide services to the homeless and individuals and families facing possible eviction, and access to healthcare for the underinsured.

The grantees receive their funding throughout the year as they submit documentation showing that they have been or will be using the money for the purpose intended. They also submit quantitative reports stating how many people were served and in what ways – bed nights, visits, sessions, days of care, etc. – along with the outcomes of their services – number of children who were ready to learn when they entered kindergarten, number of people who managed their chronic illnesses through access to healthcare, the number of people who are in stable housing after experiencing homelessness or the possibility of homelessness, for example.

The Community Foundation never forgets that these grants are made possible because of the generosity of the community. As we move through grant cycle each fiscal year, site visits are one of many checkpoints we have to ensure the money entrusted to us is used wisely and is truly making an impact in Frederick County.

The site visit each of our strategic grantees receives is not a surprise visit, but a planned one in which the anticipated conversation will cover the quality of services provided, gaps in and obstacles to service delivery, trends in service provision, and future plans for continuing programs or revising them to meet the changing needs of our community.

And seeing is believing! That’s why I think we should revise the name of our site visits to sight visits.

Our trustees will see the physical plant where the grants are used. They will observe some of the consumers who benefit from Community Foundation funded services. They will watch staff and volunteers in action. By seeing, they will believe and, more importantly, know that the grants are being used as intended.

Our expectations for our grantees are high, because your expectations of the Community Foundation are even higher, which is rightfully so. And, meeting your expectations to be good stewards and to receive a solid return on our grant investments is what drives us in our due diligence.

“Sight” visits are an integral component of the grant process and helps ensure the Community Foundation will meet your expectations of fiscal responsibility and community betterment that is For Good. Forever. For Frederick County.

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