The Community Chest Grant Allocations committee is comprised of over 30 volunteer community residents and Chest Board members. The Committee is divided into teams and performs due diligence by reviewing program applications, conducting site visits and interviews and making program funding recommendations to the Board of Directors. The Chest Board of Directors synthesizes all information and recommendations to make final funding decisions.
CCCC Grant allocations Timeline (General)
December – grant applications available
January – completed grant applications returned to Chest office
February-April – grant application review and site visits by Grant Allocations Teams
May – Board of Directors makes final funding decisions
June – Grants presented at CCCC Annual Day of Giving
2019-2020 Grant Allocations Committee
My Grant Allocations Experience
by Kristin Piper, January 2020
We all try to keep up with local and national news along with what is going on in the community in which we reside, but sometimes I suspect I am missing a lot. It was not until I served on the Community Chest Allocations committee I quickly realized I was missing so much right under my nose. Did you know, for instance, that 115 families in Concord and Carlisle cannot afford to eat 3 meals a day? Or that 176 of your neighbors sought urgent help last year from our Community Service Coordinator to pay their essential bills? And that over 250 residents receive services annually for domestic violence? Right here in Concord and Carlisle.
Serving on the Allocations committee for the Concord Carlisle Community Chest for three seasons has afforded me the privilege of visiting with at least 10 different organizations that directly address the needs of our friends and neighbors. I still marvel that I could have lived in Concord for more than 10 years with very little understanding of any of these amazing services, and of the people who organize, facilitate, and volunteer for them. Additionally, I was naive to the breadth and complexity of the problems that exist across our community.
The hidden need that exists here where we live is substantive, variegated, and often overlooked.
While my role on the Allocations committee felt like a small piece in the much larger, annual effort, it provides a critical part in the process. We begin in January. The committee, comprised of about 30 local volunteers, forms into smaller sub-groups that each meet with four organizations. The committee members are from a diverse range of backgrounds bringing different skills to the team. Some are writers, some are great with numbers, some have business acumen, and some have non-profit experience themselves. We sit with founders, presidents and board members. We visit properties when possible, and we review their financials. We ask a lot of questions in order to get a deeper understanding of the population they serve, and the means by which they do so. We read, in depth, their grant proposal. In the end we make an educated recommendation to the board about funds to provide along with any recommendations to the organization. The board then uses their deep, ongoing relationships in the community in order to allocate the funds where they will make the largest impact. In spring the committee reconvenes to hear about all of the organizations – this is yet another eye opening experience. To hear about all the other organizations that the other teams had researched is truly amazing. And finally, on June 4th is our Day of Giving when the funds are allocated in person to each organization – a very moving ceremony.
One of my favorite organizations I visited was the C4RJ (Center for Restorative Justice). This innovative group, which has grown to over 100 volunteers in just two decades, uses a circle process to help individuals understand the harm they have caused from their crime and then holds them accountable. Conflict resolution is at the center of the process, while giving a voice to victims in order to allow for amends and healing. The process can often result in avoiding the court system altogether, along with creating stronger communities that to listen to each other and work together. I sat riveted as Concord Police Chief Joseph O’Connor, along with other board members, spoke passionately about the impact the C4RJ has had over the years. Walking away amazed and moved, I felt a rush of gratitude to be serving on my committee so as to learn all that I learned that day.
The Chest is always looking for support and loves new faces! You can give of your time, your talents, your resources, or you could attend one of the Chest’s marquee events. I would highly recommend starting with the Allocations committee. I can guarantee you will have a fabulous learning experience. If you are like me, your eyes will be opened anew to the incredible heart and soul of Concord/Carlisle working to serve our neighbors.