Regional Partnerships encourages Councils to identify community needs and craft innovative strategies to address complex problems. The Denver Metro area poses unique challenges while there is a healthy population of funders, the population density is high and there remain significant educational disparities. Since its inception, the Metro Regional Council has worked diligently to create recognizable impact in this resource-rich and diverse environment.
Success with Escuela de Guadeloupe, which included support for this strong, innovative school through a campus move and the addition of middle and high school, taught them the strength of the organization was critical. So too was a vision for innovation. As they seek their next multi-year partnership they made a few key decisions: they want to be a resource for strong nonprofits, they see the importance of capacity-building, and they are interested in innovation.
Last December, the council identified a three-stage approach to their regional grant making:
• First, the council engages in an in-depth research phase to identify organizations or programs in Denver that are moving the needle within the council’s focus area.
• Second, the council will select an organization and recommend a one-time getting-to-know-you grant. The council will then use the initial grant period to evaluate an organizations’ potential for long term partnership, observing them for their ability to fulfill the grants objectives and overall working relationship with the council.
• Finally, the council plans to provide multi-year funding to an organization they agree has the potential for long term success with innovative programs.
Through this method, the Metro Council is excited to foster high-performance, outcome-driven nonprofits, fulfilling the vision of Regional Partnerships and the legacy of quality investments in the people of Colorado established by the Penroses.