ZSR Announces Launch of Community-Based Strategy Two grant opportunities that seek to support the work of local communities


The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation (ZSR) is excited to announce the launch of its Community-Based Strategy. ZSR’s Community-Based Strategy is one of three strategies that comprise All For NC: Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation’s Framework for Grantmaking and Learning. There are two grant opportunities that fall under ZSR’s Community-Based Strategy: a Collaborative Problem-Solving approach and a Community Progress Fund.

ZSR believes that meaningful change is generated at the local level, where community members use their experiences and connections to people and places to improve the world around them. During the Foundation's statewide listening and learning tour, we saw that changes are often driven by the unique assets, challenges and opportunities within communities and that people who live in those communities yearn to connect to one another to work across lines of difference. To this end, ZSR’s Community-Based Strategy is explicitly focused on change at the community level. We hope to build upon our ability to effectively partner with local grantees by intentionally learning alongside them. In addition, this strategy is designed to apply a lens of racial equity, diversity and inclusion.

ZSR's Community-Based Strategy includes two grant opportunities:

  • A Collaborative Problem-Solving approach will make awards to a limited number of community proposals that bring people together and allow them to self-define and tailor a path for creating positive change.
  • A Community Progress Fund that seeks to support local communities by making time-limited investments at key moments and is intended to build on existing momentum to help move an issue, idea, or organization forward.

“As we traveled across the state, it was evident that every community has unique assets and opportunities for improving the lives of its residents, and that ZSR should support visions, plans and ideas that are tailored to those specific circumstances,” said Natalie Blake, program officer and co-lead of Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation’s Community-Based Strategy. “This funding strategy is intentionally designed to meet communities where they are.”

“Dedicating a funding strategy explicitly focused on community-level change represents a different way that ZSR has approached grantmaking at the local level in recent years,” said James Gore, senior program officer and co-lead of Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation’s Community-Based Strategy. “Through this strategy, the Foundation hopes to learn alongside community partners about how they can affect change in their communities. This might include gaining new knowledge about issues that communities prioritize, exploring levers for change at the local level, or learning about strategies for effective collaboration.”

Proposal Summaries for ZSR’s Collaborative Problem-Solving approach and Letters of Intent for ZSR’s Community Progress Fund are both due on December 3, 2018. Selected proposals will receive an invitation to submit a full application in February 2019. Grant decisions will be made in May 2019.

For more information about ZSR’s Community-Based Strategy, including eligibility criteria and how to apply for each grant opportunity, visit: https://www.zsr.org/community-based.

Questions about ZSR’s Community-Based Strategy and both grant opportunities should be directed to info@zsr.org.

A webinar will be held on October 15, 2018 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. to further explain ZSR’s Community-Based Strategy and grant opportunities, as well as to answer any additional questions.

Register here for the webinar: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1523286892100297217