GMMC Take 1

I now own a $20 nametag. I also had an excel­lent mediter­ranean­ly catered meal from Mid­dle East restau­rant. Their grape leaf rolls were the best I’ve had. I also got free park­ing in down­town Cleve­land. [!]

Now that the impor­tant stuff is out of the way, I’d like to share my thoughts on my first meet­ing as an alter­nate on the Neigh­bor­hood Con­nec­tions Grant­mak­ing and Mon­i­tor­ing Com­mit­tee which is spon­sored by The Cleve­land Foun­da­tion. Scott Mus­catel­lo, a fel­low NEO blog­ger, is also an alter­nate on the Com­mit­tee. The Com­mit­tee is com­prised of just under 20 folks who are engaged com­mu­ni­ty lead­ers in their respec­tive neigh­bor­hoods. As soon as I walked in I start­ed net­work­ing with the peo­ple in the wait­ing room. Isi­ah Pow­ell is anoth­er new mem­ber on the com­mit­tee and is also doing field coor­di­na­tion for local and statewide politi­cians. He’s a cool guy. There is a fair rep­re­sen­ta­tion of both east and west of the riv­er and it is a pret­ty diverse bunch, which I found heart­en­ing. I’m still the youngest per­son on it, of course.

The GMMC is unique across the coun­try. The mem­bers have real ulti­mate pow­er in deter­min­ing the logis­tics of each award. The rela­tion­ship between The Cleve­land Foun­da­tion and the mem­bers of the GMMC ensures that TCF trusts the deci­sions we make implic­it­ly. They have a well defined con­flict of inter­est pol­i­cy, which is pleas­ing to me.

The grant review process is gru­elling. TCF received a record num­ber of appli­ca­tions this year, ensur­ing that each sub­com­mit­tee will have around 30 pro­pos­als to exam­ine. There is also an exten­sive inter­view­ing sched­ule and dis­cern­ment process. One of the most impor­tant things I con­clud­ed from the 4 hours I spent at the foun­da­tion last night, is that there are no losers in the process. Even those peo­ple whose grants are declined are assist­ed through work shops and oth­er tech­ni­cal mat­ters in order to improve their direc­tion and pre­sen­ta­tion. I’m look­ing for­ward to learn­ing more about Cleve­land neigh­bor­hoods and the ideas that my fel­low Cleve­landers have about improv­ing them.