Meetings and site visits are arranged only at the request of the Co-Trustees. We will not meet with any organization until a complete grant proposal together with all supporting documentation, including the Cummings Fund questionnaire, has been submitted to the Fund.
If your organization is contacted to attend a meeting at the Cummings Office to discuss your proposal, or if we arrange a site visit to your agency, you will be asked to include the Executive Director, appropriate staff, and a Board Member. Meetings and site visits are an important part of our review process and help us to answer such questions as the following:
- Is the Executive Director an effective leader with a capable and well-trained staff?
- Does the organization have a proven track record in general? Specifically as to this program area?
- To what degree does this project help to address one or more of the community’s pressing needs?
- Is this organization offering innovative programs or is it replicating/duplicating others’ efforts?
- What is the overall present financial situation of this organization?
- Is the Board of Directors an “active” or a “paper” Board?
- Does the Board financially support the organization commensurate with their means? Do they also solicit support from their personal/business contacts?
- Does the organization have a written Strategic Plan and Mission Statement? If so, when were they last updated and to what extent was the full Board involved in the process?
After the meetings and site visits, the Co-Trustees decide which organizations will be considered for funding at the Board of Advisors Meeting (June for the spring grant cycle and December for the fall grant cycle). While Advisory Board Members participate in meetings/site visits and provide input at the meeting, the Co-Trustees have final responsibility for all grant proposal approvals and rejections. Once the Co-Trustees decide to deny funding for any request, which can happen at any point during the spring or fall grant cycles, organizations are notified in writing. All organizations that are selected to receive grants after the Advisory Board Meeting are also notified in writing shortly after the meeting.