A word from FGM – January 2024

Start by reading part one of this post about the CFSE.

To better serve the community, FGM implemented a proactive funding process. We consulted our partners, shared information about the Fund with them so that they could pass it on to their networks, and worked on identifying the organizations and groups that assist the target populations. As a result, nearly 160 very diverse organizations, all of which do extraordinary work, had the opportunity to show their interest in being supported by the Fund. We had in-depth discussions with nearly 80 of them, and these discussions in fact constituted the basis of their requests for funding. This methodology improved access the Fund for several organizations that might not have had the capacity to – or seen merit in – participating in a traditional call for proposals. Apart from offering direct funding, we wanted to build mutually satisfying and lasting relations with these key actors.

Having replaced administrative requirements with in-depth discussion, and having taken on the task of drafting funding requests in their place, we could better understand the work of these actors, their challenges and their needs. We were also able to see the variety, complexity and intersectional nature of the problems faced by individuals who are asylum seekers, refugees or migrants without status or with temporary or precarious status. And we were made aware of the massive efforts deployed by these organizations.

But the toughest task lay ahead: deciding, within the budget constraints we had, which organizations to fund. In philanthropy, this is always the most heartbreaking part of our work. In an ideal world, every single organization we met could have received support. But choices had to be made.

Open up the process to better serve the community

To get there, we once again called on the intelligence, sensitivity and expertise of our collaborators. By sharing the decision making with a group made up of the most experienced and representative members of the community and its key actors, we were able to arrive at choices that were informed, and suited to the needs of the community. The analysis and prioritization process carried out by the participatory advisory committee generated observations that ultimately facilitated the process and enhanced its legitimacy.

That is the road that led us to the announcement of the funding recipients in December. But the work of the Collective Fund for Social Equity is not done! In the coming months, we will be busy co-creating, with the funding recipients, mechanisms for their guidance and learning, and alerting other funders to the excellent work done by organizations that we were not able to support. We also want to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and resources, and encourage collaboration among organizations. These initiatives stem from the idea that it is possible, by building relationships based on trust, to support the community sector through means that go beyond granting. That is how the Foundation of Greater Montréal will, in keeping with its role and with the means at its disposal, seek to transform philanthropy and thus better serve the community.

Pictured: Doctors of the World, one of the CFSE’s recipients for 2024-2026. Photo credit: Alexis Aubin.

Marie-Andrée Farmer
Director, Strategic Initiatives and Community Partnerships
Foundation of Greater Montréal

FGM’s Stories of the Month

January 2024

Sharing power to create a more equitable form of philanthropy

Read part one of this post from Marie-Andrée Farmer about the vision behind the Collective Fund for Social Equity.

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The Collective Fund for Social Equity

Learn more about the Fund’s orientations, its inner workings and its most recent grantees.

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Thank you to all our partners!

The 2024-2026 edition of the Collective Fund for Social Equity would not have been possible without the trust and support of many individuals and organizations.

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