Client: Community Foundation of Broward
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Project: BE BOLD Prize
Due to COVID-19 in July 2020, the Economic Policy Institute reported that the unemployment rate in Florida was 12.6 for Q2. It was estimated that 250,000 residents in Broward are currently unemployed. We know that Industries hit worse are tourism/recreation (38%), professional/ business services (17%), retail/wholesale (16%), education/health (12%) and the least impacted is the information industry(1%). The data shows that of the 12.6% of the unemployment in Florida, 17.5 % are black individuals and 14.5% are Hispanics.
In September 2020 the unemployment number dropped to 8% but the disparity in black and brown communities was still prevalent. Black and African American communities, along with Hispanics, are dealing with a dual pandemic – both COVID-19 and continued systemic racial injustice.
The vision of this Community Foundation of Broward (CFB) was to create a program for groups to submit a solution that can “Be BOLD” and for the CFB to launch an award to leverage and trigger exciting, meaningful, innovative ideas to address employment.
Phase 1: In conducting the first phase of research, Strategic Philanthropy (SPI) looked at a total 31 foundations (both private and community foundations) and fortune 500 companies throughout the country that focused on covid-related funding, social injustice and/or economic development/recovery. The research showed that there wasn’t a grant or program in place that the CFB could easily replicate. This allowed CFB to be a pioneer in this space where others can model their process.
Phase 2: Next, SPI took the vision of the program and any questions the CFB taskforce had regarding the purpose/scope of the grant, grant prize, the timeline, the types of organizations that would vie for this type of award and tested it among various communities leaders. SPI put together a dream team of thought leaders from the nonprofit, business, government, education sectors along with potential funders of the program and hosted 5 focus groups.
Phase 3: Strategic Philanthropy took all of its initial research, the notes from the focus groups, the feedback from CFB taskforce and staff to finalize the guidelines for a state-wide competition.
Results For Utility:
Once the feedback was discussed and finalized, SPI created the competition guidelines, application, and scoring rubric. SPI lead CFB through the development of a $1 million dollar prize. The competition challenged nonprofits, for profits and government agencies to think about and implement collaborative solutions that involved cross sectors, and engagement with the community. This would be an opportunity to create and/or scale up an existing effort to get Broward residents employed. Employer involvement was a critical element.
While the goal of the prize was simple, the strategy that groups would need to come up with would be complex. Ultimately, the scoring committee would look to fund organizations committed to stimulating economic opportunity and recovery as well as prioritizing solutions where racial equity and communities that have been marginalized and disproportionally affected by job loss.