Getting Local: District of Columbia

Piloting a place-based approach to grantmaking in its hometown of Washington, D.C.

Anchoring Our Work in Communities

We believe that the best ideas bubble up from communities. Public Welfare Foundation will use a multidisciplinary approach to drive transformation in targeted jurisdictions. These diversified portfolios will include; policy advocacy, investing in organizations, strategic communications, technical assistance, leadership development, and demonstration projects.

To serve as a flagship model for operationalizing in place, Public Welfare Foundation is developing structured grantmaking to catalyze a transformational justice ecosystem in Washington, DC. This on-the-ground approach allows Public Welfare Foundation to partner with smaller, newer organizations that are already working on justice issues.

Public Welfare Foundation has spent the first part of 2019 building relationships, planning, and working with local organizations to develop its DC grantmaking strategy. The first round of grantees will be announced in the Spring of 2019. The Foundation will apply the learnings from the DC pilot to develop an ecosystem model that can then be used as a framework in other parts of the country.

Emerging Focus Areas for the DC Pilot:

  • Supporting transparency, accountability and coordination across local systems.
  • Strengthening capacity of frontline justice and safety-focused organizations by assisting with development of organizational infrastructure and long-term capacity building.
  • Investing in a learning community to assist local systems and non-profits better understand and respond to the unique needs and lived experiences of justice-impacted young adults.