Last month we closed our most recent application round where community members and organizations applied to us for up to $25,000 in funding and pro bono services to help launch or grow an innovative community program. We received many great applications and are now in the process of selecting the two winners. As we’ve been going through the applications and our anonymous surveys of applicants, we’ve discovered some interesting insights about the applicants and their backgrounds.
We’re sharing these insights now to give you a better picture of the programs we aim to support and the people leading those programs. This information was captured from the applications and from separate anonymous surveys of the applicants.
In order to get a sense of how well the people applying for our support knew their community and what skills they were bringing to the table, we asked some questions about their background. Here’s what we found:
- The leaders of the programs that applied for our support have lived in the DC area for an average of 22 years. The most years reported was 50 years and the least was 2 years. Further, 50% of applicants have lived in the DC area for more that 25 years.
- The leaders of the programs that applied for our support have an average of 17 years of professional work experience. The most years reported was 30 years and the least was 4 years. Notably, 83% of applicants have 10 or more years of professional work experience.
- More than half have previously started a business or non-profit.
- More than half have a full-time or part-time job other than the program they applied to receive support for. 8% of applicants are currently students.
- All applicants are college or community college graduates. 41% have masters degrees or higher.
In order to get a sense of the focus and current status of the programs seeking our support, we asked some questions about their activities. Here’s what we found:
- 17% of the applicants were motivated to create their program after seeing the support we offer.
- 91% reported that it has been difficult to find funding sources that support early stage, community-driven programs like theirs.
- For 83%, DC Social Innovation Project would be their first institutional funder.
- 74% of programs that applied to us focus on improving the lives of youth. Other programs focused on food access or providing jobs to low-income women or veterans.
As you can see, these insights paint a vivid picture of our applicants and really illuminate the need for organizations like DC Social Innovation Project to support this kind work. We’ll be sharing more about our application review and the two new grantees in the coming weeks.