The Community Service Committee surveyed members of the Rotary Club of St. Louis in 2010 for guidance in distribution of the Community Service Financial Grants.
The purpose was to understand members’ priorities for:
- Selection of Beneficiary Groups – Youth, Military/Military Families/Homeless Families/Individuals, Mentally Ill, Elderly
- Allocation Method for Funding
- Project Type and Methods
- Limitations or Restrictions on Recipients
- Financial Limitations on Specific Grants – Grant Size
- Preferred Project / Program Elements (Materials, Services, Capital, Overheads)
We used Survey Monkey with an online survey with the request distributed by email. Only one response was allowed per email. We received 90 responses representing about 45% of total membership, but more than 50% with active email accounts.
- Clearly the highest priority from Club 11 Members was for Youth Oriented Programs
- Services for Military and Military Families was ranked second
- Homeless Families / Individuals was ranked third by a slight margin over other programs
Clearly, members wanted the best quality projects that fit within our overall priorities. As important, they strongly preferred that the Community Service Committee to select the best projects without specific limitations or allocations based on beneficiary priority.
The top five priorities were:
- Learning – School Supplies
- Youth Grants – Scholarship for camps and special programs
- Human Needs – Food (Support for food pantries and food programs)
- Employment and Training
- Human Needs – Housing
The top three priorities were the strongest by far.
Limitations on Recipients
Members did not want to limit any past recipient from receiving future grants or consecutive grants year to year. Rather members preferred quality of projects and execution. Past recipients should be encouraged to continue to apply with quality projects.
Grant Size Limitations
Members strongly preferred a mix of project sizes based on quality and fit with Rotary priorities. Projects size was not a priority, quality ad fit were.
Most members again preferred to delegate to the Community Service Committee what use of the funds will appropriate.
There is a member bias toward use of funds for “tangibles”. However, provision for service deliver through professionals (salaries) is clearly understood when it is the service provided.
Use of funds directly for building service capacity is a lower priority, but not out of the park. Community Service Committee should carefully evaluate any project that is not directly focused on delivery of service and tangibles to assure that it will have a direct link to current and future service delivery.
Location of Services
Members did hot limit our service area to St. Louis city, but were willing to include good service programs or projects anywhere within both St. Louis city and county.
Full details of the survey and more discussion – click here
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