2022 is a year of rethinking, reimagining and redesigning the Maddox Fund’s grant program.
Input from the community was essential. During the month of June, we heard from our partners through in-person design meetings, virtual gatherings and an online survey. More than 75% of our nonprofit partners participated in this crucial process. Thank you in advance for your generosity and guidance.
Maddox welcomed feedback on how we should conceptualize our grantmaking areas, youth and wildlife conservation, going forward. Participants were asked to review a draft document and rank priorities. Below are those priorities in community rank order.
- Youth Services
- Post-secondary Access
- Youth & Education Advocacy
- Out-of-School Learning
- Education Leadership Pipeline Programs
- Community-based Nature Programs
- Conservation Advocacy
- Environmental Leadership Pipeline Programs
- Hunting and Fishing
We also asked our partners what Maddox should be asking itself. Three themes emerged:
- How does Maddox understand its leadership role in relationship to other foundations, donors and the overall nonprofit well-being?
- How can we create connections among our partners?
- How does class analysis play into our grantmaking?
Partners also asked Maddox to:
- Offer clarifying language (i.e., clarify that the interest in leadership programs is to diversify conservation and education leadership pipelines)
- Offer specific input on what we do and do not support
The work now returns to the Maddox Grant Committee to integrate community input into the 2023 grant program. We anticipate the following schedule:
- Fall 2022—Grant redesign presentation to community
- December 2022—Application goes live
- March 1, 2023—Applications due
- May 8, 2023—Grants approved
- July 1, 2023—Grant payments made
If you would like to share your thoughts or provide any additional feedback, you can email Maddox staff or call the office at 615-385-1006. You may leave feedback anonymously at anytime by using this link.
Over the past few weeks, we have heard from 50 nonprofit partners with input on our redesigned 2023 grant process and priorities. You have made us think, asked essential questions and ranked our future focus areas. Thank you.
Before the Maddox Grant Committee meets to put the final touches on the 2023 grant program, we are inviting your final thoughts and input. All input before June 30 will be part of the Grant Committee’s conversation.
- Survey to share your thoughts
- Slides from our recent partner meetings
- Document summarizing our potential Youth and Conservation categories
You can access the slides from the recent partner meetings here. You can also use the Mentimeter survey to share your thoughts and to rank the sub-categories under Youth and Conservation. All input before June 30 will be part of the Grant Committee’s conversation.
As always, if you have questions, please reach out to Kaki or Joseph directly:
As a reminder, we have also created a permanent feedback button on our website so you can share your thoughts anonymously at any time.
We submitted a comment on Tennessee’s draft framework of the student funding formula. Read the full comment below.…
The Dan and Margaret Fund is pleased to announce the Youth Philanthropic Advisory Board applications are open! This participatory grantmaking initiative is an effort to share power and integrate the voices of the community in processes. We are currently accepting applications for youth (ages 16-19) to be a part of the inaugural class of advisory board members. The Youth Philanthropic Advisory Board will also receive a $1,000 stipend for participating.…
The Maddox Fund has submitted a public comment on the Tennessee Department of Education’s draft rule related to the implementation of Section 51 of Chapter 493 of the Tennessee Public Acts of 2021. We believe that an understanding of our violent history is necessary for envisioning new and liberating systems and that these punitive measures create hostile work environments for educators and place undue burden on school districts. The full statement can be read below.…
Maddox is pleased to partner with 70 nonprofits to continue our mission of improving the lives of young people and furthering wildlife conservation. Over the past 13 years, the Maddox Fund has granted $28 million dollars in programs and organizations that better the Middle Tennessee community.
“Our philanthropic work is shaped by trust-based culture. Funder-grantee relationships built on trust are stronger and more to responsive to community,“ said Melissa Gordon, chair of the Maddox Grant Committee. “We are re-envisioning grantmaking to ensure we are connected to partners who have the greatest proximity to community needs.”…
I feel like 2021 has gone really fast and really slow at the same time. With the year being halfway through, it’s a bit sad how little reading I’ve been able to get done. Summer’s really here now though, so I finally have some time to catch up on the stuff accumulating on my nightstand.
I’m currently reading Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds by adrienne maree brown. This book was sitting on my bookshelf unread until our equity consultant suggested it and reminded me that I had it. I’ve been struggling with seeing the same old strategies being employed and wanted to find something new, which I think this book does. It suggests a radically different way of conceptualizing how to be in connection to one another, our community, and the planet; presenting a different way to look at change and going about it.
Also on my nightstand is Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements. This is an anthology of short stories inspired by the work of Octavia Butler. adrienne maree brown is also one of the editors. The stories themselves are attempting to envision a new and liberated future. I pick the book up and read one of the pieces whenever I have time, so I’m only halfway through it, but it’s been really enjoyable so far. I think it’s an important reminder that imagination is a requirement in our work towards liberation.
A giant nerd at heart, I spend a lot of reading comic books. The American comic book industry has been a white, male-dominated space for most of its history, so I’ve been intentionally seeking out diverse characters, plots, and writers. For Pride Month, I started reading Cosmoknights by Hannah Templer. It’s a sci-fi story about a “ragtag band of space gays” fighting the patriarchy. To further diversify the stories I’m reading, I picked up the first issue of Shang-chi vs the Marvel Universe, written by Gene Luen Yang and illustrated by Dike Ruan (two Asian men). I’m also revisiting the Black Panther series by Ta Nehisi Coates.
I’m always interested in book, podcast and comic recommendations so email me if you think there’s anything I’d like or if you just want to talk about some of the works listed here.
Doing anti-racist work requires an understanding of how racism is manifested and multiple levels. Check out this video featuring Tribble Consulting and see how Maddox board and staff understand racism from an individual to systemic level.
Our thoughts have been with you over the past few weeks. Being connected to one another is a source of comfort in these trying times. The city of Nashville and our nonprofit community has inspired is since the tornado and encourages us as we face COVID-19.
To better support our nonprofit partners, the Maddox Fund is moving all 2019 Program Grants to Core Mission Support (unrestricted operating grants). We recognize the need for flexibility in funding to cope with the changing environment. The reports for these grants will not require partners to report on outcomes as data is less important at this moment, and in some cases, not likely to be available. Instead, the reports will involve more open-ended questions about what you are learning as we seek for what sustains us and gives us hope in uncertain times. Together, we hope to create a more resilient city.…