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Sharing June 2022 Partner Meeting Feedback

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

  1. Youth Services
  2. Post-secondary Access
  3. Youth & Education Advocacy
  4. Out-of-School Learning
  5. Education Leadership Pipeline Programs

Wildlife Conservation

  1. Community-based Nature Programs
  2. Conservation Advocacy
  3. Environmental Leadership Pipeline Programs
  4. 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.  

Public Comment on Draft Rule, Prohibited Concepts in Public Instruction

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.

2020 Anti-racism Series

Over the past several weeks we have witnessed the violent deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd. Closer to home Jocques Clemmons and Daniel Hambrick are remembered, along with the disproportionate number of our black and brown neighbors who have died from COVID-19. These are the individual faces reflecting the oppressive systems that envelop everyone in their path—no one escapes; the only way forward is together.

Believing each of us wants to be liberated individually and to advance racial justice in our organizations, the Maddox Fund is sharing resources that we have used in our racial justice learning.

Centering Our Website on Relationships, Accessibility and Transparency

Evolution pulls us forward to be more than we otherwise imagined ourselves to be. This has certainly been true of the Maddox Charitable Fund. After emerging from a decade-long legal struggle, this once conservative foundation wanted only to fly below the radar and assume a low profile. The original website reflected this intent with stodgy gray tones, limited information about grantmaking priorities and stern, formal pictures of our founders, making them — and us — unapproachable. The website bespoke a transactional as opposed to a visionary approach to grantmaking. Ten years later, it no longer represented who or what Maddox had become.

This is an excerpt from a featured article on Grantmakers for Effective Organizations about the principles that guided us in designing our new website.  To read the full article, check it out here.