Like Learning A Language: Bringing the Voices Behind Baltimore’s Permitting and Grantmaking Systems into Conversation
The Morehead-Cain Scholarship at UNC at Chapel Hill has a Civic Collaboration Summer for rising sophomores, and we are five scholars that were assigned to Baltimore to work with Maryland Philanthropy Network and the Middendorf Foundation. This study looks to explore both the permit and grant processes from the perspectives of nonprofit organizations, foundations, and the Baltimore City Government. By interviewing various stakeholders, we gained insight and understood just how complex these processes were. All sides provided their experiences, which led our group to develop key takeaways and recommendations to create a more efficient system.
To explore both systems, we chose to interview individuals from Baltimore nonprofit organizations and foundations as well as within the City’s government on public grants. We then analyzed each interview for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT analyses) and devised recommendations for addressing these facets on Feasibility vs. Impact Matrices.
Through our analyses, we came to conclude that both the permitting and grantmaking systems in Baltimore are extremely complex and require each of the three above parties to work closely together in order to potentially implement our recommendations. The hopes are that this research can be used as a basis to further explore each of these processes.
Source: Authors: Morehead-Cain Summer Scholars | Commissioned by: Maryland Philanthropy Network and Middendorf Foundation
The Abell Foundation recently released a related report "Costly Delays: Diagnosing and addressing operational delays in Baltimore’s nonprofit contracting process". We encourage you to read that as well!