Changes for the 2024 Project Grant Season

May 21, 2024

We are excited to soon share the incredible learning quest we began a couple of years ago when we started seeking answers to our many questions about how we might, as a private philanthropic organization, meaningfully involve youth, people with lived experience, and communities in our grantmaking processes as a means for contributing to a healthier and more equitable nonprofit ecosystem.

Kids Creating a Better World

Engaging young people to create a better world for themselves and others was a true passion for our founder, Arvilla Snow-Redfern. During her life, she fostered youth, started Nebraska Boys Ranch, and in 1951, gifted her 20,000-acre family ranch as a catalyst to form the Snow-Redfern Foundation.

Participatory Philanthropy

In 2022, we began exploring Participatory Philanthropy, a value-based practice that intentionally includes the participation of community members with lived experience, relevant to the target issues at hand. Upon development of a new strategic plan, we then initiated strategies that will activate in 2024, including evaluation of our internal operations and adapting our grantmaking practices. As we prepare for implementation of this framework in 2024, we will begin to shift away from a traditional decision-making model, historically used by Snow-Redfern Foundation for Project Grants, towards a more transparent, inclusive, and collaborative grantmaking approach.

Shifting Power to Those Impacted

Our aim is not to create hardship for the nonprofits that have faithfully applied for Project Grants each year, but rather to assess how we can better support child/family serving systems of care, and the communities and nonprofit organizations that align with our mission to empower youth, inspire changemakers, and energize partnerships for impact.

As we begin shifting power back to those most impacted by our grants, we will be changing the manner in which we award grants and will be phasing out some of our existing grant programs.  Because of this, the Project Grant dollars allocated are significantly less than in years past and eligibility for 2024 will be limited.  The competitive grant applications will still open on July 1st, but only nonprofits that were awarded grant funds in 2023 will be eligible to apply.

Thank you for joining us as we grow to be better grant makers and stewards. Through inclusive participation, we will continue Arvilla’s legacy of engaging youth to determine what “investing in the good life for kids” really means.