Got an Idea?
Ideas are what drives BHCD. The BHCD organization was structured to manage and facilitate a portfolio of projects addressing needs in our community.
First Step: Let us know with a quick email
The BHCD Board meets regularly to evaluate ideas from the community. To get the process started, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (or visit with) one of the BHCD directors. (But we prefer an email, since reducing the idea to writing often helps it take shape in the proposer’s mind and makes it clearer to us what’s in mind.)
We’ll review the idea and give you some feedback as to whether we think:
- it fits our mission and should be pursued with our support;
- doesn’t really fit our mission, but we have some ideas/feedback as to other ways to push it forward; or
- doesn’t fit our mission and we don’t think we’re in a position to help.
If the BHCD Board does think it can support your idea/project, we’ll assign one of our Directors to work with you to move it forward and to coordinate between BHCD and your project efforts. (If you think someone on our Board is a natural fit for helping to coordinate your project idea, please do let us know!)
Second Step: Formalize the Project Description
Together with the BHCD Director assigned to your project, we’ll ask you to make a more detailed proposal before we commit to the idea.
The detail we’ll be looking in these documents includes:
- Scope. Refine the description of the project so we’re clear on the scope and goals of the project. And, importantly for us, to allow us to be comfortable that it will be consistent with our tax-exempt status.
- Leadership. Who’s going to lead the project? What passion, expertise, time, etc. are they prepared to bring to the project? What constraints on the leaders’ time might there be and what backup plans are in place to keep the project moving forward?
- Volunteers. Who else will support the project with their time? How many of these extra hands are already on board and how many need to be recruited? Developing and maintaining a committed cadre of volunteers often makes the difference between success and failure.
- Fundraising. How much money will be required to make the project a success? How do you envision raising these funds?
These are some of the key attributes the Board will want to understand before approving a project. There may be others, depending on the specific project or idea.
Ultimately, though, the development of this detailed proposal is not intended to be an impediment to moving a project forward. BHCD, through its designated representative, will work with you to develop a sensible, “holistic” proposal for pursuing the project.
Third Step: Fiscal Sponsor Agreement
Once BHCD has determined that it can sponsor a project, BHCD and the Project Team enter into a Fiscal Sponsor Agreement and two more appendices to that agreement—a description of any “special” terms for the sponsorship and a form for requesting disbursements of funds. We have also prepared a Financial Procedures Memo laying out what you need to do to collect and disburse funds in support of your project.