Upbeat message from charity expert
After nearly two years as Programme Consultant for Bank of Bermuda Foundation, Vivien Carter remains upbeat and excited about liaising with Bermuda’s non-profits on the grant-giving process and requirements under the Foundation’s Theory of Change (ToC). Introduced for the first time during the 2017 grant-giving cycle, the ToC restructured and refocused how the Foundation makes its grant-giving. In 2018 the Foundation, an independent philanthropic organization, awarded over $2.6 million in grants to Bermuda’s non-profits and up to $950,000 in student scholarships.
Vivien Carter joined the Bank of Bermuda Foundation in June 2017, bringing with her more than 20 years of leadership and experience in non-profit management, as well as youth and community development. She held multiple leadership positions in the third sector throughout the United States and abroad and now lives in Bermuda with her Bermudian husband and two children.
Although not an easy decision to move to Bermuda, Vivien feels she is very much at the right place at the right time. She explains, ‘Joining the Foundation has been an exciting and extremely interesting undertaking. My first year was spent getting to know and work with local non-profit organisations as well as assisting the Foundation in launching their first year of funding under their new Theory of Change. We learned a great deal during that first year and continue to refine our approach. Now, in our second year, we are seeing a good rhythm and flow of quality applications, as well as new potential partnerships.’
Relationships are very important to Vivien. She works very closely with non-profits cultivating a sense of partnership to support them in providing the information, data and success stories that give them the best opportunity for a successful grant application. Vivien reviews every application the Foundation receives, to ensure applications are complete, and where needed provides direction for completion, so that each qualified application makes it through to the grants review process with transparency and equity.
Vivien added, ‘One of our Foundation in-house goals is to improve non-profit’s access to and ability to show quality data that drives measurable impact.’ Since last year the Foundation has been working with a pilot group of non-profits on a social outcomes tool to assist them in reporting the impact of their programmes. This in turn will help inform and guide the Foundation’s grant-making decision process to ensure it is based on demonstrated and meaningful outcomes .
In addition, a partnership between The Centre on Philanthropy (CoP) and the Foundation has now made workshops available to non-profits to learn more about data collection, outcome measurement and many other areas affecting their programme performance. To learn more about these workshops please visit the CoP’s website: www.centreonphilanthropy.org
Vivien concluded, ‘We have a committed, innovative third sector. They are carrying the safety net for the island. Their work is so important and they are doing great work. The Foundation has an opportunity to improve the quality of services by supporting strategy and efficient collaborations with clear outcomes and targeted impact. Where’s the value? Where are the gaps? We have to be transparent about the process and open to innovation.’
‘We want to be thought partners with our non-profits in this work. We acknowledge the important work they are doing. They are the implementers, on the ground and doing the work. We want to cultivate relationships that are beyond surface. In providing the tools to improve overall third sector performance, we can highlight where the value is and where the gaps are. We want to ensure we get the best results from our investment which we hope will ensure the best results for our community as a whole.’
Non-profit organisations interested in learning more should contact Vivien on 704-2743 or
• Press release from the Bank of Bermuda Foundation