The first round of the new Bohemian Fund concluded this fall, and we are excited to share some of our learnings. We are grateful to all the organizations that applied. The requests provided us a deeper understanding of the work our community partners are doing to create an equitable community where everyone belongs. We are inspired to continually learn from and grow with you all in this work. In that spirit, we want to share a few highlights of what we learned about the great work already happening in our community and some tips for applying in 2022.
Strong examples by theme
We believe that equitable outcomes can result when work is grounded in an understanding of the community issue, has proximity to the communities most impacted, and is implemented with awareness of structures and systems that create and reinforce inequities. Below are a few applicants that successfully conveyed their work within these three themes:
Homeward Alliance highlights the local data that informs its Family Housing program, notably that in the 2019-2020 school year, Poudre School District identified 1,387 students that did not have safe and stable housing. Students experiencing homelessness were three times more likely to drop out of school than all students and were less likely to graduate (55% vs. 84% of all students). It further highlights racial disparities noting that across the state, 68% of students experiencing homelessness are students of color.
La Cocina centers the knowledge and expertise of the individuals and families it works with to design and assess solutions. The ¡Las Favas! program centers the voice of Latinx women who care for children in their homes and Latinx families with young children. Staff and community members co-design strategies to address issues raised by community members –identifying individual-level solutions and structural barriers. La Cocina also works with individuals and families to understand and define what success looks like. Outcome measures are co-determined so that inequities are not perpetuated.
Beats By Girlz Fort Collins positions its work to address the structures of sexism, racism, and classism that have driven longstanding inequities in the music industry. By centering the voices of and ensuring access to the tools of music tech for women, girls, and gender-expansive individuals, Beats By Girlz Fort Collins works to shift the cultural narrative dominated by men, empower female producers, and create more equitable access to and representation within the music industry.
Tips for applying in 2022
If you are considering applying to Bohemian Fund in the future or know of an organization that might be interested in applying, below are a few pointers to assist with an application:
- Strong applications start by describing the community issue and who is most impacted based on race, gender, sexuality, income level or other identities. This focus on who is most impacted caries through the other application themes. Invest time here.
- The Bohemian Fund Storyboard (available in the grantee portal or email us to request a copy) helps organize the application and create a through line across community issue, proximity, and structures. We encourage you to use the storyboard to test for the connection by looking at answers across each row and down each of the columns.
- We’d like to understand how you’re listening to people most impacted by the community issue. Please also share what you’re doing differently because of what you’ve learned.
- As you consider the structures that lead to disparities, please also consider the systems and processes within your organization and how changes to them might help to remove barriers to access.
- The Bohemian Fund Companion Guide provides more detail and examples of what we mean by community issue, proximity, and structures. We encourage you to review this document before developing your next application.
The next Bohemian Fund application will be open January 27 through 11:59 pm on February 24, 2022. Please visit our website to register for applicant workshops.