Be as open and accessible as possible

Percent of 2022 grantmaking through open processes

  • Granted through Bush Foundation open process 34%
  • To be granted through partner open process 62%
  • Not open process 4%
Why it’s important to us

All of our funding opportunities are done through open process. This is part of our commitment to equity and making sure everyone in the region has the opportunity to (1) know about any funding opportunities we offer and (2) apply if they believe they are a fit. We want everyone in the region to have access to the Bush Foundation — no matter who they are or who they know.

We also are willing to consider funding to address any idea that can make the region better for everyone. We want to champion and grow ideas that come from the communities we serve, rather than imposing our own.

We do our best to be connected with communities — but we can’t possibly know everyone and everything happening in our region. We want to be radically open — so that we can ensure the most promising ideas and people have the chance to be funded.

How we’re doing

In 2019, we set a goal of having 100% of our funding go out through open process. We are currently at 96% — which is a lot better than the 71% back in 2019. This combines the grantmaking through programs we operate and the funding that is regranted through community grant partners. To get to this point, we made big changes to all of our grant programs and feel we’ve made good progress. The current gap reflects grants in transition, and we hope to meet our 100% goal soon.

We know that open processes have their downsides. They are a lot of work for applicants and for Foundation staff. We also believe that the value of being open and accessible outweighs the costs.

Beyond open process, we have worked to make it as easy as possible to connect with us through a single inquiry line. Through our contact hub, anyone can talk with Foundation staff about any of our programs. And, even if an idea might not be a fit for funding with us, there might be other ways we can help.

What’s next

We are working to hit our 100% goal by thoughtfully and respectfully transitioning legacy grants and relationships to open process. We are getting close!

We are also picking back up on our proactive engagement with communities around the region. The pandemic stopped us from doing office hours and attending events throughout the region, and we are excited to do more in-person engagement this year and beyond.