How We Work
The Bainum Family Foundation is a private operating foundation, which means that we both directly operate (using our own staff, facilities and partnerships) and support (through other organizations) programs in our area of interest: educational programs and projects assisting underserved children and youth, from early childhood through post-secondary education, primarily in the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore metropolitan areas.
As an operating foundation, we work hand in hand with our constituents and partner organizations to achieve our goals. Specifically, our operating status enables us to:
- Direct programs and activities that are aligned with our philanthropic mission
- Engage directly and regularly with the communities and constituents we serve
- Leverage our investments by encouraging others to join with us in making a difference for children and families living in poverty
Our Partner-Vetting Process
We do not accept unsolicited proposals and do not use a request-for-proposal (RFP) process. Instead, we leverage our network of experts to identify potential partners best suited to help us accomplish our desired impact in a particular area. Our due diligence committee then conducts preliminary background research on the target organization(s) to ensure the following criteria are met:
- Alignment with the Foundation’s mission and strategic goals
- Demonstration of strong performance and positive impact within the community
- History of dedicated and highly effective leadership
- Solid financial health with potential for growth
Organizations that pass the preliminary screen are invited to begin discussions with our program team to determine if there is further investment potential. If we determine that there is alignment and investment potential, our diligence committee will then conduct an in-depth review of performance history, strategic plans, leadership and governance structure, and financials. If the results of the due diligence are favorable, the Foundation will invite the applicant to apply for support using the Foundation’s online portal. This process involves completing an online application and is not the submission of a proposal.
The length of the vetting process varies based on the size of the investment and the nature of the partnership, but on average typically takes between four to six weeks. Because we are an operating foundation, the Foundation’s investments are not traditional grants.