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FAQ: Being a Community Interest Fund committee member
Committee membership is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the various nonprofit organizations serving the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro area. It is also a great way to develop your leadership skills, build new relationships, and share your talents with the broader community. We could not do this work without residents, like you, who want to make a difference.
Before submitting your application, learn more about our five Community Interest Funds, who is eligible to be a committee member, and what is expected.
What are Community Interest Funds?
Community Interest Funds are resident-led grantmaking programs that leverage the power of residents by empowering them to lead the grant process, review proposals, and decide which to fund based on the needs of their communities. While committee members may not fully represent every aspect of their community, our goals are to get more people engaged in philanthropy and leadership. Through these programs, we work and learn alongside individuals who bring their unique perspectives, lived experiences, and connections to the community into the process.
Who is eligible to be a committee member?
Committee members must meet the following criteria:
- Self-identify as a member of the community represented by the CIF grant program. For example, you must identify as LGBTQIA2S+ to serve on the committee for the LGBTQIA2S+ Equality Fund.
- Reside in Douglas or Sarpy Counties in Nebraska or Pottawattamie County in Iowa.
- Have lived experience in the local community, experience with nonprofits or grantmaking, or a combination thereof.
What are the roles and responsibilities?
Committee members agree to:
- Serve a single, 2-year term (July 1 – June 30)
- Attend a series of onboarding meetings
- Participate in two leadership activities
- Represent OCF and its programs during their term
Additionally, we ask committee members to:
- Ensure confidentiality, as committee discussions are a safe space for candid feedback
- Promote program grant cycles and events on social media and within their networks
- Regularly attend scheduled meetings and events (Goal is 80%)
- Actively participate in meeting discussions (Goal is 80%)
- Review grant proposals and make funding decisions
- Recruit new committee members
What is the time commitment?
Committee members contribute about 40 hours over the course of a year. Those hours are based on the following.
- Reviewing grant applications takes 30 to 45 minutes per application and can vary from person to person. The average number of proposals can range from 20 to 60, depending on the program.
- Meetings vary in length depending on the topic. The average is about 90 minutes. Decision meetings can last up to 4 hours.
What benefits do I receive?
Community Interest Fund committees receive a $500 stipend in return for their time, talent, and lived experience to serve as decision-makers. The group works together to make grant investments that best serve the needs of their communities. Members have access to leadership opportunities, community engagement events, and are key stakeholders in creating an equitable grant process. The skills developed through committee participation are marketable and transferable to other board and leadership roles.
How do I apply to serve on a committee?
Complete the online application by 11:59 p.m. April 2, 2023.
How will I know if I am selected?
Everyone who applies will receive an email by July 2023.