Community Initiatives Committee

Community Initiatives Community Initiatives

Community Initiatives Committee

Responsibilities and Operating Procedures

The Community Initiatives Committee is the FOREVER Fund’s oversight group and is charged with carrying out the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis’s mission through various activities including grantmaking, convening, and educating. The committee is charged with developing and providing recommendations to the Board of Governors related to yearly budget, grantmaking, and community-focused initiatives.

Specifically, committee volunteers are asked to:

  • Attend all meetings of the committee, including virtually when necessary;

  • Develop and maintain an understanding of the Community Foundation’s mission, Community Investment Principles, and grantmaking efforts;

  • Work with staff to develop annual FOREVER Funds budget and allocation plan that includes Strengthening Nonprofits Committee, Rapid Response Fund, and other grant programs;

  • Plan and evaluate grantmaking programs and rounds, including but not limited to the creation of guidelines, application, and review processes and evaluation of effectiveness;

  • Evaluate grant applications as needed to make recommendations to the Board of Governors;

  • Create subcommittees for grants and special initiatives, as needed;

  • Provide grant recommendations and updates to the Board of Governors via the committee chair;

  • Communicate to the broader community on efforts, priorities, and accomplishments.

  • Attend a training session at the beginning of your tenure to better understand the grantmaking processes of the Community Foundation;

Meeting Schedule

Unless otherwise noted, all meetings will be held at the Community Foundation. At least three meetings will be held per year, but additional meetings may be called by the committee chair when necessary. Committee members are expected to attend all committee meetings. Less frequent attendance may result in removal from the committee.

Prior to meetings, it is expected that the members of the committee will take on some independent work to review grant applications and/or other updates and documents.


The committee shall be composed of 10 to 15 members, who should represent the diverse makeup of our community. The Community Foundation will accept nominations between January and March each year from board members, committee members, and/or other community members. Interested parties may also submit self-nominations.

Applicants are reviewed and nominated by the Board Development committee and presented to the Board of Governors. Appointments of new members are generally made at the May meeting of the Board of Governors, although appointments may be made at other times during the year, if needed. Members are appointed for up to three, three-year terms.

The committee chair must be a member of the Board of Governors and is appointed by the Board chair. The committee chair’s term may exceed the term limits, if needed.

A quorum represents 1/3 of the current committee members.

Membership on this committee will need to change from time to time based on the initiatives being pursued by the committee. Subject-matter experts may be needed, but as the initiatives evolve, so too will the contributions of those experts. A core value of our Community Investment Principles is inclusion. Therefore, it is expected that the membership of this committee goes beyond subject-matter experts to consider other parts of the community and other lived experiences that may be affected by the work of this committee and the Board of Governors.

Decision making

The committee will make recommendations to the Board of Governors, which will take action to approve or reject the committee’s recommendations. Committee recommendations to the Board of Governors will be determined by a majority vote of the committee members present. Only decisions made when a quorum is present are valid.

Conflict of interest

Participation is for the mission of the committee and should not be clouded by self-interests. It is expected that no committee shall use his or her position, or knowledge gained therefrom in such a manner that a conflict arises between the interest of the Community Foundation and any of its affiliates and his or her personal or professional interests. Each member of the committee will review and sign the Community Foundation’s Conflict of Interest Policy annually.


The Board of Governors recognizes that serving on this committee takes time and dedication. It is their sincere hope that all volunteers feel like they have benefitted from their time on this committee. We believe that service on this committee provides the following benefits to the volunteers:

  • A feeling that they have helped strengthen our community by determining funding recommendations and developing community-driven initiatives;

  • They have gained knowledge of the work of local nonprofit organizations and feel inspired by the unique ideas proposed in their applications;

  • They are able to network with other passionate community volunteers and staff;They have gained experience in grant review, consensus-building, and making funding recommendations within a budget.

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