Reviewer of grants

At Work

Program officer Kevin Griffin Moreno examines requests and makes funding recommendations

At Work

April 11, 2007|By Nancy Jones-Bonbrest | Nancy Jones-Bonbrest,Special to the Sun

Kevin Griffin Moreno

Program officer, Families, Health and Human Services Program

Baltimore Community Foundation

Salary --$54,000

Age --34

Years on the job --One

How he got started --Moreno has worked for nonprofits going on 10 years, most recently as a lobbyist at the Job Opportunities Task Force, an organization that advocates on behalf of low-income workers. He also worked for the International Rescue Committee, where he did case management for recently arrived refugee families. Moreno earned his bachelor's degree in history and his graduate degree in nonprofit management. He said he joined the Baltimore Community Foundation to help with a wide range of human services issues.

Typical day --Moreno's primary responsibility is to review and recommend grant funding to nonprofit organizations with programs that focus on families, health and human services. Much of his day is spent reviewing grant applications, which includes going on site visits, looking over financial statements and considering the appropriateness of the request.

He recommends which grant applications should be funded through the foundation. However, the final decision rests with a committee made up of the foundation's board members, trustees and community members. Last year, the foundation awarded 24 grants averaging $10,000 through the human services program. The grants are generally for one year and fund the full spectrum of human services targeting low-income residents in Baltimore.

"These are organizations we've done all of our research and due diligence on and we're confident they represent good investments for the foundation to make," Moreno said.

He also must follow up with and review programs that have been awarded grants. Moreno also serves on various committees and advisory boards, including two that work with former offenders.

Selecting grant applications --If a grant application is received that Moreno doesn't feel is a good fit, he typically will refer it to another program or foundation. He said he also tries to be up front with applicants about the possibility of receiving funding. "It's our hope that we can find some way to assist all the worthy programs and organizations."

The good --"The opportunity to witness firsthand the incredible amount of good work going on in the Baltimore region and to be able to support a portion of that work."

The bad --Not being able to fund all of the worthy programs.

Multiyear effort --Many of the programs that Moreno directs funding to deal with problems that have existed for decades. He said that instead of becoming discouraged or expecting immediate change, he looks for change over time. All grantees must fill out an outcome-measurement chart. "We can quantify what the gains have been from grant to grant, from organization to organization and from year to year."

Foundations --Moreno said he sees foundations as servants to the community and to the nonprofit organizations that they support. "It's a privilege to be able to support the good work that's happening in the community."

Philosophy --Everyone should be given an equal opportunity to participate in society and thrive economically. "I believe that no one should be left behind."

Nancy Jones-Bonbrest

Special to The Sun

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