Children’s Opportunity Fund Initiative
Proposed Levy Governance Structure
Governance Structure: Levy funds will be administered by a Board of Directors to be appointed by the Board of County Commissioners, staffed by part-time employees, and advised by trained volunteer reviewers.
Board of Directors: The Board will have 5 volunteer members with the following composition that will strive for equity and inclusiveness of gender, race, and geographic representation and experience with diverse ages of children served within the county. Terms will be staggered to all for continuity:
1 member of the Board of County Commissioners
1 city council member from a city within the county (recommended by the city mayor monthly meeting group) with the city selected rotating among the five (5) largest cities in the County every 3 years.
1 business leader (recommended by the Westside Economic Alliance)
1 representative from a corporation or funding foundation (applications forms to be submitted) within the county.
1 community member at large (applications forms to be submitted) must be county resident and not a direct recipient of COFI funding
All grants will be awarded through an RFP process that will be launched following a comprehensive community needs assessment that will include community input sessions as well as statistical analyses that help define service needs. RFP’s will be publicized through area newspapers, email list serves, and social media, and will also use local foundations and nonprofits to inform the community. Community input/outreach listening sessions will be conducted to inform the Board and staff regarding community needs. Applicants will have non-profit status (Not for Profit Corporations – 501(c)(3)), or for-profit entities, Local Education Agencies, Community Colleges, or Universities. These groups may also apply as a consortium of organizations through an identified lead agency/fiscal agentand submit requests to the county via an approved county approval process. Applications must be in compliance with the terms of the RFP, address documented gaps in services, and only reflect proven best practices. Contracts will be for 1-5 years.
Volunteer reviewers will be trained on reviewing practices and meet in groups of 5 to review applications and score proposals according to predetermined scoring sheets. Priority will be given to programs that serve “at risk” youth in early childhood, out-of-school time, foster care, and special needs. Recommendations will be made to the Board of Directors for final allocation of funds. Staff will be able to able to provide insight regarding their contacts with services.
The Board of Directors will make final recommendation decisions on allocations based upon the scoring of the reviewers and consistency with the published RFP in adressing gaps in service, priorities, and geographic distribution. Any member of the Board of Directors who has an affiliation with an applicant must recuse himself or herself regarding a final decision on that agency’s application. If a board member has recused himself/herself, and there is a tie, it will be resolved by the Board of County Commissioners.
Selected programs will report on progress at least semi-annually to the Board. The Levy staff for the Board of Directors will also visit programs twice a year, offer technical assistance, and make recommendations to the Board if any adjustments appear to be warranted.
The Board Levy staff will report to the Board annually on expenditures of funds and performance of programs. The Board will be responsible for reporting this information to the BOCC and for publishing the report annually to community information sources. The fund/Levy will be audited annually.