I said in the unofficial TG group that I had thoughts on these questions, that they are constructive, and I would reply in a day, and so I want to keep my word and do what I said I would do. I also think because I am a candidate for the next grants committee, it’s worthwhile sharing my thoughts on this before the voting period ends.
Regarding 1: 1. Limit Mandate Duration: Consider setting a time limit for council members’ mandates. The longer the mandate, the greater the risk of developing relationships that could influence their judgment.
This is basically a term limit. There are tons of online resources of the positives and negatives of term limits, so it’s pointless to repeat any of that. My view is that term limits will not benefit the grants committee.
“the greater the risk of developing relationships that could influence their judgment.” There is no evidence that this is a risk. Think of it in a different context – “there is a risk that the longer a judge serves on the bench, that they will develop relationships that could influence there judgement.” No one would ever trust judges again.
There are a lot of other examples that can be used. If there is objectivity, and transparency, and open elections, I don’t see a natural correlation of time on the committee to risk of losing objectivity.
Regarding 2: Application Limits: Implement a restriction on how many times an individual or organization can apply, such as allowing two consecutive applications with rotation.
It’s not clear if you are referring to ecosystem grants or community grants in this suggestion. In either case, restrictions sound great until they are doing more damage than good. I’m not sure the source of this suggestion, but it seems like there are specific examples of harm that can possibly be explained in greater detail. If so, understanding them would be helpful to judge if this is important or not.
- Budget Review: Regularly assess the budget for the Community Grant Council. Are there areas where we can reduce costs or reallocate funds more efficiently?
I think this is referring to your post on the unofficial Telegram that $7500 ($2500/m x 3) was too much to be paid to non-foundation community grants committee members. This specifically includes me today (actually previously it was $3500/m), and the new $2500/m would include me if I am elected to the next 6m committee period.
Whether I hold this position or someone else does in the future, my view is that this position must be paid.
Let there be no doubt, the role requires a lot of work (if a committee member is doing their duties which in my experience they have to date). Often the time commitment well exceeds 10hrs / week, but I have never heard anyone complain (except maybe me).
The point is, it is a lot of work, and often exceeds 10 hours a week, and the payment is much less than most people I know would take on an hourly basis. For a biased benchmark 2500 is $57/hr and usually I don’t bill less than $150/hr. It can be seen as too high (or too low as peers tell me) but a statement of fact that people expect to get paid for their work.
We all have 24hrs per day of time, we all have bills, and we all have to figure out where to focus our attention. But we all also are willing to give time to things we believe in whether paid or not.
We can create a race to the bottom, but that also comes with consequences. If this work is not compensated, there is greater risk that the only people that would apply are those that want to gain advantage from the role in some other way. That is not a good alternative.
But maybe you view it differently, and my view isn’t always right. I said previously there are constructive questions and I mean that, so it’s better to discuss.