Words: Jeff Buczkiewicz
Photo: Morsa Images
The Masonry Foundation will begin accepting grant requests on June 15, 2021, and will close the process on July 15, 2021. Grants will be awarded at the 2021 MCAA Midyear meeting being held September 12-17 in Memphis, TN. The Masonry Foundation was established to provide grant opportunities to the industry. The Masonry Foundation looks to support efforts to recruit young people and support programs that promote the training of those people in our industry, particularly at the high school level. The foundation also seeks out opportunities to help implement industry-specific programs among construction and architectural students, video development to help instruct the industry on masonry detail, and other opportunities that would support the use of masonry materials.
The Foundation Review Committee and Board find projects that are national in reach the most attractive programs to support followed by regional, state programs, and are less likely to support a local program (although local programs are not excluded). A well-thought-out solicitation for funding with details and clear goals of the request are looked at with great favor. To find projects the foundation has supported in the past and to get more details on what is required content for a submission, please go to masonryfoundation.org for details.
The process for deciding which projects to fund is a two-part process. Once grant submissions are closed, the MCAA staff prepares the submitted grants to be voted on by the Foundation Review Committee. The committee evaluates each program on the same criteria and rates them according to each committee member’s idea of how they fulfill the foundation’s mission. At the end of their grading, an average score for the project from each judge is added together and then an average score for the project is calculated for each project. Those results, plus any committee comments are then compiled and submitted to the Masonry Foundation Board. The board will have about 2-3 weeks to review the projects and the Review Committee suggestions before they meet in person at the MCAA Mid-Year meeting.
At the meeting, the Board will discuss each project after voting on a funding level for the awards. They will then vote on each project regarding the funding level of each one, taking into account the Review Committee’s advice and staff advice on how projects could be funded (sometimes staff has been able to secure additional in-kind funding to support certain requests which can impact the final dollar amount requested). When voting is complete, the projects are ranked according to those with the most votes and funding availability. The funded projects are then reviewed one final time by the Foundation Board and then they make one last vote on the projects to be funded as a group.
If a project submitted is awarded a grant, MCAA staff will prepare a grant contract that will detail the terms of the grant (included will be reporting metrics, payment terms, and any goals that need to be obtained before funding is released). Once the contract is executed, the first payment for the grant is released. If a project is not funded, letters are sent via e-mail notifying the applicant of the decision of the Board. If you have questions, please feel free to reach out to the MCAA office at 800-536-2225 and ask to speak with Jeff.