Bank of Bermuda Foundation | Grantmaking

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Areas of Focus

Employment and Business Focus

Funding to enhance equitable employment practices, alternate financing options and entrepreneurship.

  • Enter into dialogue with employers to explore issues around equitable and best practices in hiring, promotion, and employee development in the Bermuda context.  Training is available so those who manage people have the skills to create workplaces that are deliberatively respectful and non-punitive.
  • Enter into dialogue with public and private agencies to explore options for alternative financing.  Procedures/policies exist for alternative financing options directed to new or small business owners.
  • On-going training programmes exist for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Continuing mentoring, networking and supports are in place for growing businesses.

Career and Lifelong Learning Focus

Funding opportunities aimed at increased access to career planning, financial literacy and re-training.

  • Enter into dialogue with public and private organisations to determine the status of financial literacy training and support in Bermuda. Financial literacy training and support is available for people of all ages (school-age to seniors)
  • Those in vulnerable circumstances participate in career guidance; employment readiness and workplace exposure. Employment re-training and financial literacy are readily available to those who experience unemployment or underemployment.
  • Those at risk of school or work life failure receive individualised services relating to a sense of self worth and personal empowerment. All public school students have effective middle & high school career guidance/mentoring.

Public Education Focus

Funding to strengthen experiential learning and essential academic skills.

  • An emphasis is placed on the value of education and parent engagement.
  • Students who experience specific challenges develop strong skills in literacy and numeracy.
  • STEAM subjects – science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics are actively supported by community-based organisations.
  • Inspiring, hands-on, out-of-school learning experiences are available to all students. Students have high-quality arts education and cultural resources that enlighten their understanding of Bermuda.

Early Childhood Focus

Funding to improve the lives of young children, including learning readiness and strong social-emotional foundations.

  • Social/emotional learning is a key part of early childhood education programmes.
  • For young children whose families have lower incomes, programmes emphasise developing readiness to learn and inquiry-based approaches.
  • Positive and nurturing approaches for parenting and caregiving are supported, and early intervention happens for those at risk.
  • Environments for children are safe, healthy and stimulate learning.

Health and Wellness Focus

Funding to enhance physical and mental health for all age groups, as well as addressing issues of trauma, addictions and unhealthy relationships.

  • Diet, exercise and stress management are effectively addressed. People have lifelong exposure to and engagement in recreational activities.
  • Addictions, conflict resolution, and intergenerational trauma issues are effectively addressed.

Resilient Communities Focus

Support for those who experience disadvantage related to a combination of economic, food, housing, and employment insecurity.

  • Service providers and donors understand the importance of coordinated services for those with multiple complex needs.
  • Bermuda has a comprehensive social safety net to ensure low income families have appropriate supports for food, housing, mental health, employment and finances.

Connected Communities Focus

Funding for work that brings people together through the arts, culture and recreation.

  • Students have high quality arts education, recreation activities that bring them together and cultural resources that enlighten their understanding of Bermuda . People have lifelong exposure to and engagement in cultural, artistic and recreational activities .
  • Programmes/events for the arts, recreation and culture are thoughtfully planned, well run and financially viable,   with an emphasis on being affordable for all. There are multiple, convenient locations, with suitable amenities, for community activities.
  • The history of Bermuda’s peoples and culture is researched, documented, shared and taught. People appreciate the importance and value of the arts, recreation and culture to community life, personal development and the economy.
  • Natural and cultural environments are preserved, maintained, restored and protected so that they are welcoming and accessible to all. People are well-informed about the significance and locations of Bda’s natural and cultural activities and environments.

Grantmaking Strategy

The Foundation’s grantmaking decisions will be made according to its identified priorities and the particular needs of the community at any given time. This will include utilising a strategic grantmaking approach – including responsive, proactive, initiative focused, and collaborative strategic grantmaking styles, as described below.

Strategic grantmaking is an umbrella term that enables a Foundation flexibility with their grantmaking style; specifically, a Foundation can utilize multiple grantmaking models in order to meet specific community needs that relate to their defined mission and desired impact. Responsive grantmaking is when organisations are invited to submit applications for specific requests that align with the Foundation’s determined criteria for funding. Applications are assessed on their own merit and reviewed by Committees who determine where funding should be directed. Proactive grantmaking occurs when the Foundation seeks partnership with specific organisations. Initiative grantmaking puts the focus on a specific grantmaking or leadership effort that the Foundation is involved in launching. Lastly, collaborative grantmaking occurs when the Foundation collaborates with other funders on specific areas of interest.”

Source: Meachen, Vanessa. (2010). An Introductory Guide to Grantmaking. Philanthropy Australia Inc.


The Foundation recognises that partnerships with a cross-section of organisations are necessary to achieve the intended outcomes for our community. Some organisations are more fully established, and we expect those groups are well structured, sustainable and are registered charities under the Charities Act 2014. Some organisations may have less formal infrastructure, but may have compelling approaches to address our underlying objectives. For these organisations, we expect a willingness to partner with us to ensure efforts are viable and practical. The Foundation will not make grants:

  • To organisations that discriminate against certain groups or individuals in the delivery of programmes and services on the basis of race, religion, national origin, gender, age, sexual orientation or disability or in any other manner that offends the Foundation’s Non-Discrimination Policy
  • To political candidates, political campaigns, or political parties
  • To overseas organisations
  • To individuals
  • To private business ventures (social enterprises may be considered)
  • For personal medical needs
  • For fundraising dinners or events
  • For corporate memberships with organisations
  • For religious worship, instruction or proselytisation

Grantmaking History

To view information on the specific grants the Foundation has recently made, please visit the Grantmaking History page.

Application Process

Application requirements, submission deadlines and timeline

The Foundation accepts applications for three levels of grant funding in Bermuda dollars (BMD):

Tier 1 – Grant Requests up to and including $10,000:

Submission Deadlines: Grant applications are accepted for review year-round.

Application Requirements: Grants up to and including $10,000 require the on-line application form to be completed. An organisation may receive no more than one Tier 1 grant in a 12 month period (one year).

Grant Decision Timeline: Grant applicants can expect to know if their grant is approved within 2-4 weeks.

Tier 2 – Grant Requests from $10,001 up to and including $25,000

Submission Deadlines: Grant applications are accepted for review monthly and are due by the 15th day of each month.

Application Requirements: Grants from$10,001 up to and and including $25,000 require the on-line application form to be completed. An organisation may receive no more than one Tier 2 grant in a twelve month period (one year).

Grant Decision Timeline: Grant applicants can expect to know within 4 weeks if their grant is either approved or requires further review.

Tier 3 – Grant Requests over $25,000

Submission Deadlines: Grant applications will be accepted for review three times a year: January 31, May 31 and September 30.

Application Requirements: Grants over $25,000 require the on-line application form to be completed.  An organisation may receive no more than two Tier 3 grants in a twelve month period (one year)

Grant Decision Timeline: Grant applicants can expect to know if their grant request is approved within 2 months.

Letter of Intent (LOI) Requirements:  Grant requests over $25,000 from NEW grantees or for grant activity NOT currently funded by the Foundation require a two-step process:

  1. Submission of an on-line LOI for review and approval. LOI’s are accepted for review three times a year: Apr. 15, August 15 and Dec 15.
  2. Submission of an on-line Grant Application (following LOI approval)

The LOI is a brief over-view that will enable the Foundation to ascertain if the project is within our mission and budget. It allows us to provide applicants with feedback on whether our funding budget can accommodate the amount requested, prior to completing the full application form. Applicants should receive a response to their LOI within one month.

Based on the LOI, if there is agreement that the project is generally of interest to the Foundation, applicants will be asked to submit the on-line Grant Application by the next grant application date.

Submit a Letter of Intent (LOI)
Apply Online

Measurement and Outcomes

Organisational Outcomes or Performance

It is generally understood that measurement and evaluation in the social sector is very difficult to quantify, particularly in an environment where independent data collection is minimal. While it is helpful to gather simple statistics, such as how many people participate in an event or programme, those numbers do not indicate if the programme actually has a positive impact on their lives. The Foundation is committed to working collaboratively with community partners, who deliver programmes and projects, to develop shared monitoring and measurement tools, so we are in alignment and develop commonly understood expectations for outcomes in our community.

Grant Monitoring Indicators

How well do we understand the outcome of a specific grant? How well do we understand the expected outcome of our grant-making more generally?

The Foundation aims to empower grantees through reporting requirements, by placing an emphasis on the importance of critical reflection and generating dialogue and action through sharing what is learned. This should be illustrated through a smart selection of data and open dialogue on written and verbal reflection.

Information to conduct the monitoring of grants will be drawn from grantee reporting, interviews, observation of performance from professional interactions, independent reviews and data recorded in the Foundation’s grants management system.

Community Indicators

Is our grantmaking addressing our community’s needs? Across our areas of funding, current need must be understood in order to move us closer to realising and achieving the Foundation’s vision for Bermuda.

Annually, the Foundation will monitor indicators (see possible examples below) and others that may arise, related to specific grant activity, in order to track community need in Bermuda. Two well-regarded models – the OECD Better Life Index and the Canadian Index of Well-being, have influenced us. Limited internal capacity means that the Foundation does not currently have the resources to track its direct impact, i.e. how changes in indicators may relate to particular activities funded by the Foundation.


Examples of Possible Community Indicators to Track Need by Area of Funding

Economic Participation

How has the state of employment, work satisfaction and financial security changed?


Can we identify specific improvements in the education landscape?

Unemployment Rates

Home Ownership

Household Income

Personal Earnings

Test Scores (primary, middle, high school)

Graduation rates (Public and Private)

Post-Secondary Attendance

Educational Attainment

Healthy Families

Are there markers that indicate people are healthier?

Connected Communities

Does data show that Bermudians are more actively involved in the community?

Average life expectancy

Obesity Rate

Child Care Statistics

Reporting on Mental Health

Crime Rates

Time spent in leisure or cultural activities

Number of clubs/teams