Our Social Enterprise is Growing thanks to The SAM Initiative!

by Sophie Alpert - Board Chair, Piece by Piece.  

As the founder of Piece by Piece, I’ve applied for many grants since our inception 15 years ago.  Writing narratives and going through the application process is often tedious and time-consuming. Recently, we were invited to participate in an unusual and incredibly positive grant experience with The SAM Initiative. As a result, Piece by Piece was fortunately awarded a 65K grant to support our Social Enterprise. 

Full disclosure – I am on the board of The SAM Initiative, a Los Angeles based giving circle founded by visionary Mindy Freedman. The SAM Initiative is focused on collaborative giving to improve the lives of women, children, and families in Los Angeles. When Piece by Piece was nominated for a potential grant, I immediately recused myself from the board.  

I write this from the unique perspective of having been on both sides of the grant process.  Not only have I applied for grants on behalf of Piece by Piece, but as an active member of SAM, I have been involved in the vetting, due diligence and voting process when other organizations were competing for a grant. I know the work involved on the part of a grantee as well as the responsibility that comes with being a funder. 

As a nominee, Piece by Piece was embraced by SAM. It felt as if we had a team rooting for us, eager to learn all about our organization – definitely a new experience in applying for a grant!  SAM member Laurie James was assigned as our liaison, available to help answer any questions and walk us through the next steps.  

Additionally, we had the inspiring opportunity of working with high school students from the Wildwood Institute for Social Leadership (WISL), an innovative program created and directed by Dr. Liza Bearman at The Wildwood School in Los Angeles.  WISL students/future leaders consult with local nonprofits and organizations to define and address social issues. 

 WISL students helped review LOIs and continued to research and collect information to evaluate the impact of each organization’s work in the community. They drafted presentations and held zoom meetings with each organization in preparation for the final presentations. The thoughtful questions and feedback we received was invaluable, enabling us to see from an outside perspective where we needed to fill in the blanks for our final presentation. Thank you Liza, Stella, Lulya and Ever! 

Even if we had not been fortunate enough to receive the generous grant from SAM, the opportunity to share Piece by Piece wit SAM members was already a gift. The ripple effects have brought new commission work to Piece by Piece as well as new support to our organization. 

Commissioned piece for WISL

Most of all, thank you to The Sam Initiative for your generosity and faith in the important work we are doing in the community.  We look forward to sharing our progress as we continue to grow our Social Enterprise! 

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1 comment

  • Thank you so much for your support . Piece by P ice has made a real difference in my life . Dawn ,Sophie Bea ,Gale Vicky, Luz .june.,,James,, the two John and Monica and all the other volunteers

    Kim Mealy on

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