Community Initiatives

Federal Competitiveness Initiative

Here at the Nevada Community Foundation, we believe that private philanthropy is a powerful agent for change, a catalyst for success, and a flexible, important tool in building a better Nevada for all of us.

We also believe that private philanthropy should work together with public resources rather than to supplement them. Accordingly, we’ve deployed our resources into the Federal Competitiveness Initiative to solve one very expensive problem.

For nearly 40 years, Nevada has been among the lowest performing states in the U.S. in terms of receiving competitive federal grants, despite having some of the highest documented need in the country. Historically, Nevada has ranked at or near the bottom of all 50 states and most territories in getting back federal tax dollars that its residents and businesses send to Washington D.C.

This gap amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars per year, an impossible hurdle for even our most generous donors to tackle alone. In 2012, Nevada was shortchanged an estimated $529 million of funding, excluding Medicaid (which has since been legislatively solved) as compared to neighboring intermountain west states, including significant sums from the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Education, Labor, and Housing and Urban Development. This massive shortfall reduces the quality and quantity of services throughout the State, which in turn artificially inflates the burden on our philanthropic community.

In response to the problem, beginning in 2013, the Nevada Community Foundation initiated and funded the Federal Competitiveness Initiative to research, develop solutions for, and engage a network of partners to fundamentally increase federal grants receipts in the State.

Successful legislative efforts in 2015 and 2017, the creation of a statewide grants management office and committee, and engagement campaigns led by partners such as Southern Nevada Strong have all begun to move the dial: Nevada moved up to 49th in the rankings, a small step, but also one worth at least $140 million per year of funding to crucial services serving thousands of Nevada residents. The next step, to 48th, promises to bring an estimated $258 million more funding per year to our State.

Let us work together to accomplish this. Contact us to learn how.