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Bevan Lee finds personal connection to GiVE 365 grant review and 2019 theme

January 18th, 2019

Ask GiVEr Bevan Lee what one of the best aspects of GiVE 365 membership is, and she immediately starts talking passionately about grant review.

Consistently cited as one of members’ favorite things about the dollar-a-day giving circle, grant review lets them engage in the grant making process by reviewing applications with a team and making thoughtful and objective recommendations based on grant criteria. Team members narrow a field of dozens of applicants to the slate of 10-12 who pitch their grant proposals at the Finals in April.

Through grant review, Bevan (pictured, second from right, with her 2014 grant review team) says, “you get to know other members, working with them and talking with them and getting to know how they feel about things. You get to delve into financials and information and you get to flex that creative muscle. It’s kind of a fun challenge.

“We help decide what will fit with the membership’s wants and needs and what they would put forward to fund. If you want to get to know an organization, it takes a little bit of time; but it’s a good investment of your time.”

Bevan joined GIVE 365 in 2012, invited by fellow GiVEr Ashley Harper, who was in her running group. “I joined because the organization is approachable and straightforward and helped me learn more about our city and the nonprofits working to address the needs in our community, she says. “I stayed because it’s organized, consistent, and has a meaningful and transparent impact.”

In addition to her service on grant review and the A-Team, Bevan is a longtime Junior League of Memphis volunteer. She works for her family business, Security Signals, Inc., which manufactures products for defense and commercial customers. This year’s grant theme is especially appealing to her, as it combines her passion for community work with her role in a local business.

“This year's theme, Pathways to Success: programs that provide workforce training and career development, has a tangible impact for everyone in the Memphis area. I work in manufacturing and we are always in need of a range of skilled and technically-minded people like production workers, machine operators, and quality control personnel. I know other companies struggle to find talented career ready people too.

"This funding cycle has huge potential to help get people ready to work and support entrepreneurs. I'm excited to learn more about organizations doing work in this area."

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