Foundation News

Gwinnett schools celebrate award

“Georgia’s largest school district held a formal celebration for being the co-recipient of the 2014 Broad Prize for Urban Education. Gwinnett won the prestigious award in 2010 and joins Houston, Texas as the only school districts in the nation to win the award twice. The award, given by the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, is given to a school district for its efforts to close the achievement gap among low-income and minority students. Gwinnett shared the prize with Orange County, Fla. The foundation will award $500,000 in college scholarships to Gwinnett students graduating in 2015.”

Mesilla’s Tres Manos Weaving lands training grant

“Tres Manos Weaving of New Mexico Inc. has received a $25,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation to further their charitable work that provides free training in the artisan skills of weaving, business skills, and life skills so that low income women, at the poverty level or less, in Southern Doña Ana County who speak English or Spanish, can become professional weavers for Tres Manos and increase their family's financial security and quality of life.”

Erie Community Foundation to distribute $2.3 million to regional causes

“The Erie Community Foundation will distribute more than $2.3 million into the area's nonprofit sector, boosting a non violence initiative for city schools, the region's anti-poverty program and other projects. Twelve local nonprofits Tuesday will receive nearly $560,000 combined, with the largest grants going to the Partnership for Erie's Public Schools and the United Way of Erie County.”

Free medical clinic receives $67,500 grants

“The BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation has awarded a 3-year $67,500 grant to the Free Medical Clinic in Oak Ridge, in support of the clinic’s ‘Healthy Habits, Healthy Lives’ wellness program. The grant, payable in annual installments of $22,500, will provide a director for the program. ‘Healthy Habits, Healthy Lives’ is an ongoing 12-week series of classes focusing on three areas: diet and nutrition, fitness and exercise, and life skills (stress management, budgeting, etc.). [...] The Free Medical Clinic serves low-income, uninsured patients from Anderson, Morgan, and Roane Counties.”

Androscoggin County Committee awards grant to help fight poverty

“The Androscoggin County Committee of the Maine Community Foundation recently awarded $26,800 in grants to four nonprofits, including Community Concepts, Inc., to help low-income residents move out of poverty. […] The Androscoggin County Fund is a permanent endowment that supports projects that strengthen communities in the county. Other grant recipients are: Lewiston Adult Education, to provide computer literacy training for workers in collaboration with the Department of Labor and Department of Health and Human Services; Tree Street Youth, to conduct an environmental and structural assessment of the center’s current facility as it plans to purchase a building and expand its program; and Welcoming Maine, to increase the quality and depth of its program and build social capital between multicultural residents.”

Santa Maria awarded grant for evening GED program

“Adults 17 and older receive literacy support and financial education through Santa Maria Community Services’ Evening GED Program, which won a $10,000 grant from The Donald C. and Laura M. Harrison Family Foundation. Through Santa Maria’s Workforce Development initiative, the Evening GED Program offers General Education Development preparation classes four evenings a week throughout the year at no charge to anyone in need. […] ‘By combining literacy education and financial and employment services in this GED program, we can help move families out of poverty,’ says H.A. Musser, Santa Maria President and CEO. ‘With this program and the supporting grant, we’re helping our clients meet the ultimate empowering goal of self-sufficiency, helping people to help themselves and help their families. We are very grateful for the support of the Harrison Family Foundation for our programs.’“

Nike gives another $300K to Portland school, nonprofits

“Nike Inc. on Thursday announced another $300,000 in grants to Portland schools and nonprofits. The sportswear giant remains one of the state's leading corporate philanthropists. The new grants were given through the Nike Employee Grant Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation. Twenty-eight local nonprofits and schools will receive financial gifts, with most of the many benefiting organizations that support childhood physical education. […] Recipients include The Aspire Project, a Portland nonprofit that teaches dance to low-income youth.”

North Haven nonprofit to advocate for better dental health

“The Connecticut Health Foundation (CT Health) board of directors recently awarded two-year $40,000 grants to organizations to expand their health policy agenda to include advocacy for better dental health for low-income residents. CT Health's Oral Health Advocacy and Leadership Initiative, a grant program of the foundation, seeks to expand oral health champions beyond traditional ‘teeth people,’ or dental professionals.”

In Lending Circles, a Roundabout Way to Higher Credit Score

“Mission Asset Fund formalizes the informal loans arranged through lending circles by making sure all the participants sign a contract or promissory note and reporting every payment to national credit bureaus. The fund represents only a minuscule portion of the lending industry — through partnerships with 26 other nonprofit organizations it has facilitated about $3 million worth of loans among 2,200 people — but the Ford Foundation has recently issued a $350,000 grant to help expand its program nationwide.”

Central Minnesota groups get more than $150,000 in foundation grants

“More than $158,000 in grants from the Initiative Foundation has been awarded to Central Minnesota groups. Three dozen organizations in the 14-county region received money, including several of those in the St. Cloud area. [...] Children's Dental Services Inc. received $5,000 for its Comprehensive Dental Care for Low-Income Families program to provide hands-on education and employment training to 10 disadvantaged and displaced workers. Children's Dental will also address access to dental care for low-income children and pregnant women by expanding services in Central Minnesota.”

Foundation gives $750,000 for low-income Mainers

“A Portland-based foundation is giving $750,000 to the Maine Centers for Women, Work and Community to help low-income residents become financially stable. The John T. Gorman Foundation announced the grants Wednesday at the University of Southern Maine's Lewiston-Auburn College. The foundation says the money will be used to help 1,000 low-income residents and families learn ways to save money, financial literacy and ways to take advantage of tax refunds.”

$3 million grant to help combat school dropouts

“In the most challenging low-income schools in Greenville County, where poverty is pervasive and English is the second language for many students, the school district, United Way of Greenville County and the Riley Institute at Furman University will begin an innovative program to detect when students begin to slide down a path that eventually leads them to drop out of school. [...] The United Way will match the grant dollar-for-dollar, and grants from private foundations and corporations could boost the total to $15 million, Hendry said. The Hollingsworth Fund, the Community Foundation of Greenville and Wells Fargo already have made commitments, Hendry said.”

Wisconsin’s Black Children Remain Trapped in Poverty, Study Says

“The state ranks last in the country in the overall well-being of African-American children based on an index of 12 measures that gauge a child's success from birth to adulthood, according to a new report being released Wednesday by the Wisconsin Council on Children & Families. [...] The report builds on an earlier national report released this year by the Annie E. Casey Foundation that drew attention to the effects of widespread poverty among African-Americans in Wisconsin — and the state's ranking last in the country for African-American children.”

Teaching Money Skills to the Poor

“What changed her mind was a program that sent a literacy specialist to her home for 30 minutes, twice a week, for the past year to show her how to spur Tahji's language development. New research done at New York University found positive effects from this long-standing effort for 2- and 3-year-olds in poverty called the Parent-Child Home Program. [...] The Parent-Child Home Program, launched in 1965, got a boost in June with a $175,000 grant from the city. Most of its funding comes from philanthropies such as Robin Hood Foundation. The Reader's Digest Foundation is expected to announce a $500,000 gift this week to expand it in the city, Westchester County and Milwaukee.”

Literacy Effort Pushes Parents to Start Sooner

“What changed her mind was a program that sent a literacy specialist to her home for 30 minutes, twice a week, for the past year to show her how to spur Tahji's language development. New research done at New York University found positive effects from this long-standing effort for 2- and 3-year-olds in poverty called the Parent-Child Home Program. [...] The Parent-Child Home Program, launched in 1965, got a boost in June with a $175,000 grant from the city. Most of its funding comes from philanthropies such as Robin Hood Foundation. The Reader's Digest Foundation is expected to announce a $500,000 gift this week to expand it in the city, Westchester County and Milwaukee.”

After Ferguson, Grant Makers Seek Solutions to Racial-Justice Issues

Education and health have improved for US children, says annual report

“Broadly speaking, American children are making gains in health and education. Child-wellness indicators in four main areas – economic well-being, education, health, and family and community – reflected an overall increase in the well-being of America’s youths, as measured by the 2014 Kid’s Count Data Book report, released annually by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a private charitable organization in Baltimore, Md. Of the 16 categories, 10 improved, five worsened, and one remained the same.”

Belin-Blank Center receives $500,000 grant to launch STEM Excellence and Literacy Program

“Susan Assouline, director of the University of Iowa College of Education’s Belin Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development, has received a $500,000 Talent Development Award from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, the nation’s largest scholarship foundation to expand the center’s STEM Excellence and Literacy (SEAL) program. The grant will be used over the next three years to help 330 high-ability, low-income middle school students living in rural, low-resource school districts in Iowa to participate in a rigorous after school math and science enrichment program.”

Banyan plans $5M community center in Minneapolis’ Phillips neighborhood

“Banyan Community is planning to build a $5 million community center in the Phillips Neighborhood of Minneapolis where it will expand its program to help students succeed in school. The Christian economic development nonprofit bought 2529 13th Ave. S. from the Minneapolis Park Board for $200,000 in 2013 and raised $2 million in the past year to develop the new center. It’s on pace to break ground in September 2015, according to Sue Riesgraf, Banyan’s development director. Notable donors to the capital campaign include the Schulze Family Foundation and the Otto Bremer Foundation, she said.”

OU Health Sciences Center receives $11.5M grant to focus on senior health

“Many Oklahomans aren’t living out the long, healthy lives they could be, a long-term issue that doctors and aging advocates are hoping to help turn around, thanks to a recent grant. The University of Oklahoma Health and Sciences Center has been awarded a three-year, $11.5 million grant by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation to focus on improving the health of aging residents. [...] Dentino said he attributes some of Oklahoma’s poor health outcomes among older residents to the large rural regions of the state that oftentimes do not have good access to quality health care. High poverty rates further exacerbate that problem, he said.”

Lilly Endowment awards $22.5 million in grants

“Early-education advocates said Thursday a $22.5 million Lilly Endowment grant for early education will help the state build a strong network that should encourage even more donations and government investment in preschool learning. [...] The state this year funded a $10 million pilot program for low-income 4-year-olds in five counties. […] Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard has proposed a $50 million plan to expand access to preschool for low-income 4-year-olds in Marion County using $25 million in city funds and the rest in donations.”

Breakfast for young champions in Reading schools (Subscription Required)

“For the first time, the Reading School District is offering all of its students a free breakfast. And in the district's elementary schools, those meals are being enjoyed in the classroom. On Tuesday morning, the district showed off the new program. [...] The program is fully paid for with federal funding, with startup costs covered by a grant from Newman's Own Foundation, a philanthropic foundation formed in 2005 by actor Paul Newman. And in a city like Reading, where poverty is a constant challenge, the breakfast program gives students a chance to start the day off right, school officials said.”

Next Door Foundation’s new school opens for influx of Head Start pupils

“As thousands of children swarmed back to public schools Tuesday in Wisconsin, the smallest of the bunch headed somewhere equally important: Early education centers. In Milwaukee, that included Next Door, a longtime provider of federally financed Head Start programs for low-income families with infants as young as 6 weeks, to 3-, 4-, and 5-year-old children in preschool.”

Gorman foundation grants almost $1 million to Maine groups

“The John T. Gorman Foundation is awarding $960,650 to 62 nonprofit organizations in every Maine county to provide low-income residents food, clothing, heating assistance, furniture, prescription drugs, transportation, medical care and counseling. The grants will benefit Mainers of all ages — from children to seniors — and will cover basic needs

$49 million grant helps low-income students at UAB

“UAB has been awarded a seven-year, $49-million grant for low income students. The grant will allow the university to work with more than 10,000 students from 53 schools in West Alabama. […] Governor Bentley says the grant is welcome support and will help build a solid foundation for students in high-poverty schools.”