We began 2013 with optimism about the Foundation’s capacity to fulfill its mission by supporting the work of nonprofits to improve the health of those who live or work in Central Massachusetts.
The value of the Foundation’s investment portfolio has recovered from the impact of the Great Recession. In 2012, the portfolio had earned $5.7 million, or about 10%, which enabled the Foundation to cover its $3 million in grants and operations, and to increase the portfolio by nearly as much. The Foundation begins 2013 with approximately $62 million; about $2 million more than the Foundation had when it began its grantmaking in 2000.
We will continue our grantmaking in 2013, informed by our experiences over the past 12 years in awarding grants totaling nearly $25 million. Because the Foundation is relatively small, we will continue to encourage our grantees to seek co-funders in order to create a greater impact. We are very pleased that last year alone, our grantees were successful in securing commitments of $1.6 million from other funders.
The Activation Fund will be open to the submission of letters of intent in 2013, and we expect to award grants totaling approximately $350,000. These one-year grants have enabled 53 organizations in the region to develop new ventures and capacities, many of which have had a lasting positive impact on the organizations and the vulnerable populations they serve.
Although it is not open to new applications, the Foundation will also continue its support this year for the four multi-year projects currently funded through our Health Care and Health Promotion Synergy Initiative. These projects address community identified health issues through a three-to-five year process of planning, piloting, and full implementation of evidence-based strategies, with the ultimate goal of securing administrative or public policies to sustain the strategies beyond the grant. We will provide $1.6 million to implement the following projects: A Better Life - providing Worcester Housing Authority tenants with education/ training and employment opportunities to promote self-sufficiency; The Compass Project - preventing youth and young adult homelessness in Worcester; Worcester Initiative for Supported Reentry (WISR) - guiding former prisoner reintegration in Worcester to enhance public safety and reduce recidivism; and Improving Access to Health - improving access to medical care in Milford.
We recognize that the Great Recession continues to negatively impact area nonprofits and has left a fragile safety net infrastructure in its wake. Many nonprofits have been weakened due to reductions in state and federal funding. We remain hopeful that the economy will continue its recovery and will generate additional resources to address the health of the most vulnerable among us.
|John P. Gusha, D.M.D.
||Janice B. Yost, Ed.D.
President & CEO