We are energized as we begin 2014 with an enhanced capacity for the Foundation to use its resources to assist nonprofits in improving the health of those who live or work in Central Massachusetts, with a particular emphasis on vulnerable populations and unmet needs.
The value of the Foundation’s investment portfolio benefited from the robust market returns of 2013, gaining nearly $8 million and bringing the assets to a historical high water mark of $69 million. As a result, the grantmaking budget for 2014 is set at an all-time high of $2.5 million. These resources enable the opening of both the Activation Fund and the Health Care and Health Promotion Synergy Initiative to the submission of letters of intent.
We expect to award grants totaling approximately $500,000 through The Activation Fund. These are typically one-year grants that assist nonprofits in developing new ventures and capacities, many of which have had a lasting positive impact on the organizations and the vulnerable populations they serve.
We will also call for community leaders throughout the region to come together in identifying health issues they seek to remedy with support from the Foundation’s Health Care and Health Promotion Synergy Initiative. We anticipate awarding about $700,000 for planning grants in 2015 that will justify in subsequent years the funding of a pilot and then full implementation of evidence-based strategies, with the ultimate goal of securing administrative or public policies to sustain the strategies beyond the grants.
In addition, we will also continue support for the three multi-year projects that are currently funded through our Health Care and Health Promotion Synergy Initiative. We will provide implementation grants totaling about $1.1 million for these projects: A Better Life - providing Worcester Housing Authority tenants with education/training and employment opportunities to promote self-sufficiency; Worcester Initiative for Supported Reentry (WISR) - guiding ex-offenders’ reintegration in the community to enhance public safety and reduce recidivism; and Improving Access to Health - expanding access to health care by the opening in Milford of a satellite of the Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center, with significant co-funding by the MetroWest Health Foundation.
Informed by substantive evaluation processes undertaken by our Synergy Initiative projects and also commissioned by the Foundation during the past 13 years, we will continue that commitment as the Board and staff looks forward to furthering the efforts and impact of area nonprofits on the health of the region’s residents.
|John P. Gusha, D.M.D.
||Janice B. Yost, Ed.D.
President & CEO