(Photo by Robert O. Williams/ The Williams Group)
The Media-based nonprofit formerly known as Crozer-Keystone Community Foundation (CKCF) announced a slew of big changes at a launch celebration on Thursday.
For one, a brand-new moniker: The Foundation for Delaware County (FDC). The organization also revealed new partnerships and grant-making programs for the upcoming year while paying homage to its nearly 300 founding donors.
“We are starting with over $57 million in assets already as well as some fabulous evidence-based public health programs we inherited from the health system,” said FDC President Frances Sheehan, who took over the organization in Fall 2016.
The changes follow two years of newness. In July 2016, Crozer-Keystone Health System was acquired by the for-profit Prospect Medical Holdings Inc., a move that required that any nonprofit assets be reformed into an independent charity. When this new foundation was created, it took on the tax ID number of the old hospital foundation, Sheehan said, though the current organization’s donors and the previous ones from the health system don’t necessarily overlap.
CKCF — er, FDC — has always been unique among funders, said VP of Programs Joanne Craig: “In addition to the grant making that we’re familiar with foundations doing, [this] foundation has its own programs and services.”
The foundation’s formation after the hospital acquisition allowed for greater assimilation among its previously existing programs, such as Women, Infants, and Children Program (WIC), Healthy Start program and El Centro, Healthy Start’s center for Hispanic resources.
For instance, staff over at WIC can determine a young expectant mother’s eligibility for the Healthy Start program and help expedite the process for signing up for it. And WIC recipients can now benefit more directly from the resources of El Centro.
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“Those programs used to operate very independently and siloed,” Sheehan said. “There’s much more integration of services and that benefits the clients in each of those programs exponentially. It’s the way of the future.”
Not surprisingly, FDC announced on Thursday that its principle grant-making focus for the year will be on programs that improve maternal and child health — particularly for children living in poverty, Sheehan said.
At the launch, FDC announced the organization’s commitment to granting out $1 million to nonprofits in 2018, including $330,000 granted on March 1. The foundation will be teaming up with The Philadelphia Foundation to administer its Delaware County Home Care Fund.
FDC has also paired with consulting firm Fairmount Ventures to help determine the future of the College Access Center of Delaware County: The hub, which has been operating in Chester for about 10 years, is scheduled to close its doors June 30. The foundation is acting as a convener of interested community members to determine whether they can find a solution to keep college access services in Delaware County.
“We have some funding from the United Way to look at the next step,” Sheehan said. “How we can meet the college access needs of kids, not just in Chester, but the six school districts in Delaware County where the graduation rates are not what they should be?”
The organization will begin issuing requests for proposals on April 30. The deadline to submit is June 30, and FDC will begin awarding grants at the end of October.
Craig, who previously managed the Crozer-Keystone health system’s public programs for over 20 years, said she is excited for the expansion to come. One funding priority on the agenda: addressing the county’s drug use concerns.
“We have significant issues with pregnant women who are using a substance,” Craig said. “The good news is that the priorities that [our] programs focus in on are in exact alignment with the grant making priorities of the foundation.”-30-
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