What is a Foundation?
A foundation is an organization that awards grants to non-profit organizations, institutions or individuals for scientific, educational, cultural, religious or other charitable purposes. Most foundations give grants only to non-profit, charitable organizations and are prohibited from getting involved in lobbying or political activities. A small number of foundations provide grants to individuals, such as scholarships to attend a college or university.
Among foundations in the United States, health accounts for the largest share of grant dollars awarded ($5.7 billion in 2008) according to the Foundation Center. This is followed by education ($5.5 billion) and arts and culture ($3.1 billion).
What is a Conversion Foundation?
Typically, a conversion foundation is established after a hospital or non-profit healthcare insurer is sold. Proceeds from the sale are used to fund the foundationís start-up. While the hospitalís mission is to treat illness and disease, the mission of the conversion foundation is to make grants to improve the health of the communities they serve.
How are Foundations Funded?
Most foundations are endowments. The principal is invested, and only the income earned from investments is spent or given away in any given year. This means that many foundations are literally able to make grants forever.
Who is the Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation?
The Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation is a community organization created as the result of the sale of Pottstown Memorial Medical Center to Community Health Systems. With $79 million in net assets as of April 24, 2012, the Foundation serves the residents of Pottstown borough and those within a 10-mile radius of the borough.
Why was the Foundation Formed?
The Foundationís purpose is to provide opportunities for our community to enthusiastically embrace a healthier lifestyle. Weíre here to offer the tools and motivation for people to improve their health and well-being every day.
What is the Difference between the Foundation and Pottstown Memorial Medical Center?
There is an important difference between the medical centerís services and those provided by the Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation. The Foundation focuses on preventing illness, not treating it. Like similarly dedicated organizations throughout the country, the Foundation is committed to showing area residents how they can adopt a lifestyle to become healthier, feel better and enjoy life more. Study after study has shown that a healthy lifestyle often results in a longer life with better health in old age.
The Foundationís overall goal is to improve the health of the community by inspiring healthier living for all residents Ė whether young or old, active or inactive, at any level of education.
What are the Foundationís Long-Term Goals?
As part of our strategic plan, the Foundation has redefined our long-term goals, effective June 28, 2011.
1. Funding programs and solutions for long-term improvement in healthy behaviors.
- Promoting healthy living through nutrition, activities and programs in public and private schools to reduce obesity and encourage healthy living.
- Improving parks, programming and the built environment to increase access and physical activity.
-Creating and promoting social networks involving healthy living.
2. Funding programs for physical health and emotional well-being.
3. Funding learning opportunities and strategic planning to strengthen non-profits.
What Is the Foundation Doing with its Assets?
The Foundation provides grants to non-profit organizations, which use the money to develop and enhance programs that support our purpose. The Foundationís plan is to be a permanent resource for grants well into the future.
For example, the Foundation has awarded 421 grants totalling more than $16.8 million to area schools and non-profit orgranizations in the Pottstown area since its inception.
The Foundation expects to award grants totaling about $2.7 million during this fiscal year, which runs from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012.
How is the Foundation Making Decisions about Grant-Making?
The Foundation is taking an outcomes-based approach to grant-making. Outcomes are things that benefit people, such as new knowledge, increased skills, a positive change in behavior or an improved condition Ė all measurable outcomes. Grants will also be based on a non-profitís ability to leverage other funds or volunteers. In some cases, a need is best met by the cooperation of different non-profits. The Foundation will award grants to organizations that best use their resources, services and products to help people improve their health and well-being.
Who Works for the Foundation?
The Foundation has a six-person paid staff. David Kraybill, Executive Director; Laura DeFlavia, Controller; Dr. Laurie Betts, Program Officer; Anna Brendle, Program Officer; Rose Crews, Office Manager & Communications Associate; and Ashley Pultorak, Grants Assistant.
A volunteer board of directors oversees the Foundation, while several committees (also composed of volunteers) determine the direction of specific programs.
Who Benefits from the Foundation?
The Foundation is here to help everyone in the tri-county area, specifically residents in a 10-mile radius of Pottstown. By providing opportunities to improve their health and well-being every day, we will create a more dynamic and more vibrant community in which to live.
What Can I Do to Improve My Health and Wellness?
The first step to a healthier body, mind and soul is to recognize that you want to improve your situation.
The second step is to educate yourself. Talk with your health care providers, read newspapers and magazines, and do research on the Internet. In fact, this web site has a wealth of information to expand your knowledge of health and wellness. Click on ďMy Good Health LibraryĒ to gain access to hundreds of articles in the Foundationís Wellness and Nutrition libraries.
You can also gauge your current health situation by clicking on ď10-Minute Health Check,Ē. Clicking on the "Fitness Guide" will give you ideas and information on taking little steps in improving your health. Visit www.MissionHealthyLiving.org to access your local gathering place for good health.
Establish personal goals for improving your health and wellness. Make sure your goals are challenging, yet attainable. Finally, chart progress as you strive to meet your goals. You may need to adjust your goals along the way, but the important thing is that youíre striving for improvement.