Heron (F.B.) Foundation (Grant)

Posted by on July 9, 2004

The sponsor supports organizations that help low-income people to create wealth and take control of their lives. The sponsor supports programs in urban and rural communities engaged in the following wealth-creation strategies:

ASSESSING IMPACT: the sponsor regards an organization’s ability to assess its impact on the lives of low-income people and communities to be of paramount interest, and to be a reflection of that organization’s sound management and accountability. To be considered for support, applicants must have a clear commitment to and track record of using data to improve programs and impact. In addition, the sponsor supports peer networks, trade associations, and technical assistance providers that help practitioners working in the sponsor’s core areas to improve approaches and methods for assessing impact.

WEALTH CREATION STRATEGIES: a)Access To Capital–the sponsor supports and invests in community development financial institutions (CDFIs) that serve low-income communities. CDFIs seeking the sponsor’s support must have as their core work financing home ownership, business enterprise or commercial real estate development that creates new jobs, or quality and affordable child care. The sponsor also funds practitioner associations that promulgate best
practices, especially those helping CDFIs to track the social impact of their investments. The sponsor will also consider supporting efforts to broaden the adaptation of private market financing mechanisms, or to promote community reinvestment to accelerate community development. In addition, the sponsor funds opportunities to help low-income people to build savings, and efforts to combat practices or conditions that deplete assets (e.g. threaten home ownership) of low-income families. b)Enterprise Development–the sponsor prefers to support enterprise development programs that benefit many community members, or that are part of a comprehensive community development strategy. The sponsor supports organizations that provide technical assistance and financing for small businesses, help to build networks and markets for entrepreneurs in distressed rural and urban communities, strengthen worker-owned enterprises and cooperative, or foster commercial real estate development. c)Home Ownership–the sponsor will consider support for organizations working to increase home ownership in low-and moderate income urban and rural communities. The sponsor is interested in organizations that develop and/or finance new or rehabilitated owner-occupied homes, including self-help housing; that assist people with low-interest mortgages; or that provide pre- and post-mortgage counseling to first-time home buyers. The sponsor will give priority to organizations that can demonstrate results, including the number of low-income families that acquire and retain their homes, and show an increase in home-ownership rates within low-income communities. d)Child Care–the sponsor will consider support for citywide, state or regional efforts that increase the availability of affordable, preschool child care in underserved areas and that help preschool programs to meet or exceed quality standards as set by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the National Association for Family Child Care, or Head Start. e)Comprehensive Community Development–the sponsor funds comprehensive community development organizations built around a strong core of the wealth-creation strategies on which the sponsor focuses–i.e. access to capital, enterprise development, home ownership, and quality and affordable child care. The sponsor gives priority to programs that are tracking the impact of their comprehensive approaches on increasing wealth in low-income families and communities.

The sponsor prefers to support direct-service, community-based organizations and enterprises. The sponsor will give priority to organizations that actively incorporate people with disabilities as beneficiaries of the wealth-creation strategies on which the sponsor is focused. The sponsor also funds entities that provide financial or technical assistance programs to organization implementing wealth-creation strategies. Preference will be given to technical assistance providers and practitioner networks or associations that build management and program capacity, particularly those that help to design and implement systems that track results and improve impact. The sponsor will also consider support for a modest number of research and policy efforts that complement the direct-service efforts funded by the sponsor. The sponsor will give priority to organizations that: assess the tangible and lasting impact of their efforts; bring a high level of leadership, competence, management, and strategic planning to their efforts; regularly set objectives, assess progress against those objectives, and modify program strategies and management based on lessons learned; have staff and board leadership that reflect the communities served; demonstrate fiscal integrity, including the performance of annual, independent audits; and show substantial levels of funding from other private funders or investors.

For first-time grants, the sponsor provides funds ranging from $25,000-$50,000. Funds for annual grants range from $25,000-$125,000. Support for an organization new to the sponsor typically begins with a one-year grant. If renewal funding is approved, two-year grants are provided in most cases, although the second year of support is always conditioned upon the spnonsor’s receipt and approval of progress reports and future plans.(clb)

Established Date: 06/17/2002
Follow-Up Date: 07/01/2005
Review Date: 06/22/2004

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