Foundation for Delaware County Celebrates 5 Years of Making a Difference

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A group of children and adults gathered outside.
Image via Foundation for Delaware County.

The Foundation for Delaware County has made a huge impact on Delaware County in its five years of existence.

The Foundation was created on July 1, 2016. In the past five years, it has served more than 10,000 people a year through its public health programs, including:

  • Nurse-Family Partnership
  • WIC
  • Healthy Start

It has distributed more than $7.1 million in grants, scholarships, and charitable care, help that was particularly crucial during the COVID-19 crisis. 

The Foundation for Delaware County set up a special COVID-19 Response Fund to help nonprofits meet the needs of individuals and families in Delaware County who suddenly found themselves without work, food, school, and other basic needs.

The COVID Response Fund was able to collect and distribute $1 million to those nonprofits that could do the most good. 

It offered multiple donations and giving options to the generous people who wanted to give to causes and issues they cared about.

The Foundation for Delaware County led the way on critical issues to the county, including the 2020 census and the new health department; as it brought together partners to provide a county-wide perspective and discussion on those causes and issues.

“We hope you will join us in our mission. I would love to hear from you and learn what you wish to see from this community foundation in the future,” says Foundation President Frances Sheehan.

Delaware County

The Foundation’s roots run deep in Delaware County.  It was part of the nonprofit Crozer-Keystone Health System and its affiliated hospitals that had collectively served the community for 100 years.

When the for-profit health care provider Prospect Medical Holdings Inc. acquired Crozer Keystone Health System in 2016, federal law required that any nonprofit assets be set aside as a separate and independent charity.

That paved the way for the Foundation for Delaware County’s launch on July 1, 2016, becoming Delaware County’s largest community foundation.

A new Delaware County community foundation

The Foundation for Delaware County is one of 780 similar community foundations across the country.

The grants it creates go to nonprofit organizations that share goals that align with The Foundation’s original mission of improving the health and well-being of the county’s residents.

“With your help, we will continue making grants to nonprofits, convening and collaborating with partners who support our mission,” states an article in The Foundation newsletter. “By establishing donor-advised funds and other philanthropic vehicles with us, you can assure significant improvements in the lives of the more than 560,000 residents we serve.”

Promoting diversity and inclusion

A foundation’s key priority in its 2020-25 strategic plan is to promote diversity and inclusion. In August 2020, the foundation formed a racial equity task force made up of staff and board members.  

The task force is now helping individuals as the foundation examines and defines its role in dismantling racism and engaging Delaware County partners in conversations about achieving equity and justice.

In the past year, the task force launched a discussion series, held community roundtables and webinars, and revised foundation policies to be more intentional about diversity and equity in grantmaking, vendor relations, and staff hiring.

“We are so grateful for your support, encouragement, and partnership over the past five years and we look forward to doing so much more in the years to come. Our plans are ambitious. Stay tuned for some exciting updates in the year ahead,” Sheehan says.  

Find out more about The Foundation for Delaware County.

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Here’s a 2018 video that explains the mission of The Foundation for Delaware County.

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