Friends Focus highlights updates from members of our Friends of the Family network and their cutting edge work. This month features updates from The Clowes Fund; Medina Foundation; The McKnight Foundation; Robins Foundation; Bainum Family Foundation; and The Central Indiana Community Foundation

Are you a current Friend or Leadership Circle member of NCFP with an update or good news about your foundation that you would like to share with Family Giving News readers? Please email us. Interested in learning more about the families involved in NCFP's Friends of the Family network? Go here.

The Doc and the Duchess: The Clowes Fund celebrates and reflects on a lasting legacy

Following the 1921 discovery of insulin, as the director of research at Eli Lilly and Company, Dr. Clowes was responsible for mobilizing resources to mass produce and market it to save the lives of millions of diabetics. This story, and the stories of Mrs. Clowes co-founding of the Orchard School and Planned Parenthood, are documented in the recently released book, The Doc and the Duchess, The Life and Legacy of George H.A. Clowes, written by Dr. Alexander Whitehill Clowes. This publication is timely as The Clowes Fund looks forward to celebrating the centennial of the discovery of insulin and 50 years of championing art and culture in Indiana. 

Medina Foundation helps build youth alliance in Pacific County

Working in close partnership with community leaders and the Ben B. Cheney Foundation, Medina helped fund a new, community-led group, the Pacific County Youth Alliance (PCYA). The PCYA works with existing youth-serving organizations in Pacific County to identify needs and gaps in services to strengthen the impact of the programs that currently exist. The ultimate goal of this work is to increase coordination among and between the youth-serving agencies, maximize existing resources, and improve those programs dedicated to youth success. Together, the Medina and Cheney Foundations provided a two-year grant for the staffing of the PCYA. One of PCYA’s first opportunities to make an impact was to coordinate a county-wide non-profit board training. By leveraging funds provided by other foundations, PCYA managed to reach and provide essential training to over 60 people. Additionally, the PCYA was also recently awarded 12 AmeriCorps volunteers to support this work. These volunteers will work across the county, helping a number of youth-serving organizations increase their reach and efficiency. Many of these organizations would have been unable to access an AmeriCorps member without the assistance of the PCYA.

The McKnight Foundation closes out a decade of investment “Beyond the Rails”

The Central Corridor Funders Collaborative was an innovative partnership supported by 14 local and national foundations seeking to create a “corridor of opportunity” along Minneapolis and Saint Paul’s Green Line Light Rail Transit (LRT). The Funders Collaborative supplemented the programs and grantmaking of its member foundations by working with community organizations, the business sector, and public agencies to encourage collaboration, planning, and investment “beyond the rail.” The coalition of funders worked to ensure the Central Corridor light rail line (now called the Green Line) benefited the people living and working in the neighborhoods along its 11-mile route as much as possible. Its investments spurred millions of dollars of additional private and public sector investments to support: affordable housing, a strong local economy, transit-oriented places, and coordination and collaboration. This historic effort sunset in June. Its work changed people, places, and possibilities with its “beyond the rails” vision, as well as influenced federal and regional policy and systems.

Robins Foundation celebrates major milestones

By early 2016, the Foundation reached a milestone event: $100M in contributions! Robins has become a thought leader among peers, a community partner with several organizations and participates in many region-wide initiatives that include service on boards, task forces and committees. Robins Foundation is preparing to enter its 60th year and plans to continue to focus their efforts on education, innovation, capacity building and policy advocacy; all to create transformational outcomes for children and families of the Greater Richmond area.


Bainum Family Foundation to partner with Arcadia to bring fresh, healthy foods to Wards 7 and 8

The Bainum Family Foundation acquired a 263-acre Virginia farm in 2015 and wants to use the Middleburg property to grow fruits and vegetables to serve families in the District’s Wards 7 and 8. These wards, located east of the Anacostia River, are often referred to as “food deserts” because of residents’ inadequate access to groceries and fresh produce there.  In the first year of the partnership, the Farm will support Arcadia’s Mobile Market program by fully sponsoring all eight Mobile Market stops in Wards 7 and 8, while also providing the organization with added operational support.

One million dollar surprise to celebrate The Central Indiana Community Foundation centennial 

On August 28, The Indianapolis Foundation, an affiliate of Central Indiana Community Foundation, awarded $1 million in surprise grants at a gala celebrating its centennial. The Foundation kicked off a new century of philanthropy by gifting 37 Indianapolis-based organizations and individuals awards ranging from $10,000 to $100,000. Six organizations that reflect the values, history and mission of The Indianapolis Foundation, as well as a commitment to the future of Indianapolis, received $100,000 Visionary Awards. Ten organizations whose charitable endowments are maintained and managed by CICF were randomly chosen to receive a $10,000 gift into their endowments. Additionally, 10 randomly-selected audience members were awarded the opportunity to work with The Foundation to allocate $10,000 each to a Marion County not-for-profit organization of their choosing. 


We offer special thanks to our Friends of the Family and Leadership Circle funders who support and sustain the work of NCFP. Our Leadership Circle recognizes a special group of our most generous supporters. Our Friends offer continuing support for our work, ensuring that future generations of donor families can access the best possible resources for sound decision-making. See a complete list of NCFP Leadership Circle and Friends of the Family. Or, for more information, please contact Maureen Esposito at 202.293.3276 or at maureen@ncfp.orgSpecial Thanks: NCFP Friends and Leadership Circle members