Grants Program

New Initiative

The foundation just launched a new Safety Net Resiliency Initiative. While the foundation will continue its commitment to investing in systems change, the Safety Net Resiliency Initiative represents the primary focus of its work over the next decade. 

Grantmaking Strategy

The foundation strategically focuses its grants to support community organizations actively working to overcome systemic barriers of access to clinical and supportive services in areas of health care, housing and food security.

In 2015, the foundation adopted an updated strategic plan that will guide its work and grantmaking strategy through 2018. This plan affirms the value of the foundation's work to link systems where efficiencies and scale offer the opportunity to achieve improved and desired outcomes.

The foundation embraces a population health framework and approach to its work in Montgomery County.

The foundation will make its investments to reduce health disparities affecting particularly those experiencing poverty. With its continued focus on enhancing access to safe and affordable housing, improving food security and proper nutrition, and enhancing access to quality health care and supportive services, the foundation’s work is designed to improve the overall health and wellbeing of Montgomery County residents.

Learn more about the foundation's targeted funds.

Theory of Change

Working to change systems and addressing complex problems requires a variety of strategies. The foundation has long employed and will continue to use a number of tools in order to improve systems and achieve its vision. These tools include:

  • Grantmaking
  • Network building
  • Convenings
  • Ongoing educational opportunities
  • Advocacy and public policy work
  • Research and data
  • Building public awareness


The foundation seeks to foster a learning environment for staff, its board and the community. Exploratory conversations, community meetings and grant requests often represent “teaching moments” as do final reports submitted by grantees.

The foundation occasionally conducts formal evaluations of its grantees’ work but most of its grantmaking relies upon a grantee’s self-evaluation framed by the foundation’s reporting format and lessons learned and shared. Both are highly valued by the foundation and formally reviewed by the staff. 

The foundation encourages its grantees to reflect upon the impact of the grant to their organization and the clients served. Thus the importance of applying thoughtful, analytic and self-reflective thinking by both the grantee and the foundation promotes ongoing learning.

What is Systems Change?

The process of altering or transforming how major parts of the safety net are linked, function and influence one another.