This past summer, we highlighted the Duke Endowment’s support for vulnerable children, which came in the form of a $7.2 million commitment. Back then, the big focus was on youth transitioning from foster care. But other grants have been going towards nurse visitations for low-income mothers and programs to reduce unintended pregnancies among teenagers in the Carolinas.
To close out 2016, the funder announced a round of grants totaling $7.5 million. Let’s take a look at where this latest money is heading.
Foster care continues to be a big cause of concern for the Duke Endowment. One example of a grant made in this regard was a $279,000 one to the New Foundations Home for Children to implement a therapeutic foster care model. Teen pregnancy is also still a topic of interest for this funder. It recently gave a $100,000 grant to the Center for Supportive Schools in Wake Forest for pregnancy prevention education programs in high-need North Carolina counties. A full list of grants can be viewed here.
We haven’t seen as many nurse visitation grants as we had expected since this has been a key issue for the foundation’s new president, Rhett Mabry. However, Mabry is just getting started after taking the reins this past summer, so this type of funding could very well ramp up in the year ahead. However, parental support continues to be of interest to the foundation, as exemplified by grants like the $100,000 one to Family Resources of Cherokee County to expand parent and family support groups.
So essentially, Duke Endowment grantmaking for nurturing children remains focused on the same topics as it has in the past and is ramping up slightly. Kids in foster care, teen pregnancy, and parental support are at the heart of this funder’s giving, and will likely continue to be for the foreseeable future. Grant proposals that pitch early interventions, collaborative approaches, and ways to help nonprofits serve children and their families are the best ways to catch this funder’s attention.
Also of interest, the Duke Endowment recently named a new special initiatives director, Meka S. Sales. She has been a program officer in the health care program area since 2007 but will now focus on developing place-based strategies to improve the lives of young children. These improvements will include social, emotional, and physical health, as well as education. Stay tuned to learn which communities will be targeted in 2017. Some of the funding for this effort is coming from Blue Meridian Partners, a funder collaboration that we’ve been following at IP.
But just a reminder, child well-being is just one of four program areas that the Duke Endowment cares about right now. Overall, it’s given out over $3.3 billion in grants since the foundation was established in 1924. Check out our coverage of other types of Duke Endowment grants here: