Inside One Health Legacy, City-Focused Foundation's Multi-Million-Dollar Commitment in Oklahoma

Since the Affordable Care Act became law, we’ve seen a great deal of healthcare merger and acquisition activity in cities, and especially rural areas around the country. The proceeds of these transactions endow philanthropic foundations that typically serve the areas the hospitals were based in. This is how Muskogee, Oklahoma, population 38,863 and 48 miles southeast of Tulsa, got its own dedicated grantmaking foundation.

The City of Muskogee Foundation might sound like a local government entity, but it’s actually a health legacy foundation that funds much more than just health causes. It was established in 2008 upon securing funding after Capella Healthcare entered into an agreement with a public trust, the Muskogee Regional Health Center Trust Authority, to lease Muskogee Regional Medical Center for 40 years. The net proceeds of the lease funded the foundation, which supports causes in and around the city related to education, arts, culture, community revitalization and beautification, social services, health care, economic development, infrastructure, housing and recreation.

This locally focused funder recently made headlines for a nearly $5 million grant commitment. The thing that stood out about this grantmaker is the high percentage of grants it funded out of applications received. According to the local newspaper, theMuskogee Phoenix, the foundation awarded money for 27 applications received, did not fund four and tabled two.

These figures mean that if you work in almost any nonprofit field in and around the city of Muskogee, you have a good chance of getting funded here.

In total, the foundation awarded nearly $5 million in local grants, with the big one going to Neighbors Building Neighborhoods’ Building Bridges for a Better Muskogee program. This group received $1.6 million. Other sizable grants went to the city of Muskogee for the Housing Rehabilitation and Neighborhood Revitalization program ($300,000), Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame for general operations ($100,000), and SAC Nutrition Program for home-delivered meals to low-income and disabled Muskogee seniors (up to $180,000).

Although One Health Legacy isn't a government entity, local government officials definitely have a hand in its dealings. In addition to nine at-large foundation board members, the mayor, the city manager, and two city councilors serve on the board too. This foundation also awards scholarships to graduating seniors from Muskogee and Hilldale high schools, and it recently released the names of 12 new recipients who received $288,000 in scholarship money.

Nonprofits in this part of Oklahoma should definitely get connected with this health legacy funder, which has an annual local grantmaking commitment that hovers around the $5 million mark. The next deadline coming up is August 1, which is when letters of inquiry are due for 2017 summer program grants. Check out the funder’s grants page to get started with your LOI.