In 2016 we continue to make investments aimed at the goals defined in our Plan for Impact: 2013-2018. By our focusing on these five goals and through your commitment to them, we know that more of Wake County’s children will have opportunities to thrive and reach their full potential.
At the release of our five-year plan in 2013, we committed to measuring progress and evaluating contributions to our goals in order to adjust and enhance our approach for deeper impact. Our assessment of where efforts have taken us at this stage has informed decisions about our 2016 funding. We are prioritizing both opportunities to complement the remarkable efforts underway as well as support projects in areas where there is room to do much more.
This year we are pleased to have funding available for new projects toward our Preventing Injury, Coalition Effectiveness and Nonprofit Capacity Building goals. We will also accept applications from current Preventing Injury and Positive Mental Health grantees for efforts that expand on their John Rex Endowment-funded projects.
A summary of our 2016 funding follows for each of the five goals. Details will be provided in Requests for Proposals (RFPs) and Guidelines for Expansion Grants to be released in mid-May. The Funding Schedule, below, summarizes the calendar of 2016 funding opportunities.
- Preventing Injury: Several organizations have received support via a John Rex Endowment grant to address childhood injury resulting from assaults/physical violence and child pedestrians injured in motor vehicle crashes. We’d like to support additional efforts like this to address these as well as the other three leading causes of Wake County childhood injury: motor vehicle crashes in which the child is an occupant; self-inflicted injuries and self-harm; and falls. The John Rex Endowment will accept applications for Injury Prevention funding in 2016 for both new projects as well as those that expand on currently funded Preventing Injury grants.
- Positive Mental Health: Since 2013, the John Rex Endowment has awarded just under $7 million dollars in efforts that contribute to children’s positive mental health. We are excited about the growing impact of these grants focused on helping children thrive at home and in their communities. Given our significant investments in this area, in 2016 the John Rex Endowment will only accept applications for projects that expand on currently funded grants in our Mental Health, Social and Emotional Well-being funding area.
- Healthy Foods and Active Living: With three-year grant support from the John Rex Endowment, six municipalities are building healthier communities through their efforts to increase access to healthy foods and active living opportunities. Healthy vending policies, farmer’s markets, and greenway plans mark just a few examples of their accomplishments. We’ve also invested another $2.2 million in other projects that support and promote healthy eating and physical activity among Wake County children. With this positive momentum, the John Rex Endowment will not release a Healthy Weight funding opportunity in 2016.
- Coalition Effectiveness: We’ve recently awarded our first-ever grant focused specifically on building the capacity of a Wake County coalition and look forward to strengthening the capacity of more local coalitions working in our funding areas. The John Rex Endowment will release a 2016 Coalition Effectiveness funding opportunity.
- Nonprofit Capacity Building: Since 2009, we’ve awarded 76 grants for a total of $1.85 million to build the strength and sustainability of nonprofit organizations. John Rex Endowment Nonprofit Capacity Building funding will continue this year. We have added a requirement that funded organizations conduct a John Rex Endowment organizational assessment at least once every five years because we’ve learned that organizations find it valuable to take stock on the progress they’ve made as a result of capacity building efforts and to assess how their priorities might have shifted over time. A Nonprofit Capacity Building funding opportunity will be released in 2016.
Over the past two years, the John Rex Endowment has awarded more than $8.5 million across 42 grants. A significant portion of these investments are multi-year endeavors to bring about wide-scale change that supports Wake County children in living healthy lives. Since we are starting 2016 with grant commitments of just under $2.8 million for active grants, we are not releasing any funding opportunities for the Summer Grant Award Cycle. RFPs and Guidelines for Expansion Grants for the Fall and Winter Grant Award Cycles will be released in mid-May. Specific details regarding total funding available, grant application criteria, and all other information will be made available with the May release.