The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), in partnership with the Council on Foundations’ Public-Philanthropic Partnership Initiative, has launched the Secretary’s Award for Community Foundations.
The Secretary’s Award recognizes the key role that philanthropy plays in creating safe communities where children and families are able to thrive. Though state and federal governments provide funding and administer programs that are focused on local communities, public funding alone is not enough. Rather, local action and support are critical to meeting the specific needs of communities. The Obama Administration’s Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative recognizes this need and is working hard to build private-public partnerships and align federal funding so that local leaders have the resources needed to ignite change and revitalize our nation’s most distressed communities.
Community foundations are a key partner in public-private partnerships and the well-being local communities. According to HUD, community foundations administer more than $49 billion in charitable funds in more than 725 communities and regions nationwide. More than providing crucial funding, community foundations understand the local landscape, including existing resources and challenges, allowing the foundation to make meaningful investments that have the potential to create positive and sustainable impact.
This year’s Secretary’s Awards highlight 10 community foundations nationwide that have developed strong private-public partnerships that have resulted in measurable benefits for residents and communities. For example, the Hampton Roads Community Foundation (HRCF) in Norfolk, Virginia has partnered with the City of Norfolk Office to End Homelessness and other nonprofits to provide leadership, technical assistance and funding for the city’s 10-year plan to end homelessness. Among other things, the grants provided by HRCF allowed the city to hire a housing specialist and build supportive housing communities. This partnership has seen strong results. From 2006 to 2011, the number of homeless individuals in Norfolk dropped 15 percent despite the difficult economic climate.
To learn more about HUD’s Secretary Award for Community Foundations or to learn more about the 10 foundations honored, please click here.