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A successful grant is of as much benefit to a foundation as it is to a grantee. For VNA Foundation, the special joy in our grantmaking comes from funding services that improve the health of men, women and children in metro Chicago. We have been fortunate to be able to accomplish much in our 25 years of grantmaking. With the help of our partners, we will continue to do so.
More than half of VNA’s grants since inception have supported direct program or project services. In recent years, however, in response to feedback from community partners navigating an ever-changing healthcare environment, VNA has doubled its general operating grantmaking.
Two of the general operating grants awarded in FY’22 were to Family Health Partnership Clinic and Equal Hope. The former was a renewal grant to support operations of a primary care clinic servicing uninsured residents of McHenry County; the latter was for multipronged efforts to reduce racial, ethnic, and class disparities in women’s health. Both agencies presented compelling cases for general operating support, and VNA was pleased to award grants of $40,000 and $50,000, respectively.
VNA continues to award many grants to support specific programs that align with VNA’s focus areas. We try to work, as much as we are able, with grant writers—who often wear multiple hats within an agency—to ask for clarification as needed rather than simply dismissing a proposal that is not as well prepared as others. With that said, we always appreciate reviewing grant applications which, as submitted, are clear and concise and include a compelling narrative sharing the needs that will be addressed and the outcomes that will be measured.
Rosalind Franklin University requested renewal support for Community Care Connection, its mobile health program that serves residents at more than 30 sites in Lake County. The Bridge Communities proposal was for a first-time grant to support counseling fees for 20 adults currently in the agency’s transitional housing program. Both FY’22 proposals offer examples of clear and concise applications, and we were pleased to award grants of $40,000 and $25,000, respectively.