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The Secretary’s Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships - Housing and Community Development in Action

The Secretary’s Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships recognize excellence in partnerships that have both transformed the relationships between the sectors and led to measurable benefits in housing and community development, including increased economic development, health, safety, education, workforce development, disaster resilience, inclusivity and cultural opportunities, innovative regional approaches, and/or housing access for low- and moderate-income families.

The Secretary’s Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships - <em>Housing and Community Development in Action</em>


About the 2012 Award

The Department of Housing and Urban Development, in partnership with the Council on Foundations’ Public-Philanthropic Partnership Initiative, announces the inaugural annual Secretary’s Award for Community Foundations as part of the Council’s annual Fall Conference for Community Foundations. The Secretary’s Award for Community Foundations recognizes excellence in public-philanthropic partnerships that have both transformed the relationship between the sectors and led to measurable benefits in terms of increased economic employment, health, safety, education, sustainability, inclusivity and cultural opportunities, and/or housing access for low and moderate-income families.

In the United States, community foundations serve tens of thousands of donors, administer more than $49 billion in charitable funds, and address the core concerns of more than 725 communities and regions.

Not only are community foundations a valuable repository of local wealth resources held in perpetuity, they are led by a local board of trustees and staff that provide in-depth knowledge of community challenges, opportunities, and broader resources. This facilitates the foundation’s capacity to provide leadership on housing and community development while guiding donors toward impactful investments in housing solutions.

By strengthening the connection between the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and community foundations, this award highlights the power of collective impact that can be achieved through public-philanthropic partnerships between government entities and foundations.

Download the Composite Award Winners Document

The Boston Foundation

Founded in 1915, the Boston Foundation serves as Greater Boston’s community foundation. It devotes its resources to building and sustaining a vital, prosperous city and region, where justice and opportunity are extended to everyone.

Neighborhood Stabilization Loan Fund

The $22 million Neighborhood Stabilization Loan Fund (NSLF) is a statewide five-year public, private, and philanthropic partnership. It provides financing to acquire and rehabilitate foreclosed properties in distressed urban areas with high concentrations of foreclosures. The Massachusetts Housing Partnership (MHP) and the Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation (MHIC) contributed $8.5 million each, and the Boston Foundation, the Hyams Foundation, and Living Cities made a total of $4 million in program-related investments. An additional $1 million in government capital came from the commonwealth’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

The NSLF engaged municipal partners to streamline funding, permitting, and approval processes. City, state, and federal governments coordinated efforts to adjust policies to streamline the fund’s disbursements. Funding from philanthropic partners provided critical grants to build local government, community, and developer capacity. The private sector provided needed capital to take these efforts to scale.

As of May 2012, NSLF had supported the acquisition of 468 foreclosed units in 137 buildings. NSLF has managed to retain 32 percent of units affordable to households with incomes up to 50 percent of area median income and 70 percent of units affordable to households up to 120 percent of area median income. The NSLF proves that sectors working together can deliver results even in the most difficult times.


State agency partner:
Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development

Nongovernmental partners:
Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation, Massachusetts Housing Partnership, The Hyams Foundation, Living Cities, local developers

Download the Award Information

Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo

Mission: Connecting people, ideas, and resources to improve lives in Western New York.
Vision: A vibrant and inclusive Greater Buffalo region with opportunity for all.

Green and Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI) Buffalo

GHHI Buffalo is one of 17 HUD-designated GHHI pilot sites around the country. It aligns and coordinates public and private funding sources and programs for weatherization, lead hazard control, asthma control, and other home health and safety interventions in low-income homes. Homes with vulnerable populations, such as children and seniors, are given priority. GHHI Buffalo’s workforce development project brings partners together to provide training and job placement services to unemployed individuals and low-wage earners to create green and healthy housing career pathways.

The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo is the lead coordinating agency for GHHI Buffalo. The goal is to replace silos with collective action, build on current activities, streamline processes that are duplicative or burdensome for homeowners, and build a lasting system for coordination of resources and services. The community foundation’s leadership has resulted in the creation of a system for bringing resources together in low-income homes. GHHI Buffalo plans to finalize the collaborative system by the end of 2012 and make improvements to 200 homes.

In addition to facilitating partnerships among public and private agencies and organizations, the community foundation has committed $456,000 of its own grantmaking funds, which it has leveraged with an additional $5.3 million in public and private support.

November 2010

State agency partner:
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, New York State Office of the Attorney General

Nongovernmental partners:
A collaborative network of nearly 50 nongovernmental organizations

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Hampton Roads Community Foundation

The foundation’s mission is to inspire philanthropy and transform the quality of life in southeastern Virginia.

Ending Homelessness in Norfolk, Va.

Hampton Roads Community Foundation (HRCF) is a long-time supporter of shelters and nonprofits that help homeless people. This work gained traction in 2004 after Mayor Paul Fraim announced plans to end homelessness in Norfolk within 10 years. At that time, there were approximately 787 homeless people in the city. A new Commission to End Homelessness studied solutions and in 2005 enlisted HRCF to help with this ambitious endeavor.

HRCF staff members have provided leadership and technical assistance and convened partners around homeless issues. The foundation advocated for a regional approach, provided more than $2 million in grants, and leveraged other funding. These grants have helped Norfolk implement its plan, paid for a new housing specialist, helped build four permanent supportive housing communities for 240 previously homeless individuals, and underwrote twice-a-year events to connect homeless people with necessary services.

From 2006 to 2011, the number of homeless people in Norfolk dropped 15 percent despite a lingering economic recession. In addition, the number of chronic homeless individuals dropped 18 percent from 2009 to 2011. These are promising statistics, but there is more to be done to meet the goal of ending homelessness in the city.


Municipal agency partners:
City of Norfolk Office to End Homelessness, Department of Human Services

Nongovernmental partners:
Norfolk Homeless Consortium, Virginia Supportive Housing, The Planning Council, Regional Taskforce to End Homelessness, United Way of South Hampton Roads

Download the Award Information

The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee

The foundation is dedicated to enriching the quality of life in Middle Tennessee.

The Metro Nashville Disaster Response Fund

The collaboration between the Metropolitan Nashville Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee began nearly a decade ago. The area's community leaders had experienced natural disaster in 1998 and an influx of disaster-related donations; they wanted to plan ahead and find a better way to manage and streamline donations, particularly the stewardship and deployment of cash contributions. In 2002, the community foundation entered into a memorandum of understanding with OEM to serve as the lead agency to receive and manage non-designated cash contributions through its Metro Nashville Disaster Response Fund during times of disaster.

On May 1, 2010, Middle Tennessee experienced the worst flooding in more than a thousand years. The flood claimed 19 lives, caused an estimated $2 billion in damage, and left thousands displaced from their homes. Following the disaster, the Metro Nashville Disaster Response Fund raised nearly $4 million in contributions and helped leverage gifts to additional community foundation flood relief funds totaling $15 million. These gifts came from more than 20,000 individual donations.

Grants from these funds have allowed nonprofit grantees to rebuild 500 homes, handle ongoing case management of flood victims, provide more than 1,000 pieces of furniture and bedding, offer mortgage and rental assistance to hundreds of flood victims, remove more than 143 tons of debris from our waterways, and more.

September 2002

Municipal agency partners:
Metropolitan Nashville Mayor's Office of Emergency Management

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Cleveland Foundation

The world’s first community foundation is dedicated to improving lives in Cleveland now and for generations to come.

The Evergreen Cooperative Initiative

Established in 1914, the Cleveland Foundation is the world’s first community foundation and one of the largest, with assets of $1.8 billion and 2011 grants of nearly $80 million. Through the generosity of its donors, the foundation improves the lives of Greater Clevelanders now and for generations to come by building community endowment, addressing needs through grantmaking, and providing leadership on vital issues.

Launched in 2008, the Evergreen Cooperative Initiative (ECI) is working to create living wage jobs in six low-income neighborhoods (43,000 residents with a median household income below $18,500) in an area known as Greater University Circle. Based on a vision of “community wealth building,” the ECI is designed to foster an economic breakthrough in Cleveland. It has drawn substantial support, including multimillion-dollar financial investments from the federal government (particularly HUD) and major institutions in Cleveland.

Community wealth strategies aim at improving the ability of communities and individuals to increase asset ownership, anchor jobs locally, strengthen the municipal tax base, prevent financial resources from “leaking out” of the area, and ensure local economic stability. The ECI has successfully started two cooperative businesses—the Evergreen Cooperative Laundry and Evergreen Energy Systems—with a third, Green City Growers, scheduled to open in fall 2012.

Spring 2008

Municipal partners:
City of Cleveland

Nongovernmental partners:
The Democracy Collaborative, Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, Case Western Reserve University, VA Hospital, Ohio Employee Ownership Center, Enterprise Cleveland, Towards Employment

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Greater New Orleans Foundation

The mission of the Greater New Orleans Foundation is to create a thriving community for all.

Fighting Blight with Strategies that Work

Nearly five years after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans had more than 43,755 vacant, abandoned, and blighted properties and no effective strategy for dealing with them. In 2010, a partnership was formed between the Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF), the City of New Orleans, the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA), and the Center for Community Progress (CCP) to turn blighted properties into assets to promote community development, economic growth, and neighborhood stability. To assist with this ambitious goal, GNOF made a two-year, $500,000 grant and partnered with CCP to create a comprehensive strategy.

In the first 15 months of the partnership, the city reduced blight by 3,615 properties. City departments were consolidated, restructured and held to a high standard of public accountability. A streamlined data-management system was established. The city took the innovative approach of using tax lien foreclosure sales as the primary vehicle for turning over problem properties. The code enforcement process now takes three to six months, as opposed to 18.

Through this partnership, New Orleans is developing a national model for dealing with blight. Because code enforcement has been so successful, cities across Louisiana are teaming up to replicate the success of New Orleans at the state level. Cities across the country, from Detroit to Memphis to Philadelphia, have also turned to New Orleans for guidance on effectively addressing blight.

May 2010

Municipal agency partners:
City of New Orleans

State agency partner:
New Orleans Redevelopment Authority

Nongovernmental partners:
Center for Community Progress

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Lincoln Community Foundation

With a heart for the Lincoln community, the foundation represents the needs of the individuals, families, nonprofits, and businesses that live and operate locally.

Lincoln Community Learning Centers

The Lincoln Community Foundation (LCF) helps donors serve and improve the community through philanthropic gifts to nonprofit organizations. Last year, LCF granted $4 million to 323 nonprofits in a range of service areas. Existing at the intersection of the public, private, and philanthropic sectors, LCF is well positioned to develop local solutions to growing challenges. The Lincoln Community Learning Centers (CLCs) are a good example. LCF funded the initial grant in 1999 for a community feasibility study and funds to launch the first four pilot CLCs. That original $100,000 has leveraged millions of dollars from federal, state, and city governments, corporations, and other foundations.

The goals of CLCs are to (1) improve student learning and development, (2) support and strengthen families, and (3) bolster neighborhoods. Data compiled from the past 13 years show that students’ test scores are higher when they are in a CLC. Put simply, when we improve the lives of our children by focusing on their needs, the impact builds stronger families, healthier neighborhoods, and a brighter future for Lincoln.

Today, 25 CLCs are in place at every Title I elementary and middle school and one high school in Lincoln. CLC partnerships create a community underpinning to address safe, affordable housing; affordable, quality child care; workforce development; and accessible health care.


Municipal agency partners:
City of Lincoln and Lincoln Public Schools

State agency partner:
Nebraska Department of Education

Federal agency partner:
Department of Education

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Telluride Foundation

Surrounded by natural splendor, the foundation celebrates philanthropy by supporting charitable organizations, building capacity and resources for the region, and operates initiatives that address new and emerging issues.

Paradox Community Trust

The Telluride Foundation uses a hybrid approach of unrestricted giving and foundation and public partnerships to serve a five-county area in rural, southwest Colorado. In 2008, the foundation initiated a private public partnership, the Paradox Community Trust (PCT), between local municipalities, county governments, state agencies, and federal departments. The effort works to moderate the inevitable boom and bust cycles of local economies that rely on oil, gas, and mining production and create long-term community investment.

PCT does this by combining resource extraction severance taxes with foundation grants, charitable contributions, and local estate giving to create a locally controlled permanent fund for community improvement and economic development investments.

January 2009

Municipal agency partners:
Towns of Norwood, Nucla, Naturita, Paradox, Rico, Dolores, Dove Creek

County agency partners:
Dolores, Montrose, and San Miguel counties

State agency partners:
Department of Local Affairs, Governor’s Commission on Community Service

Federal agency partners:
Department of Health and Human Services, Corporation for National and Community Service, AmeriCorp VISTA

Nongovernmental partners:
Telluride Foundation, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, El Pomar Foundation, Aspen Community Foundation, Wyoming Community Foundation, community nonprofit organizations involved in the Strengthening Communities Fund pilot, oil and gas companies

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The San Diego Foundation

Dedicated to improving the quality of life in its community, the foundation works to build enduring assets and promote solutions that advance the common good.

The San Diego Foundation’s Climate Initiative

In 2006, The San Diego Foundation commissioned its Climate Initiative to analyze how philanthropy could address issues related to climate change and invest in more sustainable economic growth and a higher quality of life. The initiative’s goals are to (1) spur regional action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, (2) deepen community awareness about the local impact of climate change, and (3) reduce the risks the region faces from those effects.

To date, the foundation has awarded more than $400,000 in grants to support transportation, equity, and environmental and public health advocates who integrate housing, land use, and transportation planning, especially those focused on low-income residents who may be most adversely affected by climate change.

Founded in 1975, The San Diego Foundation promotes and increases effective and responsible charitable giving. Since its inception, it has granted more than $750 million to the region’s nonprofit community.

September 2006

Municipal agency partners:
Local San Diego government agencies

County agency partners:
County of San Diego

State agency partners:
Department of Fish and Game, Governor’s Office of Planning and Research

Federal agency partners:
NOAA Coastal Training Center

Nongovernmental partners:
CleanTECH San Diego, major regional universities, nonprofit organizations

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The Oregon Community Foundation

Volunteers are the finger on the pulse of Oregon helping this foundation to meet community needs and promote effective philanthropy.

Ready to Smile

Ready to Smile (RTS) is a formal partnership between the Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) and Coos County Public Health. It ensures students in grades 1, 2, 6, and 7 in Coos and Curry County public schools learn about oral hygiene, are screened for dental disease, receive sealants and fluoride varnish, and are referred to a dentist for urgent care when necessary.

The partnership is the result of a year-long study that identified oral disease as the leading cause of school absenteeism among elementary students in Oregon and the foremost problem presented in emergency rooms. RTS partners with dental professionals in their clinics and through mobile dental vans to provide coordinated, cost-effective services to youth.

In its first year, RTS reached 744 students at 12 schools—almost 40 percent of all local schoolchildren. By the end of the current school year, student participation will be greater than 60 percent. The estimated value of all services to date is more than $330,000. OCF provided the initial $500,000 seed money. Other funding partners have collectively committed over $400,000.

January 2010

County agency partners:
Coos County Public Health

Nongovernmental partners:
Ford Family Foundation, Mudd Foundation, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Oregon and Southwest Washington, Coquille Tribal Community Foundation, Curry Health Foundation

Download the Award Information