Seeking creative nonprofit partners for community health initiative

Terrapin Advisors is helping two of its family office clients get the word out as the families are evaluating potential grantees for a new initiative to support community health priorities in creative ways. Potential investments include the following:

Examples of Grants

 A.  Fund efforts, in the major metropolitan areas where the foundations' offices are located, to bring supermarkets back to underserved communities. Interestingly, hunger and obesity are linked; lack of access to healthy food compounds the problem in underserved populations.

 B.  Fund school-based programs, in the major metropolitan areas where the families' offices are located, to improve nutrition, physical activity and staff wellness by training teachers to better address the needs of at-risk children.

C.  Fund specific teacher needs to support teachers in their unique opportunity to instill lifelong health and fitness habits in students through nutritional education, gym activities, yoga and even purposeful play at recess. Many schools lack the basic equipment needed to bring these initiatives to life. Sometimes simple things like balls, books and juggling kits, and even heart rate monitors, are things that would greatly assist teachers in helping their students learn about staying fit and healthy.

D.  Fund a community facilitator. The most successful physical education programs incorporate community involvement. The first step in enlisting community involvement is getting key decision makers and leaders in the same room and sometimes that simply requires a little bit of funding to pay for a professional to facilitate and convene the key players (community leaders, school leaders, parent leaders, funders) to bring a school-based program to an entire community.

E.  Fund outdoor playgrounds, especially providing access to children for whom playgrounds typically are not built. Playgrounds are usually designed for young, healthy kids. Only rarely are parks and playgrounds designed to serve the entire community, in every neighborhood, for children of all ages, demographics and abilities.

F. Support rural and disadvantaged communities’ access to digital healthcare tools by reaching families through the children. Web sites with personal databases, smartphone and Twitter apps for logging diet and exercise routines, pedometers, accelerometers and heart-rate monitors are often not available in rural settings because of the lack of access to technology. Rural and low income usage of the Internet is lower compared to urban and higher income usage. The digital divide is impacting healthcare. Teaching children to use the technology at an early age will pay dividends in the future.