Updated Advisory: Grotto Foundation Change in Funding Priorities
November 7, 2008
To Whom It May Concern:
On May 1, 2008, I announced, on behalf of our Board of Directors, a change in the focus of the Grotto Foundation. As the result of our annual retreat, the Board determined that it wants to focus its funding support on Early Childhood Development and Parenting.
During a four-month period, Grotto staff, in collaboration with its Board of Directors, agreed with research that shows that if greater funding is invested in the healthy growth of a child from birth to six years of age, then less funding is required for remedial programs or punitive institutionalization of those who suffered from a lack of nurturing, caring, and education. Unfortunately at this time, more money is spent on our prison system than on our children. If the reverse became the norm, healthier and better educated children would be more likely to become productive and taxpaying adults and parents.
Accordingly, the Grotto Foundation will focus its funding to support agencies and institutions dedicated to improving the quality of parenting and the well-being of infants and children (from birth to six years of age). The Grotto Foundation will no longer continue its general grantmaking and will no longer accept proposals or requests for funding.
The staff of the Grotto Foundation has been authorized to research and investigate the agencies and organizations dedicated to Early Childhood Development. Staff members will do the research on particular programs they believe will meet the interest of the Foundation’s Board and the criteria it has established. Upon the approval of the Board, the staff is then empowered to enter into a grant agreement with the selected agency pending receipt of required documentation and support from the management and board of the selected agency.
Grotto plans an extensive evaluation of the process, the grantmaking, and the outcomes. At the conclusion of the initial five-year project, Grotto hopes to learn the impact of this focused giving effort and its continuation will be dependent upon its findings.
Grotto will continue its commitment to its fifteen-year Native American Language Revitalization Program (NLRI), American Indian Family Empowerment Program (AIFEP), and its companion American Indian Leadership in Philanthropy—a collaboration of the Marbrook, Westcliff, and Grotto Foundations with support from the Kellogg Foundation and the Rockefeller Philanthropic Advisors. However, the NLRI will not be accepting requests from new grantees until November 15, 2009, for review by the Board in February 2010.
Grotto remains dedicated to “Community, Family, and Understanding” and through our efforts we hope to make a difference.
Ellis F. Bullock