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Leadership Message 1 | 2



Those are the words that best describe the focus of Saint Luke’s Foundation in 2011, a significant year of continued learning and growth. As a result, last year could be characterized as a year of both achievement and reflection.


While working hard to achieve our accomplishments in 2011, we were simultaneously in strategic planning mode – giving thoughtful consideration to what we
do and how we do it. Every organization needs to look in the mirror every once in a while and ask hard questions like:

  • Is what we’re doing relevant?
  • Are our processes right for the community?
  • What could we be doing different/better?
  • How can we give more and have greater impact?

Throughout 2011, behind the scenes we internalized the following quote from Leap of Reason by Cleveland native Mario Morino and begun to think about ways to rethink the way we do what we do:

“We need to rethink, redesign, and reinvent the why, what, and how of our work in every arena. We need to reassess where we have the greatest needs so we can apply our limited resources to have the most meaningful impact. We need to be much clearer about our aspirations, more intentional in defining our approaches, more rigorous in gauging our progress, more willing to admit mistakes, more capable of quickly adapting and improving – all with an unrelenting focus and passion for improving lives.”

Shared publicly at the biennial meeting, this quote says it all in terms of what our collective charge was for our 2011 planning – planning that led to our announcement in late December of changes to our spending policy and grantmaking strategies. With the changes, the Foundation's funding is now strategically focused in three areas: Health, Community and Family.

In short, the changes are two-fold: first, a change to a mission-based spending policy that translates to a significant increase in our grantmaking budget. Simply put, we believe immediate and sizeable opportunities exist such that deeper investments in organizations that can demonstrate effective outcomes will pay great dividends in the years to come. 

Also, in keeping with our mission and vision, our work continues to focus on developing and maintaining healthy communities. While we recognize there are many things that contribute to creating a healthy community, one of the most significant changes to come out of our evaluation process is the establishment of three distinct program strategy areas: Health, Community and Family (see more on Grantmaking page).

The foundation has used the balance of 2012 to continue narrowing the focus of the strategies with the help of our grantees and outside experts. Within each of the program strategy areas, the Foundation continues to provide support for discretionary grants, ongoing operations, programs, capital expenditures, and program related investments. Grants are also being made for building organizational capacity in the areas of collaboration, communication, leadership development, outcomes and learning, and policy/advocacy.

As we celebrate 15 years as a foundation, our board and staff remain excited about the potential of the Foundation’s new approach on health and well-being throughout Greater Cleveland. As always, we encourage you to contact us if you have questions or suggestions.

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