At the start of 2015, Hutton Parker Foundation will begin celebrating its 20th year as an active grant making foundation. So, I’m asking myself, after 20 years, how do we measure our success?
- Hutton Parker Foundation has donated nearly $42,000,000 to more than 450 different nonprofit organizations.
- Has this cumulative funding resulted in reducing the problem of homelessness in our community? Have we raised the graduation rate for children from families below the poverty level? Have we improved the lives of seniors living in our community?
As we analyze the results of our past 20 years of funding, Hutton Parker Foundation is not able to point to a definitive answer to any of these questions. What we can say is, Hutton Parker Foundation measures our success in a different way. Success to us is not as much about individuals fed and housed, or children healthy and thriving, or families given equal access to arts and education opportunities. Our measurement of success is more about making individual nonprofit organizations operationally strong so they are able to more efficiently, with greater capacity and success, provide the programs and services so needed by their constituents in our community. Hutton Parker Foundation decided a long time ago to focus our energies on developing new ways to bring greater resources, more stability and sustainability to our local nonprofit partners.
So, in the past 20 years, can we demonstrate measurable results? Have we been successful?
From my perspective, I’m happy to say, yes we can! At Hutton Parker Foundation, we have put our endowment to work in our community alongside our grant making dollars.
- Almost two thirds of our $93 million endowment is invested in our community to help our nonprofit partners be more effective
- We have made more than 30 loans totaling $7 million to nonprofit entities
- We currently own and operate 15 buildings and house more than 60 nonprofit organizations in our buildings — Giving them the advantage of reduced and stable rents to help provide the stability and sustainability they so desperately need
- We have done this while still growing the assets of the Foundation and increasing total grant making
In the next 20 years, Hutton Parker Foundation hopes to share our commitment to, and enthusiasm for, the community and mission based investment model we have developed with many of the other 90,000 private foundations nationwide. We will strive to introduce to other funders a better way to use resources and invest assets in the communities they serve.
In fact, Hutton Parker Foundation recently published a book, The $100 Million Secret detailing our Foundation’s journey through this community investment process. The book is now beginning to resonate as a resource for other private foundation funders wanting to follow in our footsteps.
Thomas C. Parker