Posted on

Fulcrum Foundation seeks to be a game changer

Fulcrum Foundation seeks to be a game changer Fulcrum Foundation seeks to be a game changer

New foundation seeks requests for projects over $25,000 each, looks to award $1.25 million in coming year

A new foundation is hoping to make a big impact on the greater Medford area for years to come.

For decades the Memorial Member Association (MMA) worked to improve community well being as a partner in running Aspirus Medford Hospital.

Now, under a new name and with a new focus, the Fulcrum Foundation, it is taking on a more active role in helping meet community needs now and into the future committing to making annual contributions to the area totaling $1.25 million.

The MMA was formed in 2001 with the merger of the locally owned hospital and clinics with what is now Aspirus. MMA represented the community ownership of 50% of the hospital and clinics in Taylor County and helped lead the hospital ensuring local health care needs were being met.

According to Fulcrum Foundation board member Len Hamman, over time, MMA saw that Aspirus was doing a good job in serving residents’ healthcare needs and the group turned its attention to different areas supporting community projects. The timing was good last fall when Aspirus’s chief operating officer came to the MMA board with a proposal that the healthcare chain buy out MMA’s half of the local partnership. Negotiations took place and in spring, MMA membership voted to approve the sale with the goal that the proceeds would be used to establish a private foundation to continue to serve an area within 25 miles of the city of Medford.

In July 2022, the Fulcrum Foundation was established with the completion of that ownership transfer to a private foundation with the mission to “Support the community’s physical, emotional, intellectual and societal well-being determined by identified priorities.”

During a reception held at Marilyn’s Fire Station in Medford on Monday, Foundation board members announced the call for proposals for the first round of grants.

According to executive director Amanda Lange, non profit groups have until October 15 to submit requests for proposals for funds to be awarded in March 2023. Requests greater than $25,000 each are preferred, however all requests may be considered.

According to board chairman John Lange, the goal is to make a significant positive change on the community. He noted that non profit groups work to do the most with the least amount of resources. Hamman said the advice he gives to organization representatives is to think big about ways to help serve the community.

Examples given for each of the areas includes: Physical - Medical care, dental care, food security, healthy eating, emergency services and exercise and fitness.

Emotional - Mental health care, prevention and care of alcohol and drug misuse, child or adult care.

Intellectual — Education and job training. Societal - Safety, transportation, infrastructure and arts and culture.

Beyond this the organization’s grant decisions will

be influenced by the following guiding principles:

• Benefits people in the Fulcrum Foundation service area.

• Benefit many people or an underserved, vulnerable population.

• Based on data with measurable, long–term impact.

• For one–time or finite–duration grants.

• To organizations working in collaboration with other organizations.

Fulcrum Foundation focuses on partnering with organizations to support sustainable projects that align with its priorities, benefit many people or an underserved population and have specific, measurable impacts.

According to Lange, the grant process will start with Phase 1 proposal deadline for the spring award cycle of October 15. These preliminary letters of interest should include the project summary, state of need, project activity, expected outcomes, credentials of the organization, budget and a copy of the groups most recent 990 tax filing showing them to be a 501c3 organization.

Those selected by the board to proceed to a phase 2 review will be notified by November 15. The Phase 2 is a more detailed project summary and is due by December 31. Finalists will be invited for presentations and interviews in January and February with grantees announced on March 28, 2023.

The process then begins again for the fall 2023 grant award cycle with proposals due by April 15, 2023 for consideration of an award on September 26, 2023.

Additional information about Fulcrum Foundation and the grant request process can be found at the organization’s website