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twenty-year retrospective2006 - 2016INDEPENDENCEFOUNDATION
In Her HonorThis report is dedicated to Independence Foundation Board member Andrea Mengel (1998 – 2016). A woman with incredible vision, commitment, sense of humor and intelligence. We miss every day her gentle guidance, thoughtful insights and loving friendship.It is my pleasure to present a twenty-year retrospective of the work of the Independence Foundation. I joined the Board of the Foundation in 1993, and became President in 1996, as the ﬁrst full-time professional staﬀ member since 1991. Needless to say, there was a lot of work to accomplish -- the ﬁrst task of the board: to formalize the informal. This included, but was not limited to: deﬁning grant areas, clarifying board mission, and developing grant processes, from letters of intent to award-making. It also included moving the oﬃce from a magcard typewriter to computers, as well as hiring staﬀ.My ﬁrst day of work in January 1996 was challenging, as we were met with an eviction notice for the space we had occupied since the 1960’s. Since our lease had been month to month, and our space was in need of restoration, the Board decided at our ﬁrst meeting to look for new space. The statement “build us an oﬃce that looks like this oﬃce” became our mantra. And so, with their support, I did. I have frequently said I have never built a home for myself, but I built a home for the Foundation, our staﬀ and our grantees.In this retrospective, we have tried to summarize our lessons learned in twenty years. Additionally, we have tried to provide a perspective on our grantmaking strategy: providing general operating support, making long-term commitments to our grantees, and asking our grantees what they think is important, for their work and for the city and counties around them. We have also strived to be a connector to organizations and individuals who have common goals and interests. In many ways. I am proud to say we have done that.I look forward to the next years of the Foundation’s work and to continue our goal of “going in search of people, ﬁnding out what they know, building on what we have learned.”Thank you to all who have supported this work, with a special thank you to all of the board members who have shared and participated in this journey. Susan ShermanPresident & CEOBoard Members & Length of ServiceJudge Phyllis W. Beck (1993-present) Susan Sherman (1993-present)André Dennis (1998-present) Bart Silverman (2005-present) Catherine Carr (2015-present) Derick Dreher (2015-present)Frederick Donner (1980-1995)Ted Warner (1992-2005)Robert LaRocca (1994-1998)Aaron Posner (1997-1998)Eugene Fish (1997-2011)Andrea Mengel (1998-2016)Pedro Ramos (2011-2015)Staﬀ Members. Full-Time Judge Phyllis W. BeckChief Financial Oﬃcer, Chair of the BoardJennifer BohnenbergerChief Operating Oﬃcer & Director of ProgramsSusan Sherman President & CEOKate TejadaOﬃce AdministratorStaﬀ Members. Part-Time Ann TorregrossaHealth Care, Legal Services ConsultantGlen KnappLeadership ConsultantRose TomlinsonReceptionist
missionboard of directorsHon. Phyllis W. BeckChair Catherine C. Carr, Esq.SecretaryAndré L. Dennis, Esq.Vice President Derick Dreher, PhDSusan E. Sherman President and CEO Barton M. SilvermanVice President The Independence Foundation is a private, not-for-proﬁt philanthropic or-ganization serving Philadelphia and its surrounding Pennsylvania counties. The Foundation’s mission is to support organizations that provide services to people who do not ordinarily have access to them. With a strong focus on health, the Foundation invests in people and programs that enrich the life experiences of the residents of the Philadelphia area. In addition to health care, the Foundation extends its funding to human services, legal aid and arts & culture, building on the belief that a region that promotes physical well-being, provides equal access to services, values justice, and appreciates the arts will thrive for generations to come.INDEPENDENCEFOUNDATIONresituated our offices atTHE BELLVUE193219541996199719881960IInfluenced by the death of his son from cancer three years earlier, steelmaker William H. Donner founded the International Cancer Research Foundation. After World War II, as government funding dominated medical research, he refocused the foundation’s agenda to education and changed its name to the Donner Foundation. Finding substantial grant programs for college education, but little available at the pre-college level, the Donner Foundation began its long involvement in secondary education.1993William H. Donner died at the age of 96, leaving the directorate of the Foundation to his children and grandchildren.Judge Phyllis W. Beck becomes Chair of the Board of Directors of Independence Foundation and Susan E. Sherman is named President and CEO.The Foundation expanded its education funding to nursing education and endowments to nine Schools of Nursing across the country.Assets were divided equally between the newly formed Donner Foundation, which moved to New York, and the original Philadelphia-based foundation, which became the Independence Foundation. The Independence Foundation funded secondary education through scholarships, endowments and a school loan program, as well as giving grants to local cultural and arts organizations.The Foundation shifted its focus from education to health, supporting initiatives in community-based nurse-managed health care in neighborhoods where health services were not traditionally available, as well as funding programs in Arts & Culture, Human Services, and Public Interest Legal Aid.Independence Foundation moved from its longtime residence at One South Broad Street, in the former PNB Building, where it occupied the penthouse apartment originally designed for department store heir Rodman Wanamaker and his wife. The Foundation relocated to its current home on the eleventh floor of 200 Broad Street, in the Offices at the Bellevue.
Summary of Grants1996-2016KIMMEL CENTER$3,000,000Largest grant made by Foundation1100 grants ARTS & CULTURE$34,650,000ARTS FELLOWSHIPS$2,230,000Awarded to 295 local performing and visual artistsNEW THEATRE WORKS INITIATIVE$1,650,00018 grants awarded to 12 theatresNURSE-MANAGED HEALTH CARE$28,300,000 309 grantsPUBLIC INTERST LAW FELLOWSHIPS$7,600,000Paid in support of 75 fellows working in Public Interst Law840 grantsHEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES$20,800,000416 grants10 grantsLEGAL AID$14,700,000SENIOR ATTORNEY SABBATICALS$200,000TOTAL$110,130,000ENDOWED CHAIRS$4,000,000GRAND TOTAL$117,130,000
The arts can bind people through shared experience and understanding. Art plays a transformative role in society, one that enriches community and connects people. The Foundation supports programs in the arts that enhance the common artistic spirit through creation or performance. To this end, Independence Foundation awards multi-year general operating grants aimed at strengthening organizations by supporting creative work and administrative capacity, based on community involvement, artistic merit, and leadership in the ﬁeld. Programs that connect the arts with non-traditional participants, and increase both access to and awareness of the arts, are of special interest to the Foundation.As part of the Foundation’s commitment to recognize and support work by artists across the region, individual artists are funded in both the performing and visual arts through the Fellowships in the Arts program.In addition to providing general operating grants to local theatres, the New Theatre Works Initiative was launched to encourage the development and production of new theatrical work in the Philadelphia area. Independence Foundation also supports many larger cultural institutions in the region, believing that they contribute to making the Philadelphia area both culturally vibrant and economically healthy.Independence Foundation bolsters the well-being of the region by supporting a variety of opportunities for involvement and participation in the arts.has been awarded since 1996 across these three initiatives in support of the arts.$39 MILLION
CULTUREARTS &mural artsfeatureBebe Benoliel was a patron of the arts. She founded the Creative Artists’ Network (now the Center for Emerging Visual Artists, a.k.a. CFEVA) because she wanted to promote emerging artists. She loved the work of the Philadelphia Anti-Graﬃti Network and later, Mural Arts. She saw the raw energy and talent of the young graﬃti artists we engaged and the way the murals captured the heart and soul of communities across our city.Bebe was always looking out for us, introducing us to new people and always brainstorming with us on ways we could expand our work. One day she said she wanted me to meet Susan Sherman, president of the Independence Foundation. I felt nervous; I had heard of the foundation but I had never thought of applying for ﬁnancial support. After all, we had not been Mural Arts for very long and the number of foundation people I knew was close to zero. Even so, I grew excited as our lunch date neared. At that meeting, Susan was funny, smart, insightful, and honest—the Susan Sherman we all know and love. It was refreshing to meet someone so accomplished yet so down to earth and accessible. I liked her immediately.She asked me to be honest with her: “What did I want to accomplish?” “What were the next steps I wanted to take in building out the This is the gift of the independence foundation: a foundation that dreams with its grantees, that strategizes with them, that provides not only funding but support, advice, and wisdom; a foundation that can multitask and therefore help support their grantees over a long and sustained period of time.by Jane GoldenExecutive Director
program?” I said I wanted our program to be generative; I dreamt of broadening our pool of artists and reaching out to the many young artists who wanted to try their hands at doing murals but had no idea how or where to begin. Susan heard this and came back with a great idea: “Why not have an internship program in order to create real pathways for artists?” Within a few years, this concept became a proposal, which then turned into a funded initiative that today is one of the cornerstones of Mural Arts’ practice. In addition to the internship program, Independence has supported the creation of a half-dozen landmark murals over the years, and has provided Mural Arts with invaluable general operating support. This is the gift of the Independence Foundation: a foundation that dreams with its grantees, that strategizes with them, that provides not only funding but support, advice, and wisdom; a foundation that can multitask and therefore help support their grantees over a long and sustained period of time. They think, not just about supporting one initiative that will come and go, but about the whole organization. Time and again they ask us challenging and important questions; “How do we continue to stay strong, vital, and relevant?” “How do we plan and strategize in order to sustain our work?” And it is not just Mural Arts that they are supporting. The Independence Foundation has made a huge imprint on community public health, legal services, arts and culture, and many other areas. Its impact on the health and well-being of our city is profound. This did not happen by accident. It happened because of the people at the top.What great role models Judge Beck, Susan Sherman, and the Board of the Independence Foundation are to their staﬀ members and peers in the ﬁeld – models of smart grantmaking and what it means to truly support grantees. Some years back, when I won the Visionary Woman Award from Moore College of Art & Design, the award was presented to me by Judge Beck. I saw Susan sitting in the audience as I stood on the stage and I thought, at that very moment, how incredibly lucky I was to know them. I knew in my heart that there was no better person to hand me this award, and that their encouragement, support, and love had made me a better leader, had made Mural Arts a stronger organization, and Philadelphia a better city. Thanks to their leadership, compassion, and insight, everything was able to ﬂourish and to rise.
INITIATIVEFEOWSHIPSIN THEARTSIN 1998, conversations begAn about creating an Independence Foundation funding program for local Philadelphia artists’ career development. In 1998, Aaron Posner, former Artistic Director and Co-Founder of the Arden Theatre Company, approached Independence Foundation with the idea of creating a program to provide career development funding for local independent artists. Round-table discussions about what such a program would look like were held by the Foundation throughout that year with artists, heads of arts organizations, representatives of artistic service organizations, and other funders. “The idea of creating a program like this was met with enormous enthusiasm,” said Posner, at the time. “There was clearly a sense among all constituents that this kind of support is both crucial, and lacking. There are wonderful local programs at Pew and the Leeway Foundation, but nothing quite like this. These fellowships are targeted speciﬁcally to help artists take important next steps in their own growth and development. Our hope is that this can be one more important way to continue to support and strengthen the local arts community.”This initiative provides venture capital for new art ideas. “Philadelphia has a wealth of emerging performing and visual artists” said original discussion participant, FringeArts’ President & Producing Director, Nick Stuccio, “but for many of these artists, there is no resource base to support their work. It can serve as that initial boost for an emerging artist as well as a stamp of approval for more established artists. There is a need not only in Philadelphia, but also nationally, to provide this kind of innovative support.”
FEOWSHIPSIN THEARTSIN 1999 INDEPENDENCE FOUNDATION FELLOWSHIPS IN THE ARTS PROGRAM WAS ESTABLISHEDTaking what was learned through the roundtables and formalizing it into a funding initiative, the Independence Foundation Fellowships in the Arts program was established in 1999 as an opportunity for exceptional artists to take a key step forward in their professional development. With these fellowships, artists have been encouraged to be creative in discovering the best possible way to expand their artistic horizons. There are no set boundaries for what is possible or what types of projects might be funded. Successful projects have been well designed and of maximum practical value to the artist and have given the artist an opportunity for artistic growth and improvement; such as assisting the artist in acquiring new skills relevant to his/her work; or providing the artist with a unique developmental opportunity. Fellowship grants have been awarded to originating artists (painters, sculptors, choreographers, playwrights, composers, etc.) and interpretive artists (actors, dancers, musicians, etc.) There are two grant cycles annually, one in the Visual Arts (spring) and one in the Performing Arts (fall).Since the Independence Foundation Fellowships in the Arts program began seventeen years ago, over $2.2 million has been awarded to 295 local visual and performing artists. This incredibly gifted group of artists has been given a unique opportunity to grow and ﬂourish in their professions. Our region enjoys an extraordinary array of talent, creativity, and passion. Through the Fellowships in the Arts, Independence Foundation is proud to have contributed to the vibrancy of the local arts scene by taking an active role in supporting and providing opportunities to the outstanding individual artists who entertain, enrich, and inspire our community. $2.2 millionhas been awarded to 295 local visual and performing artists over 17 yearsVisual Arts Fellow Sister Helen David Brancato has said of her fellowship:”“The Fellowship led me to places I never expected—it enabled me to give voice to so many things I care about and helped me to share these concerns with others. I am forever grateful to an organization that believes in the power of art and is willing to help struggling artists.
IN THE ARTSFEOWSHIPSI am writing this to express my admiration and share some of my experiences related to the Independence Foundation’s Fellowships in the Arts program.My own experiences with funding from the Foundation were game changers. It is a reality for me and many other artists that we struggle to remain productive in uncertain economic times, when sales are unpredictable and sometimes far between. A Fellowships in the Arts grant can truly save the soul of an artist. In my own case, teaching and writing helps me to pay my day-to-day bills, but there is a trade oﬀ in that they require enormous amounts of time and energy. Key project funding from the Independence Foundation has given me the time to focus on the important themes of my work at critical moments and truly advance my vision as an artist.I strongly believe that the time we live in requires every artist to ﬁght hard for the preservation of human values, civil engagement and meaning, and carry the torch of culture forward to the next generation. As an engaged citizen of the city, I have long admired the complexity and beauty of urban life. My project, Citizens, which has been generously supported by the Foundation, is a series of drawings and sculptures documenting the ordinary people who make up the fabric of public life in Philadelphia. This work is challenging, exciting, and gets me out of my comfort zone. I have worked with homeless people and street performers, construction workers and community gardeners, and this has given me a deeper understanding of the uniqueness of each of Philadelphia’s Time after time, I have seen the huge impact that a focused and well-timed project grant can make to an artist.susan hagenfeatureVisual Artist, prior recipient and current Peer Panel member of the Fellowships in the Arts
citizens and the richness of the diverse subcultures around me. The process I use to create my sculptures is a traditional and very time-consuming process of hand woodcarving, which I love for its ability to capture details and the individuality of each of my subjects. Funding from the Independence Foundation has given me the ability to work with more people and explore the deeper ideas in this work, without undue consideration of its marketability. For this, I am extremely grateful.Through my work on the panel over the years, I have seen the positive eﬀects of Independence Fellowships on a large number of artists in the Philadelphia area. This type of funding (focused on projects) acts like a kind of lever, and helps artists achieve what would have been unreachable goals in their creative work. As a member of the panel, I have participated in the careful appraisal of each artists’ work and proposal. Though each person’s request for support in terms of their work, processes and goals are quite diﬀerent – and these include travel, tools, materials and training, as well as the luxury of more time in the studio – time after time, I have seen the huge impact that a focused and well-timed project grant can make to an artist. Many images of the strong, cohesive bodies of work from over the years come to mind. I still remember Judy Taylor’s wonderful series of photographs of lost mittens from the early years of the program. This work, funded by grants from the Independence Foundation, have over time added immeasurably to the life and culture of the City of Philadelphia. On behalf of a generation of Philadelphia artists, I am very grateful for the support of the Foundation, and to the enlightened stewardship of Judge Beck, Susan Sherman and the board. I am honored to have been a part of the process and to help with the advancement of the program in the future.Through my work on the panel over the years, I have seen the positive effects of Independence Fellowships on a large number of artists in the Philadelphia area. This type of funding (focused on projects) acts like a kind of lever, and helps artists achieve what would have been unreachable goals in their creative work.
Philadelphia has become well-known as a hotbed for innovation in theatrical performance. The Independence Foundation has long supported new play production at select area theatres. One of these, the Arden Theatre Company, and itsIndependence Foundation New Play Showcase, was featured in a November 10, 2008New York Times article entitled “In Philadelphia, Grants Give Voice to Theater” (Klein 2008). Terrence J. Nolen, the Arden’s Producing Artistic Director, noted that the Showcase not only helped generate a developmental pipeline for original plays, but also infused “a community around the creation of new work.” The Showcase came about when the Arden approached the Independence Foundation in 1999 for more operational support and the Foundation’s President & CEO, Susan Sherman, instead challenged them with, “Let’s talk about what you really want to do; what are you dreaming?” This question later became the impetus for the Foundation to delve further into what would be possible with a formalized program dedicated to developing new works for theatre.In the spring of 2009, the Independence Foundation began to explore what was being done around this topic throughout the country as well as here in Philadelphia. While the Philadelphia theatre scene shares similarities with other cities, there are also aspects unique to this region, especially around physical, multi-disciplinary and devised performance work. The Foundation understood that any program instituted would need to address these and not simply be for text-based, scripted plays. With this in mind, a broad group of local artistic directors and presenters from both large and small theatre companies and organizations was convened around the question, “If Independence Foundation were INITIATIVENEW THEATREWORKS INITIATIVEto create a program to fund new works for theatre, what would you like to see it include?”To help structure a program that would be advantageous to its participants, the Foundation looked to one of its own established initiatives, the Fellowships in the Arts for individual artists. The core reasoning is that fellowships designed by artists themselves will have the most signiﬁcant impact.In 2010, the Foundation, responding to the input from local theatre leaders, implemented a multi-year grant program that encompasses the wide-ranging techniques for the creation of new work.The Independence Foundation New Theatre Works Initiative (NTWI) is designed to encourage the development and production of new theatrical performance work in the Philadelphia region. Rather than limit its scope to a single form, genre or developmental structure, these grants accommodate the numerous creative styles and unique perspectives of theatre groups by allowing them to design their own process for developing new work.The NTWI provides two, 3-year grants each year to regional nonproﬁt theatre companies to support the creation of new artistic theatre performances. One grant per year is awarded at each of these funding levels:“Let’s talk about what you really want to do; what are you dreaming?”
NEW THEATREWORKS INITIATIVEV Small Theatre: $75,000/3 years (at $25,000 per year) to a theatre group with an annual operating budget between $250,000 and $1,000,000; andV Large Theatre: $150,000/3 years (at $50,000 per year) to a theatre group with an annual operating budget greater than $1,000,0000.One grant demonstrates a marriage of sorts between the NTWI and the Fellowships in the Arts. FringeArts used their initial NTWI grant to deepen their commitment to the artists they serve through their own Fellowship Program in the Live Arts Brewery (the LAB), a laboratory for research and development. The LAB oﬀered artists comprehensive assistance and structured guidance as they research, develop, create and test original performance works. The NTWI grant allowed for two production residencies each year for select LAB Fellows to move their work from the studio to in front of audiences, with full technical support, including lights, sound and sets. The ﬁrst year’s recipients, Geoﬀ Sobelle and Thaddeus Phillips, were former Independence Foundation Fellows who took the projects initially explored through the Foundation’s fellowships into further development through ten months in the LAB, to audience test shows through the LAB Production Residencies, to fully-produced, highly successful two-week runs at the Philadelphia Fringe Festival withThe Object Lesson andWhale Optics, respectively.The Object Lessonhas had a life outside of Philadelphia, playing in 2014 at BAM in New York and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where it took the top prize, the 2014 Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh award. It has continued playing from the Sydney and Perth Festivals in Australia to the Studio Theatre in Washington, DC in 2016, to the highly acclaimed run at New York Theatre Workshop in spring 2017. The ability to provide these residencies allowed FringeArts to build a conduit for new shows and give artists the opportunity for creative exploration. “We want our homegrown talent to get access to proper resources and development,” says FringeArts Founder, President & Producing Director, Nick Stuccio. “By getting live performance in front of an audience at an early stage, artists gain the opportunity to see what’s working and what’s not—but not necessarily how it relates to production. We are more interested in ﬁnding out whether the basic experimentation that has been going on in the studio translates to an audience.”For the Independence Foundation, the excitement of the NTWI lies in the diversity of the projects and the limitless possibilities for results. For the organizations, the NTWI grants, being separate from the general operating support the Foundation continues to provide, allow them the freedom to experiment with no predetermined expectations of the outcomes. Since 2010, $1,650,000 has been awarded to 12 local theatre companies through the NTWI.$1.65 millionhas been awarded to 12 local theatre companies through the new theatre works initiativeThe Object Lesson
INITIATIVENEW THEATRE WORKSarden theatre companyfeatureThe Arden’s relationship with the Independence Foundation began in 1995, shortly after we moved into our current home in Old City. The neighborhood was quite diﬀerent then, with only a handful of restaurants and many empty buildings awaiting future development. We were thrilled when Susan Sherman ﬁrst visited our new facility – even more when she was excited by the work that we were doing – and then horriﬁed to learn that her car window had been smashed outside of our building. With visions of a funder leaving the theatre, never to return, we profusely apologized and assumed the worst.But at that time, we didn’t know Susan Sherman. Of course she returned. And Susan, Judge Phyllis Beck and other members of the board have been returning to the Arden for over two decades since then, helping the Arden to become an anchor in the Old City neighborhood and in this cultural community. The Foundation asks a lot of questions – precise, probing ones. This was intimidating at ﬁrst and one couldn’t help but feel as if early meetings were cross-examinations determined to get past the hyperbole and spin and actually get to the essence of what was going on and what the next key steps might be. Indeed they were exactly that. They were determined to get to the heart of an issue, to truly understand the Arden’s needs and our aspirations for the future: What are you most passionate about doing next? Why? What does the community really need now? How?I’ve come to love these discussions. I am fortiﬁed by how much the Independence Foundation wants to make a diﬀerence serving the vision and passions of this community. I remain awed by their curiosity and insight, their constant desire to know what is happening in the community: Who are the new companies whose work they should know? What new artistic practices the foundation believes in people. they have continually recognized potential. Again and again, they invested in passion. They have played a leadership role in making Philadelphia a stronger and more vital place, and this cultural community and the many artists who call Philadelphia home owe them a world of thanks.by Terrence J. NolanProducing Artistic Director
are emerging – and why are artists coming together around these new ideas and ways of working?As I look at Independence Foundation over the more than two decades that I have worked with them, I am struck that they have continually sought to understand what was exciting to artists at that moment – what did they need now? And perhaps most importantly, what’s next? Long before innovation became a buzz word, through probing questions and true curiosity, the Foundation asked – or rather, demanded – that we be true to our convictions and identify and pursue what was truly most exciting for us and our organizations at that exact point in time, allowing us to look to the future with courage, excitement and conﬁdent of their support.As we settled into our new home in Old City, we began to look to how to further grow and develop the Arden’s artistic programming. Our mission is to bring to the stage great stories by great storytellers, and I had long wanted to have a comprehensive approach to fostering the development and production of new stories for the stage. We were often approached by playwrights who had exciting projects that they wanted to develop through readings or workshops, but we lacked the infrastructure and resources to do so. One such writer was Michael Ogborn, who had written a wildly ambitious new musical that told the story of the Lindbergh baby kidnapping and the media circus that ensued. Baby Case was thrilling, audacious, hugely compelling – and far too large for us to tackle. It also clearly needed signiﬁcant workshop time to clarify the narrative, ﬁne tune the point of view, explore vocal arrangements, and see how this extraordinary story and score could truly sing. I told Michael that I loved Baby Case and wanted to help him bring it to life, but that we just didn’t have the capacity and resources to do so.Jump to my next meeting with Susan Sherman, sometime in 1999, where she once again asked, “So what’s the next big step?” After what was probably a long pause, and emboldened by my deep passion for Michael Ogborn’s work, I explained that the Arden wanted to create a new program to develop and produce new plays and musicals for the American stage, adding, “But starting this is expensive and risky.” Again, the questions, as Susan drilled down to understand the why, what and how. After a long discussion, Susan suggested that we put in a proposal for this new program, but I wasn’t sure if it would actually happen or not; perhaps this was where she said that our dream was too risky, too expensive, too ambitious. Yet a few months later, I received a call from Susan to let me know that we had been awarded a three year grant to launch the Independence Foundation New Play Showcase, the Arden’s new development program in support of the creation of extraordinary new plays and musicals. Upon hearing this news, the ﬁrst call I made was to Michael Ogborn to tell him that we had received a gift to help make his dream a reality. We workshopped Baby Case over the next two years, working with a musical team, production staﬀ and 24 actors. We premiered Baby Case in 2002, the Arden’s ﬁrst-ever world premiere musical, and that musical is still considered one of the Arden’s signature productions. We later launched a commissioning program, to provide writers support while working on a new project. Further, with support from the New Theatre Works Initiative, we piloted a new playwright residency program called The Writer’s Room, working to provide exceptional writers an artistic home. We next expanded our work to include the New Musical Theatre Initiative, to focus more speciﬁcally on the creation of new musical theatre works. We are thrilled that our ﬁrst project developed under this initiative, TouchTones by Michael Hollinger and Robert Maggio, will be produced next season, our 30th anniversary season, and will be the Arden’s 43rd world premiere production.The Independence Foundation has helped foster important relationships as well, continually making introductions to other leaders, funders and potential stakeholders. One of the most valuable of these connections was with Dr. Andrea Mengel, who was an Independence Foundation Board member looking to be more engaged with Philadelphia’s cultural community. Susan suggested that Andy meet with us, and the connection was immediate – and deepened signiﬁcantly throughout the years. Andy was an important force on our Board of Directors, serving as Vice President of the Board and Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee through several strategic plans. In many ways, Andy set a standard for planning at the Arden; she, like Susan and Judge Beck before her, asked probing questions, challenged assumptions, provided additional perspective, and believed ﬁercely in this organization. She continued to champion our new play development programming and, working with the Independence Foundation, supported our facility campaigns and expansion: the Independence Foundation Studio and the Hamilton Family Arts Center’s Independence Foundation Lobby aretestamentsto her efforts to help the Arden to grow and thrive. Susan Sherman is a great matchmaker, and Andy Mengel and the Arden were a perfect match. We are honored that Andy served on the Arden Board of Directors for over 15 years. As we approach the Arden’s 30th Anniversary season, I am struck by how important Susan Sherman, Judge Phyllis Beck and the Independence Foundation Board of Directors and staﬀ have been in securing the Arden’s future. With their support, we played a pivotal role in the development of the Old City community – I can’t remember the last time that someone’s car was broken into. We have helped to establish Philadelphia as a vital and respected hub for the creation of new work for the American theatre, helping so many extraordinary writers create new plays and musicals that are produced both here and beyond. The abiding support of the Independence Foundation helped transform Philadelphia into a thriving and growing regional theatre town, home to exceptional artists, administrators and audiences. The Foundation believes in people. They have continually recognized potential.Again and again, they invested in passion. They have played a leadership role in making Philadelphia a stronger and more vital place, and this cultural community and the many artists who call Philadelphia home owe them a world of thanks. And we should, as a community and as individuals, follow the example they set: encouraging curiosity; asking tough questions; and having the courage to follow our convictions. In doing so, we will continue to make extraordinary things happen, and that is perhaps the best way to honor their work.
The health of a community can only be as strong as the well-being of its citizens. Over the past twenty years, the Philadelphia region has faced many challenges: the rise in homelessness; the lack of both aﬀordable and ADA compliant housing; a growing number of individuals and families living below the poverty line; a longer-lived aging population; and the need for access to aﬀordable and nutritious food. Continuingly changing demographics have contributed to increased demand for services, while local and federal funding for these programs has declined. Many community-based organizations ﬁll in the gaps left by city services and provide much needed outreach and support to the most disadvantaged. In keeping with our mission to support organizations that provide direct services to people who do not ordinarily have access to them, Independence Foundation’s current Human Services funding agenda focuses on programs that address the following areas: • adequate food and food distribution• aﬀordable housing and access to shelter by homeless persons• services which support independence for people living with disabilities Independence Foundation supports programs that empower less advantaged residents of the Philadelphia area to achieve self-suﬃciency by providing these most basic of needs. In addition, over the past two decades, we have funded worthwhile programs focused on services for the isolated and frail elderly; disadvantaged children and their families, including women and children aﬀected by domestic violence; women’s reproductive health issues; individuals suﬀering from chronic illness and their caregivers; and scholarships/internships and career training programs for some of the region’s underprivileged youth.Since 1996, close to $21,000,000 has been granted to community-based organizations through our Human Services funding stream.$21 millionhas been awarded since 1996 to community-baseD organizations
HEALTHfeatureIn 1998 the Independence Foundation saw the value of a young organization’s mission and, after doing their investigation, had the faith to support Canine Partners for Life. This began a long and exciting relationship! I remember when representatives from the Foundation ﬁrst visited CPL. We hadn’t been able to garner much foundation support at that time, so to have a foundation visit was incredibly exciting and educational. Their interest and connection to the work that we did, and their willingness to help the people that we serve, built our conﬁdence as an organization. For the past nineteen years the support provided by the Independence Foundation has gone far above and beyond the actual dollars donated to the organization. The educational opportunities provided by the Foundation to encourage grantees to grow and improve, the staﬀ support (whenever you call and have a question someone is there to help), and the open door policy of the foundation’s staﬀ to meet with and speak to the grantees who may need guidance has been tremendous. CPL staﬀ, volunteers and board members have all taken advantage of the many and varied educational opportunities (all free of charge!). No other foundation has provided these opportunities and they have allowed CPL to develop and grow into one of the leading assistance dog providers in the world. The Independence Foundation and Canine Partners for Life - Bringing Independence to the Lives of Individuals Who Live with Disabilities – Together!canine partners for lifeby Darlene Sullivan Executive Director/ FounderAND HUMANSERVICESThomas & Beck
We have been blessed to receive feedback from the foundation in both of our feasibility studies, and Susan was quick to meet with us when we were brainstorming how to have our organization and capital campaign become more visible within Philadelphia and the surrounding areas. The foundation even hosted a “get to know CPL” reception to introduce our mission to the Philadelphia community!We’ve been honored to have the Independence Foundation name a number of our puppies over the years. Those pups have gone on to do great things. Teddy was placed with a woman named Rebecca and provided assistance and companionship to her for many years. Rebecca had Spina Biﬁda and utilized a power wheelchair. Teddy assisted her by retrieving items, opening/closing doors, paying cashiers, and much more. Susan (named in Susan’s honor) excelled in health, behavior, and temperament and went on to become one of our breeder dogs. Thus far Susan (the four legged) has had two litters of puppies. The ﬁrst litter had seven pups – ﬁve became service dogs and two also became breeder dogs (a sign of excellence). The second litter had six pups and they are currently still in their ﬁrst year of training. Andi went on to become a Home Companion Dog to a young boy with Autism and was featured in CPL’s promotional video (see at www.k94life.org), Genie became a residential companion living in an assisted living facility, and Beck went on to live a long life with a young man with Asperger’s Syndrome as a Home Companion Dog. And these are only the dogs that the Foundation has named. The Foundation’s support has made it possible for literally hundreds of dogs to bring independence into the lives of their human partners! Independence isn’t just a part of this foundation’s name. They value the necessity for individuals who have disabilities to feel, experience, and live independence in their daily lives and through their gifts to CPL they have made that possible for some truly amazing, determined, and grateful graduates of our program. Rebecca & Teddy Charles & AndiSusan’s puppiesGenie: A residential companion
SERVICEShealth & HUmanproject home featureIt would be easy to state that The Independence Foundation has been a leading philanthropic organization in the Philadelphia area, and no doubt the list of its accomplishments would be impressive. But the Foundation is so much more, and its real impact is far deeper – as we at Project HOME can enthusiastically attest.For the past twenty years, President Susan Sherman, Board Chair Judge Phyllis Beck, and the entire Board of Directors of Independence Foundation have demonstrated truly visionary leadership. Together, they developed a collegial model of shared leadership, and they were persistent in fostering relationships, collaboration, and strategic connections between organizations and between social issues. The Independence Foundation was among Project HOME’s earliest supporters. In a very personal way, the Foundation came to understand and embrace our mission. Like us, they were able to see beyond the prevailing public sentiment that homelessness was an intractable urban problem that at best could be managed and policed. By building strong relationships with us and truly attending to what we were trying to They have played a critical role in some of the most amazing cutting-edge and front-line efforts to combat some of our toughest social issues by seeing the interconnect-edness of those issues, and working strate-gically and comprehensive-ly to address them.by Sister Mary Scullion Executive Director
do (including getting to know many of our formerly homeless residents), they captured the vision that not only were solutions to homelessness possible, but what was at stake in this societal crisis were many interconnected aspects of fundamental community well-being – health care, housing, education, economic opportunity – as well as even deeper issues of human dignity. They aﬃrmed and even strengthened our growing conviction that in addressing homelessness, we were in fact enhancing the overall strength and quality of life for our entire city. This shared conviction and a common commitment to core values led to a long-term partnership that was marked by truly visionary leadership and strategic investments. Beginning in 1994, the Independence Foundation provided critical capital and operational support in a range of areas of Project HOME’s mission, all of which were vital in expanding our work and deepening our eﬀectiveness. The speciﬁc grants were all tremendously important, including the support that led to the opening of our Rowan Homes that empowered 42 homeless families to attain permanent, supportive housing and connections to education, health care, and employment opportunities. Several years later, understanding the connection between housing and healthcare, Independence Foundation played a leadership role in our development of the Stephen Klein Wellness Center in north central Philadelphia. Their investment in the Center’s infrastructure and staﬃng enabled us to expand health care to Project HOME residents and community members in the 19121 ZIP code – the second poorest in Philadelphia. Most recently, the Independence Foundation made a generous capital gift that helped in the building of 94 units of permanent housing in Chinatown at our Francis House of Peace.In addition to speciﬁc major gifts, the Foundation has been a deeply engaged partner who time and time again responded to speciﬁc urgent needs, often diﬃcult to fund. Whether it was a new van for our residents in recovery; a vehicle for street outreach; gifts for the holidays; support for individuals and families who experienced violence; special investments for educational internships, GED classes, and after school programs; or countless unrestricted gifts that helped us meet ongoing operations, the Independence Foundation continually acted with a ﬁrm grasp on the comprehensive nature of our mission and a constant willingness to make sure that all the interrelated aspects of our work were able to succeed.We at Project HOME are overwhelmingly grateful for the total investment of over $2 million by the Independence Foundation since 1994. But even more important than the dollar amount is the amazing leadership of Susan and Judge Beck, rooted in their deep personal conviction and compassion. They have literally deepened and enriched our work in innumerable ways. Independence Foundation has been instrumental in transforming countless lives, strengthening families, and turning around struggling neighborhoods. But they have also fundamentally changed the ethos of this city. Without their vision and leadership, the City of Philadelphia would not have one of the lowest rates of homelessness in the nation. Without their invaluable friendship and partnership, Project HOME would not have succeeded nearly as well. And without their hard work and perseverance over two decades, our City and region would not manifest the spirit of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Aﬀection as richly as it does today.
Beginning in 1996, Independence Foundation formalized its initiative of supporting nonproﬁt public interest legal organizations in the Philadelphia region. This initiative has allowed these groups to continue to address civic legal issues confronting people from diverse populations, including immigrants, the indigent, the elderly, the disabled, the ill and the homeless, as well as people living with HIV/AIDS.In 2000, the Foundation began awarding multi-year general operating grants to select legal aid organizations. These grants provide core operational support for administrative capacity and the direct service programs of those agencies that deliver critical legal services.The Foundation believes that those on the front lines of important issues can best decide where and how to inﬂuence change, whether it is an issue for a system or one person. The Foundation continues to admire and respect the dedicated work of all public interest attorneys, who are motivated by a calling to help others, not billable hours. This appreciation led the Foundation to create the Public Interest Law Fellowships, to encourage young attorneys just starting out to pursue careers in the public interest, and the Senior Attorney Sabbaticals, to reward long-term public interest lawyers with the opportunity to have time away from this challenging work.Over the past twenty years through these three initiatives, Independence Foundation has provided over $22.5 million in support of public interest legal services.$22.5 millionhas been awarded to support public interest legal services
LEGAL AIDwomen’s law projectfeatureThe Independence Foundation, under the leadership of Judge Phyllis Beck and Susan Sherman, has changed the face of public interest legal organizations in Philadelphia. Early on, the Foundation’s board recognized the need to develop a cadre of public interest lawyers at a time when student debt was out of control, loan forgiveness was not on the table, and budget cutbacks for legal services were in full swing. They created the Independence Foundation Public Interest Law Fellowships. Beyond the extraordinary help these talented young lawyers have provided for the individual organizations and clients, a community was fostered among them by the Independence Foundation that helped improve knowledge and relationships among the many organizations that recieved fellowships. The best part is that so many of them have stayed in Philadelphia legal services. David Cohen was an Independence Fellow with Women’s Law Project from 2001-2003. We were able to hire him for three years. He has gone on to become a full professor at Drexel University’s Kline School of Law and teaches about some of the cases he worked The Independence Foundation does not impose its ideas on grantees, it does not make grantees jump through unrealistic hoops; instead, it fundamentally trusts us to do our work.by Carol Tracy Executive Director
on with us. He has continued to co-counsel cases with us and this year he is back working with us during his sabbatical year! But that is not all. Independence Foundation knows their grantees. They carefully select grantees and then trust us to do the work we ask them to fund. They know that we have ongoing needs but also have to respond to emerging threats so they provide us with general operating grants. But that is not all. They have recognized the limited opportunities we have for professional development and have organized a broad range of programs to expand our organizational capacities. But that is not all. They recently organized a leadership transition group and invited participants from arts and culture grantees to public interest grantees. I was lucky enough to be in the ﬁrst cohort. Interacting with like-minded people with entirely diﬀerent skills and talents set my brain on ﬁre. The Independence Foundation is unique. As an entity it has gone to great lengths to understand the community it lives in; it has carefully and thoughtfully selected organizations to fund; it has increased the capacity of its grantees through fellowships and professional development opportunities; it has brought like-minded people with diﬀerent backgrounds, talents and skills together. The Independence Foundation does not impose its ideas on grantees, it does not make grantees jump through unrealistic hoops; instead, it fundamentally trusts us to do our work. Phyllis and Susan are a formidable duo: they have bold vision, understand genuine engagement, and last but not least, know how to throw a great party!
INITIATIVEPUBLICINTERESTlawFellowshipsThe centerpiece of this commitment has been the Independence Foundation Public Interest Law Fellowships program. Created in 1996, the fellowship program is the only regionally concentrated program of its kind. It has had a direct impact on the lives of thousands of people who would otherwise have been unable to secure access to the justice system. Moreover, the legal services and public interest law community in the Philadelphia region received an infusion of new energy and new ideas from these young lawyers at a time when cutbacks in governmental funding had thinned the professional ranks at many legal services organizations. Since the creation of this program, Fellows have been actively involved in many areas, including working to protect the rights of immigrants, low income women, migrant farmworkers, the disabled, those suﬀering from HIV/AIDS, abused and neglected children, homeless veterans, and senior citizens, as well as working to improve the legal systems that impact low income and disadvantaged people, while educating members of these communities so they can better protect themselves against infringements on their legal rights. Through these fellowships, the Foundation funds the compensation and cost of employment beneﬁts for talented young lawyers who have dedicated themselves to service in the public interest. In addition, each fellowship grant includes assistance for the repayment of their often substantial educational loans. Through these fellowships, the Foundation enables some of the best and brightest law school graduates to come to the Philadelphia area and obtain employment with organizations based in this region that provide free legal services for those who would otherwise ﬁnd themselves without recourse. As part of the application process, each potential fellow develops a public interest law project he or she would pursue if granted a fellowship. The project must be well-developed with deﬁned goals, and aim at meeting a proven need for service in the target client community. The Foundation requires that the focus of all Fellowship work be on the direct representation of disadvantaged clients. Although the Foundation recognizes the value of broad based policy development, the Foundation is more interested in supporting direct legal services for those who cannot otherwise obtain the professional assistance they need to navigate the complicated judicial and administrative systems that aﬀect their lives on a daily basis. Each Fellow must also secure the sponsorship of a public interest law or legal services organization For two decades, Independence Foundation has been committed to supporting free legal services for poor and disadvantaged residents of the Philadelphia region.
60% PERCENT OF ALL FELLOWS CONTINUE TO PRACTICE EXCLUSIVELY IN PUBLIC INTEREST LAW, MANY OF THEM CONTINUING TO SERVE IN THE PHILADELPHIA REGION. based in the Philadelphia region that will employ the Fellow for the term of the Fellowship, which is usually two years. Sponsors make a real commitment to the training and supervision of the Fellow and to the Fellow’s project. This requirement seeks to insure that young lawyers emerge from program well prepared with the skills they will need no matter what form of legal service they choose to provide in the future.The impact of the Fellowship program continues long after each Fellowship ends. Approximately sixty percent of all Fellows continue to practice exclusively in public interest law, many of them continuing to serve in the Philadelphia region. Of those who move into other arenas, most continue to be deeply involved in pro bono work and bar association sponsored public interest activities. The ongoing commitment of these former Fellows is the legacy of the program, as is the mark they have made on the lives of those they have served. Since 1996, Independence Foundation has invested over $7.6 million in this program.$7.6 millionHAS BEEN AWARDED TO PUBLIC INTEREST LAW FELLOWSthe fellowship program is the only regionally concentrated program of its kind. It has had a direct impact on the lives of thousands of people who would otherwise have been unable to secure access to the justice system.
FELLOWSHIPSpublic interest lawfriends of farmworkersfeatureThe Independence Foundation – especially its leaders Susan Sherman and Judge Phyllis Beck – has played a fundamental role in the development of my career as a public interest lawyer in Philadelphia. I know that I owe much of my success over the years to them. I went to law school in 2001 with a public interest career in mind. I was in awe of the amazing public interest legal community in Philadelphia. I knew I wanted to be a part of the work of this community, but I also knew that the jobs were limited and highly competitive. If I were to succeed, I would be one of the lucky ones. During my last year of law school, I was selected by HIAS as their candidate for a Public Interest Law Fellowship with the Independence Foundation. The fellowship process was stressful and intimidating. As I prepared for the interview for the Independence Foundation fellowship, everyone told me that I needed to be ready to answer tough questions from the board. I did not know any of them at the time, but I understood that if they didn’t like my answers to their tough questions then I would not get the fellowship. No pressure. They challenged me to raise money in new and different ways, and they supported me with their special version of tough love when I had to make difFIcult management decisions. by Meredith Rapkin Executive Director
I was nervous at the interview, and they did indeed ask tough questions. I did my best to recite my practiced responses, but it was a challenging experience – and I was stronger for having gone through it. Happily, I was awarded a two year legal fellowship at HIAS in the 2004 class of fellows. I was thrilled and honored to be selected for the fellowship but I was totally unaware that it was the beginning of what has grown to be more than a decade of support from the Independence Foundation. When I was selected as the new Executive Director of Friends of Farmworkers in 2011, my relationship with IF took on new meaning. I am one of the few Independence Foundation Public Interest Law Fellows who has become the Executive Director of one of the legal aid organizations supported by the Foundation. Where they once supported me as a new lawyer, they were now supporting me as a leader, and also supporting the organization I lead. They challenged me to raise money in new and diﬀerent ways, and they supported me with their special version of tough love when I had to make diﬃcult management decisions. Several of our fellowship candidates were selected for fellowships, playing a critical role in the ongoing health and the growth of Friends of Farmworkers over the last ﬁve years. They have also continued to push me to move beyond my comfort zone so that I continue to grow and develop as a lawyer and as a leader in this community, urging me to continue to focus on professional development opportunities even when my schedule feels full. I had the honor of being selected as a member of the pilot group of IF’s new Leadership Cohort Conversations about Change where I had the opportunity to work through various organizational challenges with leaders from a variety of industries in Philadelphia. It was a rare and valuable opportunity for me.The Independence Foundation has also had a less obvious impact on me. They continue to assemble a remarkable group of leaders in both staﬀ and board positions. I have no idea how they do this so consistently, but they maintain a rotating group of hardworking, thoughtful and inspirational people working with and for IF. I have been personally and professionally inspired by so many of the people in the IF family. Many of them have inﬂuenced my personal approach to the law and justice. In the early days of my relationship with the Independence Foundation, both Susan Sherman and Judge Beck scared me to death. I was a law student trying to follow my dreams. They were smart, tough women who did not mince words. They were serious and accomplished. They held the key to my success and I was not sure I would be able to meet their expectations. Thirteen years later, I am happy to say that my relationship with them, and with IF has been one of the most important of my career. The fear I once held has been replaced by respect, admiration and gratitude for these amazing, kind, and powerful women. Thank you, Independence Foundation, for investing your energies in me, HIAS, Friends of Farmworkers and all the immigrant communities we represent. You are an inspiration to many, and through your wise leadership and strategic choices, you have signiﬁcantly advanced the cause of justice in Philadelphia and far beyond.Thank you, Independence Foundation, for investing your energies in me, HIAS, Friends of Farmworkers and all the immigrant communities we represenT.
INITIATIVESenior Attorney SabbaticalsIndependence Foundation believes that senior attorneys in the public interest law sector, and indirectly their clients, would beneﬁt from the opportunity for a hiatus from this demanding work. To that end, in 2008, the Foundation created a two month sabbatical fellowship for senior attorneys with over ten years in the sector.An applicant must be a senior lawyer from a public interest law organization in the ﬁve-county Philadelphia region that is a current or former Independence Foundation grantee. Applicants should have spent a minimum of ten years of full-time consecutive service in the public interest law sector and have taken no other sabbatical within the previous ﬁve years. Applicants must commit to a minimum of two years working in the sector following the sabbatical.The duration of each sabbatical will be two months and may be used for travel, study, connection to peer organizations, or other purposes as described by the applicant. The fellowship will provide a maximum of $20,000 inclusive of salary reimbursement and associated travel (capped at $10,000). The organization sponsoring an applicant is required to provide health care coverage andall other normal beneﬁts during the sabbatical.Attorneys with 10 years in the public interest sector benet from a sabbatical.
$200kHAS BEEN AWARDED IN SUPPORT OF 10 SENIOR ATTORNEY SABBATICALS SINCE 2008Karen C. Buck, Senior Attorney Sabbatical, New ZealandForty thousand miles, four countries and seven meetings with leaders in law, government and aging. In winter 2016, I had the extraordinary opportunity to learn and share best practices in access to justice and elder justice in far corners of the world: Iceland, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
sabbaticalssenior attorneyregional housing legal servicesfeatureThe Independence Foundation (the “Foundation”) has provided unmatched leadership and support to our communities. I have had the privilege of working with the Foundation’s leadership, speciﬁcally Susan Sherman and Judge Beck, over the past two decades in multiple ways. I have worked with the Foundation leadership as Board Chair for the Pennsylvania Health Law Project; as counsel for Project HOME; and, as Executive Director of Regional Housing Legal Services (“RHLS”). PENNSYLVANIA HEALTH LAW PROJECT The Independence Foundation was the ﬁrst foundation to provide grant support to the Pennsylvania Health Law Project when it was created twenty years ago. As the Board Chair, I saw that the Foundation’s support provided critically-needed seed funding and also legitimized the organization and led the way for other supporters to make meaningful gifts. the Foundation’s support provided critically-needed seed funding and also legitimized the organization and led the way for other supporters to make meaningful gifts.by Mark Schwartz Executive DirectorA hopeful family opening a door to their brand new home.
Project H.O.M.E.Project HOMERHLS has represented Project HOME for over twenty-ﬁve years. During this time, the Independence Foundation provided support to founders Sister Mary Scullion and Joan McConnon that helped to grow a grassroots program into a nationally recognized organization that will make Philadelphia one of the ﬁrst major cities to eﬀectively end street homelessness. With the Foundation’s support, Project HOME has grown the ability to harness signiﬁcant amounts of private support, securing this vital organization’s long-term viability. Regional Housing Legal ServicesRHLS has beneﬁtted from the Foundation’s support through generous grants and through participation in both the Public Interest Law Fellowships and Senior Attorney Sabbaticals. The Foundation has played a visionary role with the creation of both of these programs.The Public Interest Law Fellowships have helped to repopulate the legal services sector in Philadelphia with young, bright attorneys, many of whom have continued their careers in legal services. For those who have moved on, most have stayed connected to the public interest sector. I personally participated in the Foundation’s Senior Attorney Sabbatical program in the summer of 2016. In addition to a needed opportunity to “chill out,” the sabbatical gave my staﬀ the opportunity to demonstrate that they were able to lead the organization in my absence. Most importantly, the sabbatical provided the opportunity for me to apply to be General Manager of the Philadelphia Phillies. Unfortunately, I was not successful in this endeavor, but was able to return to RHLS with a renewed energy. The Independence Foundation has provided integral leadership in Philadelphia in many sectors. RHLS is so grateful for their continued support and we look forward to seeing the amazing work the Foundation will do in the coming years.
nurse- managedhealtH care
WWWWW$28,300,000 $28,300,000 from 1996 through 2016. These grants were used to support nurse-managed health clinics or programs to care for the underserved or for innovative nursing education programs.$500,000 $500,000 between 2002 and 2006. This money was spent by the Independence Foundation to purchase (1) an electronic practice management and medical record software system and (2) the related hardware and connectivity services to operate the system in seven Independence Foundation funded nurse-managed health centers. 1980-1993$12.9 MIION $12.9 million from the early 1980s through 1993. A total of $3,900,000 was awarded for scholarship endowments to schools of nursing and a total of $9 million was awarded to establish Independence Foundation Chairs of Nursing in nine academic health-center based schools of nursing. (Case Western Reserve University, Emory University, Johns Hopkins University, New York University, Rush University, University of Rochester, University of Pennsylvania, Vanderbilt University, and Yale University.)1993-1995 $4.2 MIION$4.2 million between 1993 and 1995. This funding was for student scholarship aid and the establishment of Independence Foundation Chairs in community nursing in four Philadelphia area schools: University of Pennsylvania, LaSalle University, Community College of Philadelphia, and Temple University.1996-2016$46,614,005 Since the early 1980s, approximately $46,614,005 has been awarded for chairs in nursing, student scholarship endowments, grants to support nurse-managed health centers and related infrastructure, and innovative nursing education programs. Since the early 1990’s, the Independence Foundation provided funding to a number of nurse-managed health care centers and programs that provided comprehensive primary health care and health promotion services to underserved populations through its Nurse-Managed Health Care Initiative. From 1996 through 2014, Independence Foundation awarded over $26.5 million in support of nurse-managed health centers (NMHCs), scholarship and intern programs, and a membership organization of nurse-managed health centers. In addition, the Foundation funded $500,000 for the purchase of an electronic practice management and software system for use in the centers. This initiative provided general operating support for nurse-managed health centers that oﬀered primary care, family planning, and community-based health promotion services; programs and projects that support the nurse-managed centers in meeting their sustainability challenges, such as the Regional (later National) Nursing Centers’ Consortium and the data infrastructure project; and an internship program to prepare minority nurses for research and community health nursing leadership positions. Support from the Independence Foundation was particularly critical to these centers as they worked towards obtaining designation as a Federally Qualiﬁed Health Center (FQHC) or FQHC look-alike, either of which would entitle them to a higher level of cost-based reimbursement. Also important for the centers was the work of the Regional/National Nursing Centers’ Consortium in educating the public and policy makers about nurse-managed centers and advocating for health policy changes regarding credentialing, prescription privileges, and favorable reimbursement practices.
INITIATIVENURSE- MANAGED HEATH CARE INITIATIVEEstablished in 1996, the Regional Nursing Centers’ Consortium has grown dramatically from its founding membership of 11 local centers, to a membership of over 200 centers nationally and internationally, and from a staﬀ of two to a staﬀ of over 20 full-time employees. With organizational growth and expansion outside of the Philadelphia region, the RNCC changed its name to the National Nursing Centers’ Consortium and became an aﬃliate of the Philadelphia Health Management Corporation in 2002. By 2005, the NNCC had successfully expanded its funding base from one primary funder—the Independence Foundation—to multiple sources of funding.Independence Foundation recognized that access to data aggregated across nursing centers was critical to the NNCC for demonstrating the impact of the nursing centers, for serving as a catalyst for health care policy changes, for obtaining multi-source funding for centers, and for monitoring the quality of health care across nurse-managed centers. From 1995 through 2000, the Foundation made a series of grants to establish a central repository for the NMHCs and to develop a data collection system that would be used by all the Independence Foundation funded centers that provided primary care. In 2001, recognizing the centers’ need for a software system that would facilitate practice management, including scheduling appointments and billing, and allow for the capture of primary care health data, the Foundation’s Board of Directors committed $500,000 for the purchase of an electronic practice management and medical record software system and the required connectivity and hardware for its implementation. This was at least two years before Electronic Health Records (EHR) were designated a federal priority. Implementation of the system in seven Independence Foundation funded nurse-managed centers began in January 2003. Use of the electronic health record facilitated the centers’ participation in the Pennsylvania Chronic Care Model program by enabling them to document the achievement of health outcomes, which entitled them to supplemental third party reimbursement for clients with speciﬁc chronic illnesses. From 1996 through 2009, Independence Foundation made annual grants to Community College of Philadelphia (CCP) in support of the Independence Foundation Nursing Interns program. Designed to improve minority THE Foundation belIEVES that high quality, comprehensive primary care results in better health, improved quality of life AND A reduction in health disparities
DNURSE- MANAGED HEATH CARE INITIATIVEnurses’ access to research centers, this program was oﬀered competitively to three CCP students who were dually enrolled in the bachelors nursing program at Jeﬀerson or Drexel universities, taking additional courses to accelerate their progress through a bachelors program, upon graduation from CCP. In return for partial tuition support and a stipend, interns assisted faculty in development and evaluation of community-based programs for underserved populations. At the conclusion of the program, 35 CCP students had participated. The program ended in 2008 when National Institutes of Health support for programs to attract undergraduate minority health professional students into research was no longer available.In addition to its ongoing work to promote the growth and recognition of nurse-managed health centers, the NNCC worked strategically to ensure that advanced practice nurses were included in the Prescription for Pennsylvania (of which the Chronic Care Model was a component), to obtain formal recognition for nurse-managed health centers in the Aﬀordable Care Act, to secure a source a federal funding for NMHCs, and to monitor progress nationally in the number of managed care organizations’ that credential nurse practitioners. During the 2006 through 2013 period, Independence Foundation grants to the NMHCs ﬁlled funding gaps that existed while newly designated FQHC nurse-managed centers awaited the beginning of cost-based reimbursement and expanded their infrastructure to accommodate more patients or introduce new services, such as dental care. As both the NNCC and the NMHCs grew more successful in securing additional sources of funding, the percentage of their overall revenues contributed by Independence Foundation dramatically decreased. In 2015, Independence Foundation restructured this funding stream into its current Health Care Initiative. In keeping with the Foundation’s belief that high quality, comprehensive primary care and related services result in better health, improved quality of life, reduction in health disparities, and lower costs to the health care system, the Foundation supports programs that improve accessibility to these services. In addition, the Foundation is committed to improving the health care of older adults, who represent the fastest growing segment of the population and account for a disproportionate share of overall health care costs, through educational preparation of the nursing workforce and innovative clinical and community health programs. La Comunidad Hispaña
HEALTH CARENURSE-MANAGEDfamily practice & counseling networkfeatureI could simply say that we have been funded by the Independence Foundation for wonderful projects since 1994 and that those projects included renovation of a new health center, building of a playground, expanding a health center, care management, a social worker and even a quality care nurse. But to say only that leaves out the marvelous story of the beginning of our relationship with the Foundation. So our story goes like this. Our ﬁrst health center opened in July 1992. In order to staﬀ the center with experienced Nurse Practitioners (NPs), we contracted with the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. This resulted in three NPs for our new practice. One day I received a call from the School asking if we would host a visit from the School’s Board of Overseers and would we pick them up and return them to the University. For one thing, I had no idea what a Board of Overseers was and secondly, I was a bit put out by having to transport the board to and from the center as our van was intended to support patients. I wondered why they could not simply take a taxi. But I was not someone to turn down a request from my alma mater, so oﬀ the van went to pick up three women who were strangers to me.And, that was the beginning of our long relationship with the Independence Foundation. That was our second health center and today it is probably responsible for an additional 3,000 patients we treat at our now combined East Falls site.by Donna L. Torrisi, MSN, CRNP, FAAN, Executive Vice President
HEALTH CAREAs it turned out, the three women who comprised the Board of Overseers were quite impressed with our little clinic and the work we were doing. Since I was smiling inside taking great pride in their praise, I noted that I liked these Board Women. Two weeks passed during which time I was searching for funds to renovate our second center. Though I had never heard of the Independence Foundation and had no idea that any of them had a big connection to someplace very important, I wrote each of them a very short note. I can almost remember exactly what I said, “Thank you for visiting us, I am so pleased that you came and liked what you saw and by the way, I am looking for $180,000 to renovate our second center, in the event that you have any thoughts about resources.” Another two weeks passed and I received a call from one of the Board Women. Her name was Phyllis Beck. I later learned that she was a very important person and a Superior Court Judge in the state. I am fairly certain I remember her exact words: “Oh Donna, I just called to tell you that I have the money you are looking for”. “What money?”, I asked. “The $180,000”, she replied. “How can that be?”, I asked. “I am on the board of the Independence Foundation and our board met and decided to give you the money”. “How can that be?”, I retorted, “Don’t you need me to write a grant?” “We used your letter as the grant”, said the Judge. And, to this day, 23 years later, that was by far the easiest grant I have ever written. And, that was the beginning of our long relationship with the Independence Foundation. That was our second health center and today it is probably responsible for an additional 3,000 patients we treat at our now combined East Falls site. Aside from our federal grant, there is no one or no foundation that has remained in our corner with such longevity, funding us every year. Needless to say, we are immensely grateful to the Independence Foundation for continuing to believe in us and the work we do.In July of 2017, we celebrated our 25th Anniversary on the grounds of the Abbottsford Community where we were born. On that occasion, we also celebrated Susan Sherman for her amazing support through time. The Independence Foundation will forever be a cornerstone of the Family Practice & Counseling Network.
INITIATIVEcapacitybuildinginitiativesSince 1997, Independence Foundation has enhanced its grantmaking with creative initiatives to support grantees. These initiatives are built upon adult learning principles; people learn best when the topic is relevant and there is a need to know; and, adults learn best through peer interaction.The ﬁrst of these initiatives was created for grantees in the Nurse-Managed Health Care Initiative. Called “Conversations with…”, these sessions gathered principals from approximately 50-60 nurse-managed health centers several times a year to hear relevant regional and national leaders speak about timely topics. Each “Conversation” was a one hour presentation of a personal story with lessons learned by the invited peer leader, followed by a one hour group dialogue covering careers, experiences in leadership and pragmatic approaches to leadership issues. Speakers were distinguished, locally and nationally, in the areas of nursing, law, and health and human services, and included judges, cabinet oﬃcials, foundation CEOs, community health leaders, deans, politicians and policy makers. Through 2005, Independence Foundation, in partnership with the National Nursing Centers Consortium, hosted more than three dozen “Conversations with…” events, each enhanced by a welcoming atmosphere and good food, honoring the eﬀorts these grantees are making at the front line of change.From 2001 - 2016, the Foundation dedicated staﬀ to facilitate peer led workshops and provide other direct support to grantees. At the core of this eﬀort were sessions which utilized skilled grantees to lead discussions with their peers about experiences and strategies in informal, conversational gatherings. Topics have included fundraising, board development, professional development, publicity and public relations, and organizational management. In addition to the larger workshops, the Foundation hosted smaller brown-bag lunches for open discussion of nonproﬁt issues. Grantee feedback about the Foundation’s capacity-building eﬀorts emphasized that the workshops and brown-bags have provided:• An important opportunity to network, connect, and share ideas with other nonproﬁt organizations.• A supportive and open environment that engenders a sense of community among participants.• New information and ideas that have led to implementation of changes in practices and techniques at both the organizational and board levels.In 2016, the Foundation began its latest capacity-building initiative, the Conversations About ChangeLeadership Cohort. The dynamic, cross-sector cohort is comprised of three key members from each of nine grantee organizations who are investigating mission-driven change. The group is convened monthly, over the course of the calendar year, to explore the opportunities and challenges around transformation for each cohort organization. This Leadership Cohort addresses fundamental questions that will help to propel participants toward strategic alterations that lead to transformation.The foundation is very courteous and responsive, and accommodating to any needs that may arise in the process.
In 2016, Independence Foundation commissioned Wolf Brown to do an organizational 360. Here’s some of what people are saying:THE FOUNDATION’S WORKSHOPS HAVE been great learning and networking OPPORTUNITIESextremelyaccessibleTHE STAFF ISThey want the artist to realize his or her goals and are not interested in interfering or imposing an agenda in the processThey excel AT connecting nonproﬁts or initiatives that can collaborate togetherThe peer led workshops are an amazing resource to the community Wish all funders would be like them!INDEPENDENCE FOUNDATION is one of the most helpful FOUNDATIONS IN THE CITY I can’t stress how much of a boon the Arts Fellowships are to emerging artistsMy personal interaction with Independence Foundation has been wonderfulvery supportive OF PHILADELPHIA AREA ARTISTSIt is a great process and excellent communicationsAbsolutely direct and forthright about strategies and processesThe Foundation’s regular convening of grantees is unparalleled and incredibly helpful for granteesThey work continually to make their processes more ecient and their communications clearerWe are very grateful for the openness of the Foundation particularly during a period of signiﬁcant transition for our organization Foundation has a broad understanding of what is going on in the local community
2016 givinggrants paid by program area in most recently completed grant year$117,200$20,000$994,000Jacqueline Goldﬁnger PlaywrightCesar ViverosPainterArts FellowshipsSENIOR AORNEY SAATICALSARTS & CULTUREPig IronTheatreCompanyFringeArts
$892,098$352,380$520,500$505,000Congreso de Latinos Unidoshealth care initiativeLAW fellowshipshuman serviceslegal aidFamily Practice and Counseling NetworkBethesdaProjectNationalities Service Center Of PhiladelphiaSeniorLawCenterThe FoodTrust$3,401,178TOTAL
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