Building Blocks for Organizational Power – State of the Fund

The St. Joseph Community Partnership Fund (Fund) is Providence’s grantmaking foundation, working to create scalable impact in the communities in which we live. Capacity building is our work’s center and the building block for organizational power. We work hard to carry forth direct community and social impact. For example, at last week’s “Celebrating Community Power” event in Costa Mesa, California, we gathered with community partners, Providence executives, and local leaders to share our successes and understand how to better invest in our partners’ communities.

We had the opportunity to share with attendees from Alaska, California, Oregon, Montana, and Washington, the continued success of disaster response and resilience work, the launch of our education initiative, and the expansion of grant opportunities for community power building. None of which would be possible without the efforts of our partners and their passion, kindness, and desire to help others. At the event, we also reviewed our new goals and objectives for the future, including the Fund’s new focus areas. We believe by refining our focus to the following four (4) areas, we can make the most impact. Our initiatives will focus on:

  • Disaster Response and Resilience
  • Lifelong Education That Opens Doors
  • Positive Change Through Community Power
  • Community Healing and Resilience

Called to Serve

Although our focus is refined, the work is not new. Disaster response and resilience are core to the Fund. In fact, in the aftermath of the Mexico City Earthquake in 1985, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange were called to serve their dear neighbors. This is the legacy of care without distinction of which the Fund was modeled, and we continue that legacy today. When the earthquakes devastated Turkey and Syria in February, we quickly focused our Disaster Response and Resilience work in that region. As a result, we provided $100,000 each to Catholic Relief Services and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy for immediate aid efforts. Since then, the Fund announced a dollar-to-dollar match for individual donations from Providence caregivers. With continued support through grant partnerships like this, we ensure the continuity of care while the communities rebuild and revitalize.

The Sisters understood from their early beginnings that for communities to be healthy, they need healthy systems and structures. Our Education Initiative is one example of this. In January, the 13 community-based organizations (CBOs) that comprise our Education Initiative met in Tacoma, Washington, for peer learning, deepening relationships, and sharing their programs’ successes. The BIPOC-led CBOs focused on education in the Washington and Montana regions represent the communities most impacted by educational injustices. And, in addition to the structured learning sessions, we hosted a portrait party for CBO leaders. Thinking beyond the scope of traditional capacity building, professional headshots offer leaders a tangible way to amplify and promote their work and support their development.

Our New Positioning Statement

As we refined our focus areas, we were inspired to solidify our position as the only grantmaking 501c(3) in Catholic health. Cultivated over several working sessions with the team, our new positioning statement represents who we are, what we do, why it matters, and the difference we make.

The St. Joseph Community Partnership Fund, Providence’s grantmaking foundation, invests in and fosters long-term partnerships to ensure communities are lively, hopeful, healthy, and just. We are focused on building community in four key areas: disaster response and resilience, lifelong education that opens doors, positive change through community power, and community healing and resilience.

As the Fund evolves and grows, we are excited to share more capacity-building successes like infrastructure development, internal assessments, research, training, cohort learning, and examining policies and procedures. We encourage you to follow us on LinkedIn to learn more about how we envision working and living together in lively, hopeful, healthy, and just communities.