Allegany Franciscan Ministries was formed with assets from hospitals in Florida sponsored by the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, who have been serving those in need in Florida since the late 1920’s. It models its work in the tradition and vision of the founding Sisters. Allegany is now a member of Trinity Health, a Catholic health care delivery system serving diverse communities that include more than 30 million people across 22 states. Since 1998, Allegany has awarded more than 4,400 grants totaling $98 million to over 1,600 organizations.
Allegany Franciscan Ministries serves people primarily in six Florida counties, with a limited reach throughout Florida and in Brazil, Jamaica, and Bolivia. It has a particular focus on those who are poor or marginalized, including immigrants and refugees, women, and others who are not afforded justice and dignity.
Allegany’s primary activity for more than 20 years has been grantmaking in the six counties served, focused on increasing access to health care and information, and building healthier communities. The Social Influencers of Health provide a framework for much of the grantmaking. Allegany provides funds for general operating support, capacity-building, advocacy, and programs.
In 2014, Allegany launched a new strategic enterprise, called the Common Good Initiative. Through this place-based initiative, Allegany partners with specific communities to create healthier, safer, and more connected places. The initiative works with each community to make progress on community-identified priorities. To date, more than $9 million has been committed to three communities, and an additional $7 to $ 9 million will be invested in the next three years with these same communities.
Total Assets: $110 million FY19
Amount Dedicated to Health-Related Grants: $6.1 million
- Special Initiatives and/or Representative Health and Human Services Grants
Fellowship for the Common Good—A 12-month, leadership development program for resident leaders in three communities, intended to serve as a transformative experience for the fellows, improving their knowledge and developing their leadership skills. It develops civic leaders who will take action to advance their communities. The third cohort just started with an annual cost of approximately $360,000 for 15 residents. ($1,080,000)
Lincoln Park Smart Neighborhood Project—Part of the Common Good Initiative, this grant is a partnership with local utility company, county, and city to provide broadband access in an urban community, increasing social, educational, and economic opportunities for residents and businesses. Leverages an additional $800,000. ($400,000)
Overtown Connect—This grant is to foster the development and growth of black-owned businesses and black low-to-moderate income entrepreneurs in neighborhood. It includes entrepreneurial training program, small-business lending, and technical assistance. ($98,500)
REACH UP—This two-year grant for general operating support is representative of Allegany’s GenOp investments. The organization helps people achieve equality in health care and positive health for families. The grant will be used for GenOp, with expected impact on succession planning, organizational capacity, physical plant stability and decreased reliance on grant funding. ($200,000)
Miami-Dade Census 2020 Funder Collaborative—This grant is part of a collaborative of funders awarding at least $500,000 to organizations with thoughtful, culturally responsive strategies for reaching communities that have historically low rates of participation in the Census. Allegany is also making direct grants of up to $10,000 each for Census outreach in the other regions it serves. ($60,000)
Strategic Changes in Grantmaking Direction/Orientation
“As we were beginning our place-based work, I read an article that mentioned having a sense of “patient urgency” (or was it “urgent patience”?). I don’t remember who said it, but that has become one of my truths. Community work is messy, and nothing goes at the pace you thought it would or should. So you have to be patient—with yourself, with your team, with the community. And you have to help them practice patience. At the same time, the work and desired results are incredibly important, so you have to maintain that sense of urgency.– Eileen Coogan, President and CEO, Allegany Franciscan Ministries
The other big challenge for us is around equity and power—letting go of power is hard, even for a Franciscan organization like ours that never looked for power. In our community-based work, we find ourselves having moved into a position of power that we did not intend, and now have to be more deliberate about transitioning it back to the community it belongs to.”