Buckingham Names Its 2016 Pillar Grant Recipients
Eight nonprofit organizations have been awarded funding in 2016 as part of Buckingham Strategic Wealth’s Pillar Grant Program. This year’s recipients are: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri, Ceres Community Project, College Bound, Colorado Neurological Institute, Grace Hill Settlement House, The LaunchCode Foundation, Nurses for Newborns and Paraquad Inc.
The Pillar Grant Program, an annual multifaceted philanthropy effort launched in 2015, is the firm’s most significant philanthropic initiative and seeks to support the missions of organizations working to better the lives of people in the communities that Buckingham calls home.
Pillar Grant committee co-chairman Mont Levy, a wealth advisor and board member at Buckingham, says the program seeks to recognize organizations whose projects demonstrate three key pillars of the Buckingham experience—conscientious planning, carefully articulated evidence and a commitment to “doing the right thing.”
“Doing the right thing is about more than responding to a need or having a great mission,” says Levy. “We’re also interested in ‘how’ an organization carries out its mission. We believe that how an organization embodies its values throughout its work significantly enhances the experience of its associates and clients. The spirit of ‘doing the right thing’ guides our philanthropic initiative, as it does our firm. We are committed to making ours a healthy, vibrant and inclusive community.”
The Pillar Grant Program recognizes organizations working in specific areas of interest, which rotate each year. In 2016, the two areas of interest in focus were Community Development Through Entrepreneurship and Wellness. Buckingham received nearly 100 submissions from organizations in the 13 cities around the country where the firm’s associates live and work.
The important work the firm’s 2016 Pillar Grant recipients will pursue includes:
As a dimension of its mentoring mission, the organization will use its grant funds to expand ABCToday, a national early warning and response system designed to identify and address the health-related needs of more than 350 at-risk elementary school students. The program helps ensure success in attendance, behavior and course performance in reading and math.
Ceres creates better health for people, communities and the environment through an integrated program that provides free organic meals and emotional support to low-income individuals facing serious illness; leadership and job training to teenagers (including how to grow, harvest and cook healthy foods); and opportunities for community volunteerism.
College Bound provides at-risk students with academic enrichment, social support and the life skills needed to succeed in college. The organization will direct its grant funds to support its mental-health interventions, including therapeutic services for students and families, staff training and in-class interventions.
Colorado Neurological Institute will direct its Pillar Grant funds to increase therapy, counseling and care management sessions for underserved individuals with neurological conditions, including stroke, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s Disease, ALS and more, helping them set and attain short-term and long-term wellness goals and improve their quality of life.
The Grace Hill Women’s Business Center delivers high-quality education in entrepreneurship and small business development to women and minority business owners. The organization will use its Pillar Grant funds to support its Workshop in Business Opportunities, a 16-week business training program, as well as one-on-one counseling and other workshop opportunities.
LaunchCode creates pathways to economic opportunity and upward mobility through education, paid apprenticeships and job placement in the technology industry. Grant funds will support its CoderGirl program, which amplifies the voice and visibility of women in technology by making guided learning, networking and career opportunities easily available.
Nurses for Newborns provides a safety-net for families among the most at-risk in order to prevent infant mortality, child abuse and neglect. Buckingham’s grant dollars will help teenage women and infants by providing in-home nursing visits for comprehensive physical, mental health, social and environmental assessments of mother and baby; education to promote infant and caregiver health and well-being; supplying needed items, such as food and diapers; and linking them to needed community services.
Paraquad empowers people with disabilities to increase their independence through choice and opportunity. It will direct its grant dollars to offset membership fees to its new state-of-the-art exercise facility with adaptable, accessible equipment designed to expand exercise opportunities for people with disabilities. A staff of physical and occupational therapists will assist program participants in developing fitness plans to enhance physical strength and lead to greater functional independence.
Through the Pillar Grant Program, Buckingham is dedicated to making a positive, meaningful impact on the community by helping to support evidence-guided projects and programs geared toward achieving measurable impact on the lives of those they serve and that reflect the spirit of “doing the right thing” for stakeholders and the community.
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