“A Conversation Between a Grantee and a Grantor”

Well, what do they want? I wrote the proposal and they didn’t fund it. Why?”
This refrain often characterizes the not-for-profit frustration with the grant making process. Often that frustration is a result of the Foundation not clearly articulating not just its “guidelines”, but what makes a successful grant request and, even more important, a successful grant.

Beyond not articulating these matters, the Foundation often does not make the informational resources in the form of technical assistance available. As often though, the guidelines are articulated, the resources are made available and the not-for-profit does not take advantage of them.

“How do I find out about your Foundation, your guidelines, forms, background, etc.?”
Call our office at  (312) 664-6488,
send us an email at washington@wshf.org,
fax us a letter at  (312) 664-7787  or, finally,
send us a letter at 875 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 3516, Chicago, IL 60611.

Now, the basics:

    1. Comply with the submission deadlines of June 1 and December 1;
    2. Follow the guidelines;
    3. Answer all questions asked, after reading all the information contained in the application and guidelines;
    4. Before you write, discuss the project with the Foundation staff; and
    5. Send a draft proposal at least one month prior to submission.

“O.K. but what are you looking for?”
We are looking, as a priority, for a number of grants we can fund. We want grants that can make a significant difference in each of the areas we fund:

    1. Medical & Nursing Education;
    2. Medical Research; and
    3. Direct Health Care Services.

Medical & Nursing Education: Yes, we still designate grants for Medical & Nursing Education.

However, the primary care scholarships are Board initiated. In regard to other types of educational grants, the Foundation
has funded a select set of projects which have had the ability to either fundamentally change the nature of the educational process, and/or will enhance the actual provision of services.

An example is the use of video taping to evaluate the diagnosis of “actor patients” to enhance the diagnostic skills of medical students.

This method has become the standard of medical education and fostered the development of a consortium of medical schools in the Chicagoland area to implement this technique. The development of Nurse Practitioner Clinical Sites has developed the capacity of nursing schools to matriculate nurse practitioners, as well as provide pri-mary care in the community.

Research: Yes, we fund Clinical Research.

The continuing 3TP research clinical trials with Illinois Masonic Medical Center and the Weizmann Institute, conducted by
Dr. Hadassa Degani, has the potential of changing the method of diagnosis of breast cancer.

The PCR techniques, originally used in AIDS Research, today are used in DNA testing, etc., and were significantly aided by the funding of the P-3 Containment Laboratory at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Direct Medical Services, including equipment and personnel, that make a difference in patient care, outcomes and health status.

In the past, the Foundation’s support of grants for ventilator dependent children helped to allow these children to be treated at home, rather than in the hospital. Other grants set up the first Chicagoland home health program for AIDS patients. Most recently, the Foundation helped to establish and maintain Respite House, whose program has spurred the Department of Public Aid to change its reimbursement policy regarding programs that provide care to severely disabled children, in order to provide respite to their family care givers.

The essential part of all of the above grants is that they provided for services that are not reimbursed. They affect and target medically indigent and vulnerable populations. What else? We need to have projects which promote safety net services, and which identify achievable and measurable objectives. Volunteers (high school student and graduate intern) work at Respite House to provide clients with enhanced auditory and visual stimulation.