Here at Giva we search for organizations, large and small, that are doing a great job of changing the world around them for the better; and we are pleased to salute them here.
Giva Salutes the Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF) for their work to improve the lives of children at risk of poor educational, economic, social and health outcomes. To elevate at-risk children to brighter futures where they can be self-sufficient, successful and civic minded-members of their communities is no easy feat. AECF recognizes that there is a complex system of indirect and direct forces that can contribute to a child's success or failure. AECF has developed a refined and thorough approach that addresses the contexts in which at-risk children live and grow. Their work and research aim to improve and strengthen communities, families and access to opportunities for at-risk children throughout America. Giva Salutes AECF for their steadfast commitment to developing and implementing evidence-based strategies to improve at-risk children's lives and futures. We honor their work in advocacy and policy reforms and their leadership in the world of child welfare.
There are hundreds of mission driven organizations throughout the country that target their work to focus on child welfare and supporting at risk youth. Unfortunately, many of these organizations have high need, but minimal resources and funding. The AECF works to alleviate issues of inadequate funding through their grant program, which helps "federal agencies, states, counties, cities and neighborhoods create more innovative, cost-effective responses to the issues that negatively affect children: poverty, unnecessary disconnection from family and communities with limited access to opportunity" (About Us). In 2013 AECF awarded $87 million dollars in grant funds to 552 organizations throughout America. AECF chooses recipients carefully so as to contribute to organizations, programs and initiatives that are sustainable and creating measurable impacts.
Mission driven work is, by nature, virtuous and incredibly important, often targeting the most pressing social and environmental issues. Such imperative work warrants sound strategies that will be sure to create a legitimate and far-reaching impact. This is why the Annie E. Casey Foundation places high importance on utilizing research to develop and implement sound, evidence-based approaches and policies for improving the lives of at-risk children and the general state of child welfare in America. AECF funds a nationwide initiative called KIDS COUNT, a network of organizations that collects and utilizes data to inform smarter policies and more effective programs geared toward issues of child welfare.
The AECF Child Welfare Strategy Consulting Group (CWSG) provides intensive consulting to child welfare agencies, practitioners and policymakers. CWSG consults with organizations to strengthen their management, finances, operations, policy and advocacy work so that they can provide more effective child-welfare programs and have greater impacts in their communities. AECF recognizes that child welfare is an issue that requires partnership and collaboration; when one organization can better support and advocate for at-risk children, strengthen communities, and influence effective child-welfare policy, everybody wins.
Grant-making, KIDS COUNT and the Child Welfare Strategy Group are just a few examples of how the Annie E. Casey Foundation is helping to improve at-risk children's lives and futures. Other areas of the Annie E. Casey's work around children include: juvenile justice, poverty and economic opportunity, education, community partnerships/community development, and a wide array of research and policy reform initiatives.
Communal support and nurturing is at the heart of philanthropy. It is a cornerstone of the Annie E. Casey Foundation's work to strengthen communities so that children from all backgrounds and circumstances can be cared for and nourished into healthy, happy adults. When we care for our children and the children in our communities we are helping to grow a generation of healthy, strong, civic minded adults; a generation who will "pay-it-forward," continuing to strive for social, political, economic and environmental progress.