December 20, 2019

Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton releases 2020 blueprint

The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton recently released a blueprint for its work over the next several years, which is outlined in the report The Work Ahead: Our 2020 Blueprint. The foundation gathered input from surveys, focus groups and direct conversations to revisit and revise its goals. To learn why the foundation does what it does, what it plans to do in the coming years and the 10 strategic goals that will guide its work, read the complete report here.

Some highlights of the report are below.

The Work Ahead: Our 2020 Blueprint

Community-Driven Decision Making

To inform our 2020 strategic plan, the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton sought the input of community leaders and providers. We started to gather feedback by distributing an electronic community survey to individuals on our mailing list; we received 41 responses. Then, the Markwood Partners consulting firm spoke with 74 people during key informant interviews and focus groups. Respondents included local and state government employees, educators, social service professionals, nonprofit and community leaders, and board members.

In addition to making candid observations about the Foundation and its work, respondents offered their perspectives on the most pressing needs in our community. Responses fell into four broad categories: the Foundation’s impact, its grantmaking process, nonprofit sector needs, and community needs.

Overall, feedback about the Foundation’s impact was humblingly positive. Participants spoke about the Foundation’s drive for mission and excellence and its lasting influence on early childhood and homelessness. Regarding the application process, many shared that the Foundation sets a very high bar. While this can be intimidating, it also helps organizations be their best. Participants shared a desire for more simplicity in our grantmaking process and increased Foundation interaction with the community. Nonprofit leaders requested help with organizational operations and management, and educators called upon the Foundation to act as a convener of peer-to-peer learning opportunities.

When respondents focused on community needs, they emphasized the root causes of poverty and their cumulative effects on what many now call the social determinants of health. From their perspectives, mental health, education, and employment were the three areas most in need of Foundation support.

The 10 strategic goals are:

  • We stand by our commitment to eliminating homelessness.
  • We hold firm in our belief that we must support high-quality early childhood experiences.
  • We will increase our focus on strengthening the workforce, processes, and leadership of local mental health organizations.
  • We will intensify our efforts to learn from and communicate with local and state-level mental health partners. 
  • We will continue to engage with partners who are keeping Stark County healthy, and we will track outcomes to inform future efforts.
  • We will pursue innovative models while continuing to support existing employment partners and programs.
  • We will continue to guide and support effective leaders who can work toward sustainability. 
  • We will forge a new path, working alongside local schools in their quest for equal educational outcomes for all young people.
  • We uphold our commitment to partnering with and responding to our diverse community.
  • We will strengthen our infrastructure, simplify processes, and explore broadening the scope of our communications.

The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System.

About Us

From its Cleveland headquarters, the Sisters of Charity Health System provides oversight, leadership and strategic direction to more than 20 organizations responding to community needs in Canton and Cleveland, Ohio, and South Carolina.

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