Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation seeking to issue community grants

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Long known for effectively helping fund community-based organizations focused on the health and well being of local residents, the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation again is seeking applications to issue community grants of up to $50,000 each.

The Coral Gables-based nonprofit provides much-needed funding for local programs and projects that are designed to improve, preserve, or restore the health and healthcare of residents in Miami-Dade County. Qualified tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations conducting such grass-roots work in the community now have until Apr. 15 to apply.

This year, 2018-19, marks the 70th anniversary of the groundbreaking and opening of Doctors Hospital in Coral Gables. The hospital and its legacy of service to the local community is the genesis of today’s Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation.

The group of local physicians that founded the hospital honored their departed colleague by naming the foundation after him upon purchasing Doctors Hospital, making it a nonprofit institution. By dong so, they laid the groundwork for enduring medical care in the community over these many years.

With the sale of the hospital in 1992, the foundation was restructured and soon began funding and investing in the healthcare and medical needs of the local community. Starting as a grant-making institution with an initial fund balance of some $12 million from the sale of the hospital, over the course of the past 20 years, the foundation’s fund balance has appreciably grown.

“Since its inception as a grant-making institution, the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation has invested over $45 million into our community. The board of directors remains committed to sustaining its support in meeting the needs of our local community-based organizations,” said Dr. Thomas Mark, foundation chair.

From the start, the board wanted the foundation to serve the immediate needs of the community from children to adults.

Founded as a grassroots organization its largess was to serve the grassroots needs. Over the course of these years, some 455 grants have been awarded to over 300 community-based organizations, making an impact on the personal and local level.

“The foundation is proud to provide grants to local organizations that provide much-needed service to others and contributes to the well-being of our community,” said Dr. Charles Dunn, chair of the Community Grants Committee, “This is the backbone of our foundation.”

Recent award recipients include Wounded Veterans Relief Fund, Miami Lighthouse for the Blind, Coral Gables Woman’s Club Dental Clinic, Canine Assisted Therapy, Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine, Good Hope Equestrian Training Center, and Epilepsy Foundation of Florida, among many others.

In addition to community grants, the foundation also has undertaken three signature initiatives in conjunction with the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine: the Department of Pediatrics School Health Initiative, the Department of Human Genetics, and the Biomedical Nanotechnology Institute (BioNIUM).

According to the foundation’s managing director, John Edward Smith, “The work this organization and its board are doing significantly contributes to our community as a whole. They are touching future generations and truly inspiring others to make their communities — and their world — a better place.”

Smith added that, in essence, foundation grants serve as recognition of the admirable work so many community-based organizations are doing across the county to improve the quality of life for residents.

The Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation is accepting letters of inquiry for the 2019 grant cycle, now through Apr. 15. Funding priorities include:

• Projects that promote health education and prevention and early detection of disease;

• Health related projects that assist children and the economically disadvantaged, and

• Projects that target medical care.

Qualified tax exempt 501(c)(3) organizations that propose to conduct projects or programs related to the health needs of the citizens of Miami Dade County and are seeking funding support from the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation should first submit a letter of inquiry (LI0).

Programs and projects are funded depending upon the budget in the $5,000-$50,000 range with occasional exemptions for programs that the board of directors find particularly meritorious. Applications are available online at www.JTMacdonaldFDN.org.

The Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation is located at 1550 Madruga Ave., Suite 215, Coral Gables, FL 33146. For information, call 305-667-6017 or send an email to info@jtmacdonaldfdn.org.


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About the Author

Bill Kress
Bill Kress, President of Kress Communications, is an editorial consultant with the Community Newspapers, covering business news, non-profits, and municipal government. He is an award-winning public relations practitioner, news reporter, photographer, and a prolific social mediologist. Reach Bill at bill@kresscom.com or call 305-763-2429.

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