Home  ›  News  ›  Current Article

In Our 25th Year, a Look Forward

Letter from William P. McGowan and Diana Spencer

Dear Friends,

As we close our 25th year of operation, we find ourselves reflecting on our grant making and the lessons we’ve learned. We’re pleased to share with you the work we’ve done as well as the adjustments we’ve made.

Our 25th year marked a milestone of more than $140 million in grants and programming. In anticipation of this milestone, we commissioned a 25-year evaluation report two years ago. With that evaluation in hand, we embraced several new directions in 2018.

For instance, our guidelines were refined to support initiatives that better fit within the program areas and also those whose demonstrated outcomes align with and advance the goals of each McGowan Fund programmatic pillar.

The programmatic pillars remain the same with grant making in three areas: Education, with the
goal of improving high-school graduation rates; Human Services, with an eye to moving people from homelessness to self-sufficiency; and Healthcare & Medical Research, where our efforts focus on the reversal of disease through the science of behavioral change and prevention of disease through lifestyle management, as well as access to healthcare.

Now in its ninth year, the McGowan Fellows Program has added principled leadership-development training to an already exceptional docket aimed at cultivating and connecting ethical leaders. It’s doubtful that anyone would argue that ethical leaders have never been more needed in our country.

The McGowan board of directors is also committed to an allocation change over the next few years.
 We will continue to support the regional communities but will, over time, dedicate more funding—up to 75 percent in seven years—to initiatives that are, or have the ability to become, national in scope.
To have the greatest sustainable impact for marginalized people is a lofty and worthy goal. Working with organizations that have the ability to scale to statewide adoption is one way we can reach that goal within our means.

This year, we’ve had the privilege of reviewing our work and celebrating our momentum. This year,
as in every year, we’re grateful and humbled to be in this position of service. And we thank our agency partners who deliver the wonderful programs that transform lives for the long term.


William P. McGowan, Chair

Diana K. Spencer, Executive Director