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Pre-D program wins national recognition

Posted: September 29, 2013 - 12:03am
HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, presented Rasmuson Program Officer Sammye Pokryfki, center, with the award, along with Council on Foundations President and CEO Vikki Spruill.
HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, presented Rasmuson Program Officer Sammye Pokryfki, center, with the award, along with Council on Foundations President and CEO Vikki Spruill.

San Diego — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Council on Foundations announced Sept. 25 that the Rasumuson Foundation is one of 10 foundations across the country to win a 2013 HUD Secretary’s Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships.

Rasmuson Foundation was cited by HUD and COF for its Pre-Development Program (Pre-D). Launched by the Foundation and collaborators in 2006, the Pre-D Program helps Alaska nonprofits, tribal organizations and municipal governments plan sustainable capital projects that contribute to the long-term viability of the nonprofits and the communities they serve. Along with the Foundation, the founding collaborators were the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority and the Denali Commission. To date, the Pre-D Program has assisted in the construction or renovation of more than 50 capital projects across Alaska.

The award announcement was made by Secretary Donovan at COF’s Community Foundations Conference. In addition to the Rasmuson Foundation, other winners of the 2013 Secretary’s Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships included the Empire Health Foundation of Spokane, the Fairfield County Community Foundation of Connecticut, the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland, the Raymond John Wean Foundation of Youngstown, the Rhode Island Foundation, the St. Paul Foundation, the United Way of Greater Los Angeles, the Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis and the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation serving New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware.

“These organizations are doing the heavy lifting to improve neighborhoods, often without much thanks. Today, we say ‘thank you!’” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “These foundations are teaming up with public and private partners to bring about positive change and lasting solutions that are making a real difference in their communities.”

“These awards provide us all a moment to reflect on the good work that foundations are doing to advance communities across the country,” said Vikki Spruill, president and CEO of the Council on Foundations. “I am grateful to HUD and Secretary Donovan for recognizing the many different ways that foundations are thoughtfully responding to the needs of those around them.”

“The Pre-D Program offers unparalleled guidance to organizations planning new facilities and renovating or expanding existing ones,” said Diane Kaplan, President of Rasmuson Foundation. “That guidance has greatly improved the outcomes for more than 50 building projects in Alaska. Equally importantly, it has enabled private and public funders to collaborate with nonprofit organizations throughout the building process from concept to execution, creating new opportunities for learning and ongoing partnership. Ultimately we want to ensure that facilities are right sized, right priced and sustainable over the long term.”

The Pre-D Program is based on the principle that capital projects are more likely to succeed if they are well planned, right-sized, reasonably priced, properly vetted and are affordable to operate over the long term. The funding partners are the Foundation, the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority (a state corporation), Denali Commission (an independent federal agency), which each contribute $300,000 per year; and Mat-Su Health Foundation which contributes $150,000 per year. The State of Alaska also has been a funder. The Foraker Group operates the program.

The Pre-D Program offers guidance and technical resources to plan new facilities and renovate or expand existing ones. It helps nonprofit, municipal and tribal organizations determine feasibility of their projects and develop the documentation needed for funding applications. Organizations in the Pre-D Program also benefit from funder perspectives at an earlier point in the planning process.

HUD Secretary Awards are given to place-based funders for completed or ongoing initiatives that are executed in partnership with a local, regional, or federal government agency.

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