1772 Foundation Grows a Movement

Posted October 10th, 2013 by creekside and filed in News & Announcements
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Growing a Movement, Fostering a Revolution

The 1772 Foundation’s president, B. Danforth Ely, and its executive director, Mary A. Anthony, attended the Association of Small Foundations Annual Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico, from October 1 – 3. Anthony spoke at the all-day seminar Catalyzing Change in Your Community: Listening, Convening, Mobilizing, Advocating. As part of a panel presentation, she discussed how The 1772 Foundation became a catalyst for change in the field of historic properties redevelopment programs or revolving funds. She reviewed the Foundation’s efforts to scan the landscape, its long-term commitment to impactful funding and its successful efforts to inspire collaboration.

Anthony described the Foundation’s efforts as seeking to fund a revolving fund movement, fostering a revolution in the way historic preservation is approached. This has meant more than direct granting to existing revolving funds. Funding has been provided for feasibility studies, regional convenings, the publication of a National Trust “bluebook” on revolving funds, fellowships to study revolving funds, a website (www.historyflips.org) devoted to the topic and intensive, preservation-focused real estate development training sessions. The 1772 Foundation has met with other foundations considering investing in revolving funds and, in one case, collaborated with a foundation to provide matching grants for each other. In addition to meetings with other funders, collaborative efforts have included creation of a Facebook group and opening Foundation meetings to senior revolving fund staff.

In what Anthony characterized as “the most leveraged of our already leveraged revolving fund activity,” the Foundation recently made its first program-related investment (PRI), a loan to a very experienced revolving fund, which it, in turn, will loan for preservation work and pay back to 1772, and which 1772 will loan again to another revolving fund. In essence, the Foundation will operate a revolving fund for revolving funds.

According to Anthony, the result of a combination of traditional granting and non-granting work has been impact. The Foundation knows that it has made an impact and that its money, strategically spent, has made great changes happen. Using every angle it can find to grow the revolving fund movement, the Foundation has helped foster a preservation revolution.