The Foundation defines its first mission statement in 1994: “Strengthen the independence, integrity and well-being of the intergenerational working low income family.” The following year, Foundation trustees agree to implement a 30-year lifespan for the Foundation to preserve donor intent and make the largest impact possible during its existence. The Foundation develops its first grantmaking policy in 2000, enabling nonprofits to renew annually for up to five years. The first annual grantee conference takes place in 2001. The Foundation establishes its Statement of Purpose and Grant Philosophy in 2003.
The Foundation becomes fully funded in 2009, enabling it to begin implementing a larger grant strategy targeting Atlantic, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem Counties in rural Southern New Jersey. Together with its trustees, the Foundation creates a plan to spend the entirety of its funds by 2022 with a goal to transform how social services for families are delivered in the region. The Foundation hires its first Executive Director, Colleen Maguire, in 2010 and begins holding meetings with government officials, elected officials, religious leaders, nonprofits, businesses and involved citizens to uncover strengths and challenges in each county. Workgroups formed to discuss using innovative strategies to address local challenges.
The Foundation establishes its second office in Vineland, New Jersey, in 2011. It awards grants to collaborations in Atlantic, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem Counties alongside ongoing grants to single agencies in central New Jersey and New York City. In 2012, Fran and her husband, Skip, rent an apartment in Vineland to be closer to the Foundation’s work and community. The Foundation also begins its evaluation of collaboration efforts to determine their effectiveness.
After years of conducting County work groups and collecting community input, the Foundation awards its first grants to public transportation efforts in 2012, with a goal of providing New Jersey families with mobility to access the education, medical, shopping, recreation and faith-based activities they need to thrive day-to-day.
Faith leaders from many traditions gather to share and advise the Foundation on opportunities open to the faith community and families.
- The Foundation kicks off its economic development initiative in 2015 to encourage economic growth in the South Jersey region, with goals to:
- Publicize South Jersey’s “hidden gems” to locals and nearby residents to attract visitors. The Foundation partners with Masterpiece Advertising to establish New Jersey’s Heartland, a website to promote the key attractions, benefits, resources and hidden treasures within Cumberland, Gloucester, Salem, and Western Atlantic Counties.
- Build local businesses. The Foundation and New Jersey Community Capital establish the THRIVE South Jersey fund to provide coaching and low interest loans to local businesses and entrepreneurs.
The economic initiative completed the holistic integrated effort addressing family-identified challenges.
In 2015, the Foundation officially defines the six basic components of the Whole Family Approach, a family-led strategy which provides adults and children with the tools to set, plan for, and achieve their goals together. The Foundation partners with Fenton Communications to develop graphics outlining the Whole Family Approach components.
The Foundation expands its footprint to invest in collaborations practicing the Whole Family Approach in Jersey City, New Jersey, and the South Bronx neighborhood of New York City.
The Foundation hosts the first Working Together for Working Families Conference, bringing together grantees and family well-being experts to cultivate a national conversation in making family-centered efforts like the Whole Family Approach the norm.
As the Foundation prepares to close its doors in 2022, it shifts its focus to encouraging new funders to carry forward the Whole Family Approach and ensuring its grantee collaborations can continue operations after its sunsetting date.
The Foundation hosts its second Working Together for Working Families conference, showcasing the Whole Family Approach and grantee collaborations in South Jersey, Jersey City and South Bronx. The Foundation provided training for grantees, providing them with marketing tools to make their case to new funders.
The Foundation provides emergency funding to support grantees in their work with families facing immense hardship in the midst of COVID-19.
The Foundation partners with New Jersey Community Capital to establish the Garden State Relief Fund, providing low-interest loans (0% to 2%) to small businesses and nonprofits in the South Jersey region.
The Foundation commits $1,000,000 to New Jersey Community Capital to expand entrepreneurship opportunities and provide coaching, assistance for small Black-owned businesses, in partnership with the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey.
In its final year, the Foundation will publicize evaluations of South Jersey, Jersey City and South Bronx collaborations. Data from pre-pandemic, mid- pandemic and pandemic recovery will be analyzed.
The Pascale Sykes Foundation has sought to make a difference in the social services delivery system to benefit not only those served and the greater community today, but also future generations. The yet unknown future benefits of our work will create a lasting legacy.