Nagel Foundation awards grants to 24 organizations

Garden City Library's "Bells for Books"
Garden City Library's "Bells for Books"

The John F. Nagel Foundation is pleased to announce it awarded grants to 24 organizations for 31 different programs for 2018.

The foundation awarded grant amounts in the following categories to meet its mission of funding areas of great basic needs:

Great basic needs: 46%

Medical needs: 18%

Youth programs: 17%

Nursing scholarships: 12%

Education programs: 6%

Top recipients include: Boise State University, the Boise Rescue Mission, Salvation Army of Ada County, Canyon County Community Clinic, Genesis Community Health, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Idaho, Interfaith Sanctuary, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, the Warhawk Air Museum and Boys and Girls Clubs of Ada County.

The foundation board strives to have its funding reach intended recipients as directly as possible.

Since its inception in 1989, the Nagel Foundation has given over $18.4 million to charitable organizations in southwest Idaho.

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.

Treating Diseases, not just Symptoms

How does one "fix" homelessness?  Food insecurity?  Health care availability?  Lack of affordable housing?  Substance abuse?

A wide variety of options exist.  Some treat symptoms of the problem, while others get to the root of the disease.  There is no one solution to every situation.

What is the person's background?  Is there family involved?  Do they have to deal with a traumatic situation in their past?  Do they need specific treatment to get to the next step of recovery and hopefully independent living?

The Nagel Foundation is interested in helping fund organizations who help people in holistic ways, those who are good at digging deeper to find the root cause of the problem.  It's imperative that the disease be treated, not just the symptom, if people are helped for good.  We've learned the most effective help is one-on-one, with full attention to the one in front of you, wrestling with the tough, underlying issues that cause a basic need.

This is hard work, and it's not for the faint of heart.  It takes specially trained people to counsel the traumatized, to treat the diseases and listen and counsel those who feel hopeless.  Real change occurs when the whole person is treated, and those changes prove transformative, giving that person new skills and a new start on life.

A number of organizations we fund specialize in taking transformative, holistic approaches with people.  We believe that, instead of just giving people fish, they need to be taught how to fish. (Posted June 6, 2017)

How does the Nagel Foundation measure results?

The Mentoring Network
The Mentoring Network
Camp Hodia
Camp Hodia
PATHS at Bishop Kelley
PATHS at Bishop Kelley
Idaho History Day
Idaho History Day

How does one measure heart?  The impact of a smile?  The number of emotions expressed when something has been done for no other reason than to do the right thing and help somebody?

The foundation business is not an easy one when it comes to measuring results.  We like to think that our board does a pretty good job of analyzing the things that correspond to traditional business measurables, like tracking our investment returns, being mindful of our tax liabilities, and looking for red flags while researching grant application tax returns and financials.

There are certainly measurables that apply to organizations we fund, like the cost per person of those receiving benefits of the funding we provide, or watching an organization’s expenditures to see if they fall under standard expected administrative cost guidelines.

In 2017, the Nagel Foundation had the privilege of awarding funds for 31 different organizational projects.  We estimate that almost 196,000 people benefited from those funds, and yes, some of the results are easy to quantify.  Through some of our application and follow up questions, we know how many people benefited from our grant awards and what the costs were on a per-person basis.

We know how many nursing and radiological program scholarships we awarded at Boise State, and how many kids with special medical needs attended camp.  We know how many people were sheltered and fed by the Boise Rescue Mission, Interfaith Sanctuary, Good Samaritan Home, and the Woman’s and Children’s Alliance.  We know how many people whose hunger was satisfied by visiting the Meridian Food Bank and by the food pantries at the Salvation Army and St. Vincent de Paul.  We could even tell you how many kids we helped give new clothes to through the Assistance League of Boise Operation School Bell and Salvation Army’s Dress A Child programs.

But how can one quantify how many smiles were generated and how many hearts were touched?  How meaningful were the gestures of the many volunteers that made these organizations roar to life and bring that personal touch to each intended recipient?  Who can say for sure which special words were uttered at just the right time to prevent someone from doing something they would forever regret?  Or how many lives were changed by counsellors, case workers and others who cared enough to turn lives around and get people back on their own two feet so they could live independently again?

Does funding an athletics program at the Boys and Girls Club help kids develop friendships, understand the rules for competition, provide an emotional and physical outlet and teach teamwork and good sportsmanship?  We think so.  And we think those desirable human traits can be easily transferred to future situations in their lives.  How much is that worth?

Does funding educational programs at the Warhawk Air Museum and sponsoring the Idaho History Day competition train our young people about American ideals, citizenship and personal sacrifice for the common good?  We think so.  And we think those desirable American traits can be easily taught to future generations.  How much is that worth?

Our society commonly accepts the fact that there is always a cost, be it personal, financial or both, to educate, train, and give a hand up to those in our community who need it.  Is that cost always measureable?  Hardly!  But it is our fervent hope at the Nagel Foundation that we never lose sight of our mission to help people with great basic needs, and to stimulate others to help people when and where they are able to do so.  (Updated November 22, 2017)


Click on a logo below to learn more about the outstanding organizations we fund.

The Nagel Foundation grants funding to organizations providing the basics of life to individuals and families who have no other means of support. The selection of grant recipients is based primarily on need.