Benwood Foundation Taking Time To Reassess

Not Accepting New Grant Requests At This Time

Friday, December 17, 2004

One of Chattanooga's largest charitable foundations is not accepting grant requests at this time while undergoing a re-evaluation.

Corinne Allen, executive director of the Benwood Foundation, said, "We are in our 60th year, and we felt we needed to take some time to reflect or where we have been and what we will be in the future."

She said all grantees have been notified of the hiatus in giving by Benwood, which has a $102 million corpus and distributes $4 million-$5 million each year. That includes the Benwood Initiative of $5 million over five years to boost nine low-performing Hamilton County Schools.

Ms. Allen said all grant commitments are being honored, including the year and a half left on the Benwood Initiative.

She said she expects the re-evaluation process will take less than a year and awarding of grants will resume next fall.

A consultant, Robert Kronley of Atlanta, is helping lead the process. It is expected to get fully underway in February.

Ms. Allen said the Benwood Foundation has been focusing on the Greater Chattanooga area and giving in the areas of education, arts, health and human services, economic development and the environment.

She said Benwood will take another look at whether it should continue to focus on this area as well as which areas should be priorities.

She said, "There is a greater demand now on private philantropy and we wanted to ensure that Benwood remains as truly a great philantrophic partner to this community."

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