The (Re-Imagined) Trustee Awards

August 21, 2012

By Lisa Wilkinson

Over the past 26 years, the Tucson Osteopathic Medical Foundation has operated a variety of programs. We are proud to provide healthcare professionals with the opportunity to receive world-class continuing medical education at the annual Southwestern Conference on Medicine®, and through other co-sponsored events. We've also produced many public education programs such as a radio show called Healthwise and a magazine, Something More For You.

Unlike community foundations, most of the resources of TOMF are used in operating programs such as these, but this has not precluded the Foundation from making awards to community organizations in the past. Called the Trustee Awards, they provided grants to help smaller community projects with urgent needs such as the Community Food Bank, Youth On Their Own, and the Tucson Children's Museum. The Awards acted as an incubator for these organizations and raised awareness for their projects as to attract other potential donors.
We are pleased to announce that we are re-launching the Trustee Awards in a slightly modified version. Microgrants in amount of $1,000 will be given each month beginning in January, 2013 to non-profit organizations with projects that function to improve community health.
In Tucson alone, there are well over 1,000 organizations working to improve public health, and a large majority of these groups are small and offer very unique services. For example, one group provides free classes that educate lower-income women about how to have a healthy pregnancy. In exchange for their participation in the classes, they receive points that they can use in the organization's "store" to buy clothing, diapers, and other baby supplies. These types of creative programs use small amounts of funding yet yield anything-but-small results.
What is truly different about the new Trustee Awards is that the grants are given monthly with funds immediately available to the recipient, and anyone can apply at any time on The Foundation's Grants and Scholarships Committee reviews every request and determines the recipient each month. The projects that are not selected will still be considered for an Award in another month unless the applicant specifies otherwise.

As for the fine print, the Foundation cannot support any political campaign or attempt to influence legislation, nor can we fund organizations engaging in these activities. All applicants must have a Letter of Determination proving their tax-exempt status. As a private operating foundation, we are also prohibited from funding individuals, religious groups, or professional associations. Preference is given to unique projects that demonstrate potential to make a meaningful impact. Projects that require quick granting action in order to address a community problem or situation are also preferred.

With the re-launch, we hope to inspire and nurture creative and innovative thinking in the realm of healthcare, while helping "yet to be reached" organizations and projects that are making strides in health and human services. We also hope that this program will introduce the Foundation to potential new partnerships and build community awareness and support.
Funding is not limited to Tucson-based organizations. If you know of any unique projects in Arizona that need and could effectively utilize a Trustee Award, please visit for more information or to apply for a grant. If you have any questions or are interested in partnering with TOMF on this program, please contact us at 520-299-4545 or

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