Three Tenets of Nonprofit Organizational Health

Foellinger Foundation’s founders, Helene and Esther, created the Foundation to carry forward their family’s tradition of civic involvement and private philanthropy for community betterment. They understood the impact that nonprofits have on a community, that these organizations address society’s needs and improve the quality of life in a community.

But the Foundation believes effective organizations must thoroughly and responsibly be mission-driven, well-governed and results-oriented.


Any organization’s mission is its guiding light. It defines its purpose, creating a clearly defined role for the organization among its peers and the clients it serves. When programming is aligned to a mission, it may have the greatest impact toward that mission.

At Foellinger Foundation, we award grants to organizations whose missions align with ours. Grant support is focused on children and families with the greatest need and least economic opportunity.


We know that nonprofit leaders are an essential piece of the puzzle when it comes to our community’s nonprofit organizations. The effectiveness of leaders impacts the organizations they serve. For that very reason we support leadership throughout our nonprofit community. We created and funded the Helene Foellinger Leadership Development Initiative. Strong leaders at the staff and board level build thriving organizations.


A well-governed organization is strategic. It uses strategy to set organizational priorities, make financial decisions and inform general decision-making. It also regularly reviews its strategy to ensure the organization remains effective.


A well-governed organization must be financially stable. This means diversifying revenue. It means factoring the state of the market into its plans and strategies. It doesn’t mean having a perfect financial footprint—but it does mean that the board of directors and staff take ownership and actively respond to challenges and opportunities.


Evaluation is a critical aspect of nonprofit organizational success. Evaluation helps nonprofits determine successes and failures, and create strategies and plans to move the organization closer towards fulfilling its mission.

When organizations are mission-driven, well-governed and results-oriented, they more effectively serve the community. True to our donors’ intent, Foellinger Foundation supports organizations that help Allen County residents increase their self-reliance by moving from dependence to independence.