this an encouraging start, and will continue to inform nonprofit providers with the expectation that with our assistance, an alliance with a major provider(s) can lead to new and expanded models to address needs for low-income housing for the elderly, develop Assisted Living type supportive services, and increase the number of nonprofit long term care operators.
PFs have substantially more assets than the CFs. Since CFs received many one-time donations compared to PFs, they have a somewhat higher percentage of charitable giving than PFs. However, that asset to giving differential does not offset the huge amount of assets controlled by PFs compared to CFs. To demonstrate that difference, The Foundation Center has total assets as of the end of 2003 of almost 400 billion dollars for private foundations, while community foundations has assets of slightly more than 34 billion dollars.
The missions of PFs vary substantially when compared to CFs, with one primary difference the lack of geographical boundaries that allow PFs to address third world basic needs of the poor in healthcare and food such as the work of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation or the Rockefeller Foundation. These missions are beyond admirable, and all of the top 50 PFs researched provided some support within the US, and a minority were only in the US, sometimes focused on the needs of children like the two large affiliated PFs, the Anne E. Casey Foundation and Casey Family Programs, or are locally focused like the Lilly Endowment, Inc. the fifth largest PFV that supports so much in the Greater Indianapolis area including elderly needs. Among the top 25 PFs, only Lilly and the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Inc. committed resources aimed at the Elderly, and only four more within the top 50 made commitments to the elderly. Several others supported healthcare initiatives, with the fourth largest foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, being the only one of the top 25 Foundations to solely focus on health care, yet they exclude all end of life and long term care program assistance which is so needed by the elderly.
As a society swept up in the uncertainty of a world of turmoil, we fail to prioritize the issues of our tomorrows that are also the present day compromised quality of life of today for millions of elderly Americans. We are still a great nation, a nation of compassion, but if we cannot take care of our own, how can we continue to do our best to benefit those beyond our borders? We can do better as individual citizens, and so can our government to support our growing elderly population. Public advocacy is needed, but that is a slow process with inherent conflicts in the lobbying of big business without a senior focus, let alone the needs of many for the government to address, but there are efforts that are worthwhile such as expanding government insured loans for affordable senior housing and the added availability of 9% tax credits.
Another answer is increased collaboration between nonprofit providers and Community Foundations in combination with increased support of Private Foundations such as a 2005 initiative of the James Irvine Foundation. One major initiative with regular substantial funding from a major Private Foundation could lead the way for others to follow, such as a commitment to fund targeted collaborative leveraged senior housing development, increased services to existing senior housing for the poor, increase the too low percentage of nonprofit nursing home operators, and expand intergenerational programs to help the elderly and access the great resources of seniors helping all of us, including children first and foremost.