Education is a value embedded deep in the roots of our family’s history. Even prior to the formation of The Moniker Foundation, education was a value and focus passed on from one generation to the next. It is no surprise that our founder’s grandfather, Frank England, supported educational organizations such as the then Glenwood School for Boys, today known as the Glenwood Academy.
The Glenwood Academy had a rich history in shaping the educational culture that existed in Chicago in the late 1800s. From its early inception in 1877, the founders witnessed an extreme need to help boys who had found themselves in unfortunate situations with the law or their guardianship.
Rather than learning solely from a book or standard classroom materials, the school focused on education through skill development and leadership. The founding vision for Glenwood was to turn “child-saving” into “person-building” by transforming dependent children into self-sufficient adults who lived productive lives. The concept of the school was to provide a home and a proper training school for these dependent boys.
Glenwood Academy today upholds its founding vision and values. It remains the only boarding school in Illinois; providing children with a variety of ways to discover their talents and interests outside the classroom.
The Moniker Foundation upholds a similar vision in regards to our Scholarship Program. Not only do we want to financially assist our Scholars, but furthermore, and more importantly, we hope to instill the values and importance of community stewardship and work experience. We do this by asking our Scholars to complete community service projects as well as evaluate their time spent at school. Learn more about the Program by visiting our Scholarship Program page.
In 1998, The Moniker Foundation was created as a way to simply give back to the community through supporting worthy organizations and post-secondary students. At this time Moniker was doing, if we were to place a label on it, “checkbook philanthropy.” “Checkbook philanthropy,” while sometimes viewed with a negative connotation, is spontaneous philanthropy – a response to an appeal for funding combined with personal values of what one deems to be a worthy cause.
Over the past 17 years, with specific attention to the last three years, Moniker has modified its philanthropic role in serving the community. In our hope to be more intentional, Moniker has made the shift towards “responsive philanthropy.” “Responsive philanthropy” is just that, responsive. Donors and foundations respond to formal requests, typically in a designated focus area. Our focus areas are two-fold - education and/or human services.
Moniker’s Structured Giving Program is an ideal representation of “responsive philanthropy,” in that organizations fill out a formal request and these requests are reviewed through a formal grant committee. This year has been the most rewarding year yet in terms of the diversity and location of the requests. As we finalize our review for our 2014-2015 grant recipients, we celebrate 26 requests from 7 different Colorado counties. Out of 64 counties, it may not seem like that much of an expanse, but for our family foundation, for the first time, we get to be more strategic in our grant making.
Yet, still being family oriented keeps an interesting dynamic at the table. We still value “checkbook philanthropy” as it provides a way for family members to explore the world of giving back through their own passions and values. Our Family Giving Grants Program supports the other side of the pendulum. Family members have the opportunity to act as the community chest for organizations that need resources more immediately. They also share a piece in the big picture, 30,000 foot view, of Moniker – further cultivating generational interest in the perpetuity of our family foundation.
So, while we have picked up the new world of giving back, we still remain tied to our roots. Our hope is to balance “checkbook philanthropy” with “responsive philanthropy” in an attempt to keep our family foundation flexible yet intentional.