About MEO Foundation

The Mary E. Ober Foundation has roots in Indiana that go back to the 1950’s.  The business and philanthropic experience of the MEO leadership have lead to a focus on strategic philanthropy, and long term community outcomes for the causes we care about.

Strategic Philanthropy Defined

Strategic philanthropy, as defined by the Mary E. Ober Foundation Board of Directors, possesses the following core characteristics that guide grantmaking investments.

· Return on Investment: Impact. Embraces evaluating outcomes and impact, not just inputs or outputs. The strategic focus is one that looks at outcomes for those served as well as the overall impact of social change in the community. Impact looks at the change that occurs directly due to the not-for-profits intervention. The Foundation will focus on investments that catalyze outcomes that drive impact.

· Leadership. Grantmaking will focus on organizations that have a desire for strong board leadership, that grow servant leaders within their organization and within those they serve. The Foundation will focus their resources to develop strong boards that hold the vision of the organization.

· Sustainability. Grantmaking will be directed toward investments that will facilitate high quality programs supported by effective donor development, resulting in long-term sustainability for the organization.

· Mission Focus. Grantmaking will be focused on those organizations and projects that cross the nexus of their mission with that of the Foundation. Grantmaking will be driven by the Foundation’s desire to fund organizations that will drive a deeper realization of their mission for long term social return. Our focus is on helping the organization multiply itself to become stronger, sustainable and have high impact on the community.

· Family Mission. Grantmaking will strategically facilitate the Foundation’s own sense of heritage, mission and vision, bringing to bear the unique abilities, relationships and viewpoints of a Family Foundation on its partners and grantees.

· Deep and Excellent. Foundation grantmaking will focus on fewer organizations but with deeper investment and the potential for longer investment horizons. We reserve the right to invest for as many years as we see needed to accomplish our strategic vision for the grantee organization and our grantmaking, thereby maximizing social change.

· Proactive, not reactive. Foundation grantmaking will be driven through a Request For Proposal process (RFP) rather than an open deadline to all.

· Relational. The nature of the Foundation is to enter in to long-term relationships with organizations that hold strong core values and deliver social change within their area of mission.