SOUTH YARMOUTH—The Cape Cod Foundation has announced that its total grant and scholarship distributions for 2017 exceeded $3.4 million, bringing its total distributions since inception in 1989 to nearly $65 million. The year-end total represents an increase of more than $500,000 compared to 2016. Kristin O’Malley, President and CEO of the Foundation, said many factors have contributed to this significant increase. “More people are creating permanent endowment funds to support the nonprofit organizations they care about, and more people are donating to these very same funds to increase the overall impact we can make by supporting them collectively,” O’Malley said. She said the Foundation’s job is to invest wisely, leverage resources, forge collaborations and fuel initiatives that will make the community stronger. The $3.4 million figure for 2017 includes over $850,000 in scholarships from the Foundation and its supporting organization, The Cape Cod Association. Grants helped support all aspects of Cape Cod life: health and human services, education, arts and culture, the environment, community and economic development, housing, and children, youth, and families. “Our goal is to help others create their own charitable legacies,” O’Malley added. “We also have assumed a strong civic leadership role and strategically invest our discretionary funds in local nonprofits to help them fund capacity-building initiatives that will strengthen the organization and have a meaningful impact in the community.” As part of its annual grantmaking, The Foundation recently awarded $53,950 in Strategic Focus Grants to six local nonprofit organizations so that they could add critical personnel, replicate successful programs in other parts of the Cape, and bring innovative programs to the region. --more-- The 2017 Strategic Focus Grantees are: Center for Coastal Studies, $9,950 To create a new, year-round educational program. The initiative includes a permanent, museum-quality exhibit featuring Cape Cod's first complete large whale skeleton, and a docent and visitor program that will also focus on serving students from Cape public schools. Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod, $11,000 To support start-up costs of a ReStore in Falmouth. Having a second location in the Upper Cape will help raise awareness of the organization’s mission to build more affordable homes, create job and volunteer opportunities, and keep household items and building supplies out of the landfill. HopeHealth, $7,500 To support a new, part-time Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner position within the Hope Dementia program. In-home palliative care can improve the quality of life for those living with the disease and provide an added layer of support for caregivers. The Family Pantry of Cape Cod, $10,500 To support a part-time manager for the food pantry at Cape Cod Community College. The manager will create a solid infrastructure for the College Pantry to serve the growing need on campus. WE CAN, $5,000 To support a new staff member to expand programming to the Lower Cape. The new hire will strengthen outreach and partnerships to expand WE CAN services to Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro, and Provincetown. YMCA Cape Cod, $10,000 To support expansion of the Teen Achievers Program to Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School. The primary goal of Teen Achievers, now in its third year at Barnstable High School, is to help potentially at-risk teens graduate from high school and gain acceptance to an institution of higher learning. Last year, the Barnstable program served 56 students. Funding will allow approximately 50 additional students from Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School to benefit from the program, almost doubling the number of students served. Anyone interested in creating a charitable fund, donating to an existing fund or supporting the Foundation’s Strategic Leadership initiatives can call Kristin O’Malley at 508.790.3040 or visit www.capecodfoundation.org for more information.