An update to our nonprofit partners: NCHT looks back at 2022 so far and what lies ahead

Dear Partners,

August 2 will mark my one-year anniversary as CEO of the Natrona Collective Health Trust. We’re excited to share with you some updates about our work as well as share what to expect from us later this year.

  • Staffing – Meredith joined Kylie Gibson and Paula Mongold. Since then, Daniel Mwangi, Ray Pacheco, Samantha Smith, and Jeremy Yates joined the team. You can learn more about each of our team members on our about page.
  • Operations – With the conclusion of our employee lease contract with Wyoming Medical Center, our organization became fully independent of the hospital in December of 2021. We’ve updated our human resources policies and operations and we are in the process of transitioning our investments to an outsourced chief investment officer. We’ve provided training opportunities for board and staff and expanded our space to accommodate new staff members.
  • Rebranding – In March, we announced our new name, brand, and website to the community, transitioning from Wyoming Medical Center Foundation to Natrona Collective Health Trust.
  • Strategic Plan – In December 2021, we finalized our inaugural strategic plan that will guide our work for the next 3-5 years. Over 50 community members were engaged in developing the plan adopted by our board. Highlights of the plan were announced to our nonprofits at our virtual brand launch.
  • Grantmaking – We awarded over $4 million in grants to 27 nonprofits in December of 2021. The second payment for the two-year grants will go out later this year.
  • MPA Scholarships – In partnership with the University of Wyoming’s Master’s in Public Administration Program, we are sponsoring five scholarships for Natrona County nonprofit leaders. We’re excited to share that our first recipients are Vickery Fales Hall, Wyoming Community Foundation; Gena Jensen, National Historic Trails Center Foundation; Ben Kinion, The Science Zone; Dawn Lacko, NOWCAP Services; and Tess Mittelstadt, Habitat for Humanity.
  • Technical Assistance – We’ve funded a full-time position with the Wyoming Nonprofit Network to provide capacity building, consulting, and support to nonprofits serving Natrona County. Anna Wilcox took on this role in early 2022 and is co-located with our staff. She’s launched some workshops, as well as a monthly Natrona County Nonprofit Event series.
  • Sequential Intercept Model – Working with Wyoming Medical Center CEO Lance Porter, we co-convened over 50 community partners to use an evidence-based approach called the Sequential Intercept Model to identify our gaps in mental health services and supports. Ray Pacheco is facilitating the working groups that are implementing a strategic plan to fill those gaps.
  • Advocacy – As an organization, we know that we can create systems change beyond our checks. We’ve joined alongside grantee partners to call out violence against local nonprofits and to oppose the defunding of nonprofits through the one-cent tax program.
  • Grant writing – We’ve launched a grant writing assistance pilot program with seven local organizations. We know that state, federal, and national philanthropic dollars are being left on the table due to a lack of grant writing resources in Natrona County. We are paying for seven organizations to have a contract grant writer for six months, with the hopes of creating a model to launch in 2023 for the broader nonprofit community.
  • New Board Members – We said goodbye to two of our founding board members who resigned in 2021 –Serena Cobb and Dr. Jim Anderson –and welcomed two new board members, Jaime Cruz and Verba Echols.

We’re excited to share with you what to expect in the coming months. While details around these upcoming opportunities are still in the works, we will be updating our nonprofit partners through our website, Facebook, LinkedIn, and newsletter as more information becomes available. Stay tuned to these sources for information on the following:

  • Grantmaking – Our program team is working on the details of our 2022 grant cycle, and we will officially launch our long-term grant programs later this year.
  • Technical Assistance – Based on direct feedback from Natrona County nonprofits, we are working on offering training and operational support around the following:
    • Preventing and mitigating adverse childhood experiences in Natrona County
    • Translation services to allow nonprofits to support clients whose native language isn’t English
    • Workshops on providing safe environments when supporting underprivileged populations
    • Grant-readiness program to help nonprofits prepare to seek larger dollar grants through our grant writing assistance program.
  • Imagination Library – Our team is finalizing an agreement with local partners to bring Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to Natrona County children.
  • Youth Participatory Grantmaking – Ray Pacheco is leading an initiative to involve Natrona County youth in funding decisions that impact their lives.

We want to thank you for your support and engagement in this work over the last year. We will continue to ask for your input and direction in deploying our mission to benefit Natrona County. Looking ahead into 2023, what would you like to see us do? Share your thoughts in the comments below or email us at [email protected].

All our best,

Meredith, Paula, Kylie, Daniel, Samantha, Jeremy, and Ray