Wyoming Medical Center Foundation Awards Funding to Natrona County Nonprofits

Beth Worthen and Meredith Benton

[Casper, WY., December 9, 2021] On December 13th, the Wyoming Medical Center Foundation (WMC Foundation) will direct deposit over $2 million across 27 nonprofit bank accounts in Natrona County. The awarded funding is for unrestricted, two-year, general operating support for each organization to help build their capacity to serve the community. The awarded nonprofits will receive the same amount of funding(again, totaling over $2 million), in December 2022.

WMC Foundation Board of Directors’ priorities with this first round of funding includes supporting organizations directly engaged with and supporting underprivileged populations and and/or organizations that provide mental and behavioral health services. The long-term purpose of the funding is to begin solving systems by travelling upstream to fix the issues that lead to problems nonprofits are helping to solve. This requires WMCF’s nonprofit partners to be well-resourced with appropriate funding to support a strong foundation in which they operate and serve those in need. The multi-year, general operating support seeks to accomplish this by helping them build their capacity to provide their vital services in the community.

WMC Foundation CEO, Meredith Benton, explains:

“We trust our nonprofit partners, who are closest to the issues, to determine how best to leverage those dollars to make an impact in Natrona County. While we cut the checks, the real success stories will be what our nonprofit community does with those funds.”

The WMC Foundation selected the nonprofit recipients through an open application process made available to any organization that met the eligibility requirements. In effort to reduce administrative burden for local nonprofits, the foundation only required applicants to provide contact information and answer a single question about how they would spend the funds.

To continue the momentum of this initial round of support, the WMC Foundation is working on their strategic plan, set to be finalized early in the new year. The strategic plan identifies opportunities to help improve the health and wellbeing of Natrona County residents, including a focused strategy to do so. Over 50 community members have contributed to the board’s strategic planning process through individual interviews and focus groups, providing insight and directing how the foundation’s work should help build a stronger, healthier community.

For an interview regarding the foundation or this initial round of funding, please email Meredith Benton at [email protected].

Nonprofits receiving funding in 2021 and 2022:

•12-24 Club
•Casper Pride
•Central Wyoming Counseling Center
•Child Development Center
•Children’s Advocacy Center
•Climb Wyoming
•Community Health Center of Central Wyoming
•Parents as Teachers (NOWCAP)
•Mercer Family Resource Center
•Self-Help Center
•Seton House
•WY Food for Thought Project
•Youth Crisis Center

•Casper Family Connections
•Interfaith of Natrona County
•Iris’s Clubhouse
•Juntos WY

•Reach 4 A Star Riding Academy
•Hope House
•CHA Cares

•Mimi’s House
•NAMI Natrona County
•Natrona County Suicide Prevention Coalition
•Olivia Caldwell Foundation

•Arc of Natrona County

About the foundation:
44The WMC Foundation recently transitioned to a private foundation, as a result of the transaction Wyoming Medical Center and Banner Health last year. The money from the transaction created the $250 million endowment for a new private foundation with a different purpose and mission. While the prior foundation raised funds to support the hospital, the new foundation is a 501c3 private foundation, or a health conversion foundation. Instead of fundraising for Wyoming Medical Center, we will distribute at least 5% of the endowment to both the hospital and to public nonprofitsthat are focused on improving the health and well-being of Natrona County residents. As part of this transition, WMC Foundation is currently engaged in a rebrand process and is excited to unveil a new name, website,and brand identity in early 2022.