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Spotlight on an Awesome Foundation

Monday, October 7, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: James R. Hollon
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Spotlight on an Awesome Foundation


James R. “Jim” Hollon




How do you enhance the quality of life and health in two cities and the surrounding area like Phoenix and Scottsdale?  Maybe the spotlight on an awesome CEO and its amazing board of directors and staff will give us a clue.

First, may we realize there are more than 1,000 foundations in these two cities and more than 20,000 nonprofits in the state of Arizona.  This is a lot of money working to help a lot of people rise to a higher level and attain a much better life.  Two of these entities have over one billion of assets.

Let’s give credit to the state leaders for their effort to create the environment for these foundations and nonprofits to accomplish their many varied goals.  You only have to look at the two impact studies done by an amazing Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits in the last five years to learn what they have added to the quality of life, health, and their standard of living.  Just study the reports and let them wake you up in awe. 

But we must single out one of these foundations and look under the spotlight, then multiply that by 1,000 foundations and 20,000 nonprofits.  Let’s ask the question, what would these two cities and the state of Arizona alone look like without this massive effort and all of the volunteers giving so much of their resources and valuable time to make a difference happen?  You guessed it.

BHHS Legacy Foundation was created in 1977, a long time ago, so can we just wonder how many people they have made a difference for in that number of years.  Well, that is not all of the story, the Legacy Connection has been added and just wonder, what all of this has added to the difference made for the homeless children and very low-income families.  All you have to do to spot one difference made is look at the Assistance League of Phoenix Operation School Bell.  They have a bus going to a school with clothes, shoes, backpacks and so many other things.  Ah!  Just one bus, now there are plans for more buses and more schools, etc.

So, may we now look at the four major areas where BHHS Legacy Foundation and Legacy Connection concentrate grants they are able to give each year.  How could you improve on these four major focuses that follow, improving community health, expanding Arizona’s health work force, strengthening the community, and increasing access to health care?  What a focus, and what a large number of grants to accomplish this.  Size of these grants are from $1,000 to $1 million and number over 100 of them every year.  Now that is making a difference.

Much efficiency has to happen, so this leadership by the CEO, Gerald (Jerry) Wissink and a wide-awake, thinking and working outside of the box staff, make this a priority happening.  They work in comfort by Jerry’s outside of the box creating Legacy Place 1 and Legacy Place ll office complex.  Now other nonprofits have wonderful places for offices.

With all of this happening, we must look at some examples of how a grant could make such a difference in one or more of these focused areas.  In 2012, a wonderful mother went through three years battling leukemia with her 3-year-old daughter, then spent nine months fighting a cancerous brain tumor.  What courage, maybe only a loving mother could cope with.  Yet in 2012, Loraine Tallman founded Amanda Hope Rainbow Angels nonprofit.  It is one of the many of this kind of nonprofits set up to make that big difference happen for the less fortunate.  Again, with more than 20,000 nonprofits in the state, we have the privilege of knowing our less fortunate people can find help.

Another example of a wonderful CEO, with more than one CEO position, has come back to lead Assistance League of Phoenix, a nonprofit organization that has been helping children and families for nearly 60 years. Aimee Runyon took their clothing distribution program to a new level when she created the Operation School Bell bus and doubled the number of children served each year. She states that BHHS Legacy Foundation grants make it possible to make a great difference.

One more example is how one BHHS Legacy Foundation scholarship to Mohave College has helped with improving the hospital workforce.  One of their scholarships went to an individual EMT firefighter, having trouble making enough to support his family.  Anthony Salari was granted the scholarship twice and graduated with a 4.0 GPA in radiology from Mohave Community College.  He is now employed at Western Arizona Regional Medical Center which was part of the birth and founding of BHHS Legacy Foundation.

So, what might be done to help increase these major grants from these 1,000 foundations and more than 20,000 nonprofits in Arizona.  There is a way and since the 1990 Nobel Prize for Economics, there are two companies that have been steadily increasing returns on assets by using the academic research and cutting much of the cost of foundation and nonprofit operations.  One of the companies started in 1991 and now has a 28-year record with above the average returns and cost cutting.

Using this research, one such foundation is in another state.  Since May of 2000, this foundation has been able to give grants amounting to 150% of the original corpus, had 120% of corpus left and never had a fundraiser.  Cost savings and good returns have made this possible.

Past performance does not guarantee future results            .

During the last two years, a second company cut the cost drastically in the invested assets for the foundations and nonprofits, as much as ½ of a percent.  So, the last five years this company has produced a return over 1.25% greater than the other company.  This particular company now has over $23 billion in foundation assets at work.


The author of this article is the financial advisor for the out of state mentioned foundation since May, 2000.  He wants to share his experience with other foundations and nonprofits.


The Dow Jones average correction March 9, 2009 ended with an average of 6547.  On Friday, August 30th Dow Jones Average closed at 26,362.25.


This was 19,000 plus points higher than the end of the 2008 correction.  So, we ask how have our personal portfolios, foundations and nonprofits responded in such a great bull market.  Personally, I have gained over four times the assets I put to work in this research since June 2, 1999.


Let’s focus on what we can become.  It’s time to grow some more!  Maybe change for the better.



James R. “Jim” Hollon




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