For more than half a century, the Edward Bangs Kelley and Elza Kelley Foundation has enriched the quality of life on Cape Cod, supporting nonprofit organizations that serve the health, social, educational, cultural and environmental needs of the people who live here.
The foundation’s broad mission is “to promote the health and welfare of the inhabitants of Barnstable County” and a board of directors that represents a cross-section of the community enable the foundation to respond to changing needs. Recognizing that Cape residents would be severely impacted by the deep recession that started in 2008, the Kelley Foundation quickly adjusted its focus to devote a significant portion of its grants to the basic needs of food, shelter and medical assistance.
That focus continued into 2010, broadened to help families by including extra-curricular programs for under-served children. Through this special grants program, $87,500 was awarded to 21 organizations, from food pantries and homeless prevention programs to after-school tutoring. A simplified application process ensured that all organizations supporting emergency needs had access to these funds.
Gains in the foundation’s corpus enabled the board of directors to increase its support to the Cape community. In 2016, through the foundation’s traditional grants program, 23 nonprofit groups received a total of $275,325, as well as $40,000 for Cape Cod Healthcare and Cape Cod Community College's BSN Scholarship Program.
The Kelley Foundation, along with Cape Cod Healthcare and other local private foundations, has also seeded the "Cape Cod Substance Abuse Prevention and Education Initiative." A strategic plan has been developed and many alliances built to address this growing community crisis.