In 2016, two married public health professionals celebrated the birth of their second son by starting to make health-related grants. The phrase “from now on” came to them from the Irving Berlin song “Blue Skies”. In that song, Berlin shares his joy in becoming a father, “Blue days, all of them gone; nothing but blue skies, from now on.”
From a place of joy and gratitude, the From Now On Fund aims to reduce inequities in health and well-being outcomes in the United States. It is a donor advised fund and is housed at the Tides Foundation which is a philanthropic partner and nonprofit accelerator dedicated to building a world of shared prosperity and social justice.
Public health principles and goals ground and inspire the From Now On Fund as it seeks to eliminate systemic inequities in health and well-being outcomes in the United States. Since its inception, the fund has supported organizations advancing food security or household worker health work in the United States. It seeks to expand access to the federally-funded nutrition support system. The fund works toward funding policy changes that catalyze broad-reaching and long-term change.
The From Now On Fund’s support strengthens nonprofit organizations and their leaders’ efforts to protect and promote food security for children and their families. It nurtures the organizational capacity of organizations pushing for better health, dignity, and rights of workers in the care economy. By focusing on workers in the care economy, its funding reaches immigrant women of color as they seek to strengthen their health and their families’ health.
Total Assets: $824,230 (FY21)
Amount Dedicated to Health-Related Grants: $824,230 (FY21)
Special Initiatives and/or Representative Health and Human Services Grants
Chef Ann Foundation culinary college connections for California cafeterias—This grant leverages additional public and private support to launch a novel partnership to train culinary students and place them in school kitchens to facilitate more nutritious, scratch cooking for students. ($150,000 over two years)
Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) child nutrition program access and Native American access to nutrition programs—These grant resources support policy development, communications, and mobilization of FRAC partners to make policy changes to increase the number of low-income students eligible for and participating in the federal nutrition safety net programs. Additionally, they will enable FRAC and local partners to pursue policy and program changes to ensure equitable access for Native American populations to federal nutrition safety programs. ($175,000)
Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) healthy food policy campaigns—This grant supports CSPI to advance federal and state healthier food banking policies, to assess the nutritional impacts of anti-poverty measures, to leverage SNAP to strengthen healthy eating, and to pursue limits on added sugars in school meals. ($215,000)
National WIC Association (NWA) Building Momentum for Change – Enhancing the WIC Food Package—These funds support the National WIC Association to enhance the adequacy of the WIC food package and to sustain temporary benefit increases enacted in 2020. NWA developed policy analysis and communication tools to work with its partners and policymakers to strengthen WIC in 2021. ($100,000)
Center for Ecoliteracy general support—These funds support school meal program resilience, lifting up important voices from the field, and providing vital connectivity for school nutrition professionals through the remainder of this school year and into the next. ($100,000)
From Now On Fund and GIH
In August 2021, Jane Schmitz, Advisor of the From Now On Fund, joined a GIH-sponsored webinar called “Caring about Careworkers: Essential to Future of Health.” Household workers is a less developed portfolio for FNO Fund than its nutrition-related grantmaking. Coming into this webinar, Jane hoped to hear from nonprofit leaders who could push the fund to consider new ways of thinking and collaborating and supporting. Rachel Wick of the Blue Shield of California Foundation moderated a session that informed the FNO Fund staff’s thinking and expanded its giving. Due to the webinar, the fund seeks to support worker cooperatives in the care economy.
Strategic Changes in Grantmaking Direction
“We aim to seed a pooled grant mechanism to support anti-hunger initiatives launched by community-based organizations in the United States. Together with other funders, this new pooled fund would be guided by participatory grantmaking principles. It’s not just what this proposed fund will support, but how it will support it.”
– Jane Schmitz, Advisor of the From Now On Fund