Name of Foundation: The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Contact info: www.davethomasfoundation.org Phone: (614) 702-2248
Coverage Area: U.S. (national)
Subject Area: Foster Care and Adoption
Assets: $14.3 million (2012)
Last Year Total Giving: $8.3 million (2012)
In a nutshell:
The Dave Thomas Foundation was founded in 1992, by Dave himself, the founder of the fast food chain Wendy’s. Dave Thomas grew up in an adoptive family and made it his personal mission to help others like him. The foundation started with a straightforward mission, to help every child in foster care find a loving, permanent family.
Dave Thomas was a strong and visible advocate for adoption throughout the 90’s. He testified before Congress to support an adoption tax credit that aims to make adoption more affordable. He also worked to create a national adoption stamp. Dave Thomas passed away in 2002, but the foundation continues to do the work their founder prioritized.
In 2004, the foundation launched their largest ongoing fundraising endeavor, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids. The program, which also uses donations through Wendy’s restaurants nationwide, funds adoption professionals to find permanent homes for children in foster care. The program funds organizations that employ Wendy’s Wonderful Kid’s recruiters who work regionally to help children that have slipped through the system’s cracks. The recruiters work with children who have been waiting the longest for an adoptive family and home. To view all 194 Wendy’s Wonderful Kid’s recipients by state, click here.
Other activities the foundation funds include free educational resources about the realities and myths of adoption, promoting adoption awareness, and assisting policymakers and employers to make adoption an affordable option for working parents. The foundation also provides general grants to organizations with proven or innovative initiatives that further their mission. The general grants are awarded to organizations that have a national impact or can be replicated on a national level.
Currently, Rita Soronen leads the foundation. She has been the President and CEO since 2001. She has been in the child welfare field for over 30 years.
Wendy’s Wonderful Kids
How to Apply:
There are 2 major funding paths, The first is for general adoption grants. These grants are given to new and innovative ideas, as well as proven programs that focus on foster care adoption in the United States. Applicants must be nonprofit organizations and have a national impact or have plans for national replication.
After a brief online eligibility quiz, organizations will be asked to submit an electronic Letter of Interest. There are no application deadlines, but applicants should hear within 60 days of submittal of the LOI, whether or not to submit a full proposal.
The second funding path is through the Wendy’s Wonderful kids program. This grant is given to public and private adoption agencies in the U.S and Canada, to hire adoption professionals who implement proactive, child-focused recruitment programs, targeted exclusively on moving America’s longest-waiting children from foster care into adoptive families.
To qualify to be a potential Wendy’s Wonderful Kids grantee, organizations must complete an online eligibility quiz, followed by an organizational profile. The foundation will contact the grantee if they are seeking to fund programs in their area.
News and Grant Activity:
2013/2014 National Grantees