Foundation will move to Baltimore Group's focus is poor children

April 21, 1993|By Timothy J. Mullaney | Timothy J. Mullaney,Staff Writer

A Connecticut-based philanthropy specializing in child-oriented policy research will move its headquarters to Baltimore next year, city officials and the Annie E. Casey Foundation said yesterday.

The $923 million foundation, founded by the family of one of the founders of United Parcel Service, expects to move from Greenwich, Conn., in September 1994. It is one of the 25 largest philanthropic foundations in America and the largest devoted exclusively to poor children and families, spokesman Bill Rust said. The foundation funds both services and research.

"We're a foundation with one issue, and that's kids," Mr. Rust said.

"This is a major, major relocation," Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke said.

Baltimore was chosen over a range of cities that included Atlanta and Stamford, Conn., Mr. Rust said. Officials of the foundation and the state said the group was not offered any incentives to relocate here, in contrast to the spirited bidding war last year between Baltimore and Atlanta to lure the international relief agency CARE from New York. CARE ended up picking Atlanta.

The Casey Foundation, which has 40 employees, has not yet chosen a specific building in Baltimore as its new headquarters.

The group plans to have about 70 employees by the mid-1990s, Mr. Rust said.

The foundation will make a total of $56.3 million in grants in 1993, Mr. Rust said, up from $31 million last year. About $40 million will go to direct services for children and families, and $16 million to back research and public education efforts, he said.

Mr. Rust said part of the reason the group is moving here is that a large number of its grant recipients are within a short distance of the Baltimore-Washington area. He also noted that the area has a wider range of lower-cost housing options for its staff than Connecticut.

Mr. Rust said the foundation's move to Baltimore could prompt more local giving. "The foundation acknowledges civic responsibility to the city where we have our headquarters, but we haven't worked out exactly what that's going to be," he said.

The foundation has poured $9 million in recent years into a Maryland program that Mr. Rust said combines direct delivery of services with studies of how state agencies can work together better to serve poor families.

The state has contributed another $14 million to the effort, known as the Child Welfare Reform Initiative, Mr. Rust said.

Another Baltimore grant from the foundation went to Advocates for Children and Youth to fund a "data book" chronicling the health, economic status and social well-being of Maryland's children, Mr. Rust said.

The foundation has also endowed the Casey Journalism Center for Children and Families at the University of Maryland at College Park. The center, which opened last week, plans to train journalists to cover children's issues more effectively.

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