MFRI awarded grant for Measuring Communities

Washington, D.C. – The Elizabeth Dole Foundation today announced the Military Family Research Institute (MFRI) at Purdue University as a recipient of a 2017 grant from the Foundation’s Hidden Heroes Fund.

The Fund is dedicated to supporting innovative programs making a direct impact in the lives of America’s military and veteran caregivers. More than half a million dollars will be distributed to fourteen nonprofit organizations to create new initiatives or expand existing programs.

The 2017 grant recipients were competitively selected from among nearly 150 applications from organizations nationally.

“When the Foundation launched Hidden Heroes in September, we renewed our commitment to do all we can to improve the lives of military caregivers, those spouses, mothers, dads, children, siblings, and friends who are caring for America’s wounded warriors,” said Senator Elizabeth Dole. “As part of this multifaceted initiative, we established the Hidden Heroes Fund to award grants to nonprofit organizations that are making a real difference in the lives of America’s military and veteran caregivers.”

The Military Family Research Institute (MFRI) conducts research on issues that affect military and veteran families and works to shape policies, programs and practices that improve their well-being. Measuring Communities, the landmark MFRI program created in partnership with the Purdue Center for Regional wwwelopment, will use the grant to combine the information captured on and through the Hidden Heroes Cities program with data provided by other organizations to create a fuller picture of the strengths and gaps in military family support in communities nationwide.

“MFRI is pleased to be awarded this grant by the Elizabeth Dole Foundation to expand work on the Measuring Communities online portal,” said Kathy Broniarczyk, Director of Family Support at MFRI. “The military caregiver population and their needs are not always well understood by the communities in which they live. Using the data collected on military caregivers by the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, MFRI, through the Measuring Communities online portal, can work to help communities understand and address the needs of this population. We are excited about the collaboration and the potential for this work to make a positive impact on these hidden heroes.”

Selection criteria for the grants include: the organization’s effectiveness in addressing military caregivers’ unique needs as determined by the Foundation-commissioned RAND study which established baseline research on the status of military caregivers; alignment with the Foundation’s eight critical impact areas: community support at home, education and training, employment, faith and spirituality, financial and legal support, mental and physical health, military family support and respite care; use of evidence-based resources to inform the creation of effective programming for caregivers; and the replicability of the program.

For interviews with Elizabeth Dole Foundation Executive Director Steve Schwab and grant recipients, please contact Austin Courtney at or 202-414-0791.