An Inside Look at Kendal Charitable Funds: A Conversation with Diane Massey

Diane Massey, Director of Outreach and Engagement, as well as the Interim Executive Director of Kendal Charitable Funds (KCF), recently sat down with Meaghan, Kendal’s partner at AKCG – Public Relations Counselors, for an interview discussing KCF initiatives, ongoing funding strategies and how Kendal Affiliates and the larger aging services community can get involved.

Meaghan: “For those new to The Kendal System, can you give an overview of what KCF is and your two main funding programs?”

Diane: “KCF’s mission is to support Kendal and provide funding for the philanthropic needs of Kendal, Kendal Affiliates and the larger aging services community.

The two primary grant programs are the Promising Innovations grant and the Affiliate Grant processes.The Lloyd Lewis Promising Innovations Fund provides grants to non-profits outside of Kendal who are innovating new programs, projects and solutions that positively impact the lives of older adults in society. The Affiliate Grant program supports Kendal Affiliates to initiate imaginative programs that impact, engage and enrich the lives of older adults, while also involving residents, members and the community around them.”

Meaghan: “Over the past year, many Kendal communities have used their Affiliate Grant funds to tackle issues specific to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) and workforce challenges. Can you share an example of how an affiliate has used the funds provided by KCF to improve its community?”

Diane: Barclay Friends’ Creative Approach to Recruiting and Retaining CNAs is an excellent example of the grant funds in action. When we launched the latest round of funds, Barclay Friends knew they wanted to focus on the critical work that Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) provide to communities. The community launched an innovative training model on campus to encourage more people to join the employee team and align Barclay Friends’ staff to Quaker values. It also gave existing staff members the opportunity to learn a new skill, advance in their professional development and career.

Each affiliate uses these funds in new and impactful ways. Another example of a meaningful program is Kendal at Hanover, which used its grant funds for SAGECare training and also implemented a gender awareness educational series that included a diversity circle, a gender diversity panel, a photoshoot, and an educational series that had a diversity circle and gender diversity panel.

The Affiliate Grant program allows communities to expand their thinking and curate open, honest and impactful programs for members of the System and the wider aging community.”

Meaghan: “Is there anything you wish more people knew about KCF or the issues you are trying to solve?”

Diane: “We desire to be in close partnership with The Kendal System. Together, we can build effective working relationships with affiliates and other non-profits outside of Kendal. The mission extends outside of just the Kendal footprint – it impacts the sector and experience of aging in a larger way. In collaboration with its partners, KCF has the capacity to impact and transform the experience of aging in the larger field and broader world.”

Meaghan: “Where does most of your funding come from?”

Diane: “KCF funding comes from Kendal and KCF board members, staff, and corporate sponsors whose contributions have been invaluable, fostering meaningful and impactful initiatives within Kendal and beyond. The Promising Innovations Fund and Affiliate Grant funding continue to make a real difference in the lives of older adults, staff and the larger community, thanks to this support.”

Meaghan: “What are some areas of opportunity for KCF in the new year?”

Diane: “KCF is working on a renewed focus for 2024, including gathering new perspectives on affiliate needs. Some leadership changes have happened within KCF’s board of directors. We are grateful to previous leadership for their dedication and contributions to KCF’s mission and look forward to what the current board can achieve.

We are also undergoing a strategic planning process, allowing us to evaluate our funding, grant processes and programming. This plan will strengthen KCF as a sector catalyst and better our goals to transform the experience of aging. Due to this, we are currently on hiatus for the Promising Innovations Grant applications for 2024 and will provide updates later this year regarding the Affiliate Grant.

In the new year, we encourage residents and members of Kendal who want to see KCF and Kendal continue to make an impact to step forward and consider a leadership position on the board.”

Meaghan: “If I wanted to stay connected with the work that KCF is doing, what are the best ways to learn more?”

Diane: “The KCF website and social channels are the best way to stay connected. These channels are frequently updated with blogs and news to show progress on funding programs. The goal is to have a broader reach, leading to a greater impact on the aging community. To stay connected on the transformative programs with affiliates and other external non-profits, visit our Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter pages.”

To learn more about KCF and ways to donate, visit