GHR Foundation is an independent philanthropic organization providing nurturing environments for children. The foundation establishes strategic partnerships with a network of religious institutes that share a commitment to serving, advocating, and creating spaces that promote family-like care and protection for children and society’s most vulnerable members.
The GHR Foundation uses Catholic social justice principles to pursue impact in areas related to providing care for orphans and vulnerable children in families. It also prioritizes the promotion of education, racial equity, and the prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias. 1
It was founded in 1965 by Gerald and Henrietta Rauenhorst. Gerald had previously established Opus Group, a consortium of commercial real estate development, construction, and design companies, in 1935, just three years after his marriage to Henrietta. 2
Suzanne Flannigan is the chief financial officer at GHR Foundation. Her association with Opus Group companies dates to 1998, during which time she has served in various capacities. 3
Amy Goldman holds the positions of CEO and chair at GHR Foundation, and in addition to her roles there, she is a member of the Opus Holding board of directors. 4
Jen Lynch is the Human Resources, IT, and facilities director for GHR Foundation. Lynch is also the foundation administrator for Opus Foundation. 5
Fred Miller serves as chief operating officer of GHR Foundation and managing director of the Biomedical domain. Miller is a director emeritus of McKinsey and Company, having served the company for more than 27 years. 6
Domains of Work
GHR Foundation primarily directs its attention to addressing issues in regions like Kenya, Cambodia, Uganda, Zambia, Malawi, South Africa, and Rome. The Foundation has partnered with the Faith to Action network, a nonprofit providing data and creating awareness on the limitations of orphanages. 7 The partnership involves research endeavours aimed at gaining a deeper understanding of U.S. Christian beliefs pertaining to support for orphanages, children’s homes, and other forms of residential care for children. 8
GHR is also committed to Alzheimer’s biomedical research to halt Alzheimer’s disease prior to the onset of cognitive decline by supporting new diagnostic tools and prevention trials. The nonprofit supported the first Alzheimer’s prevention trial efforts between 2013 and 2014 and the world’s first blood test for Alzheimer’s in 2020. 9
GHR international initiatives include a “Children in Families (CIF)” initiative where it supports Catholic sisters and other key faith actors to provide family care for Orphans and Other Vulnerable Children (OVCs). The initiative was launched in 2015 as the “Catholic care for Children in Uganda (CCCU)” with the objective of averting the separation of children from their families. 10
Locally, the nonprofit has invested in the Catholic education of children. With an assigned annual budget of $9.5 million, It has made 51 grant donations committed to responding to the evolving challenges that can affect young scholars in education today like math and reading proficiency, school choice, finances, language literacy and teacher quality. 11
In the Minneapolis and St. Paul metropolitan area of Minnesota, GHR established the Twin Cities Racial Equity Initiative (TCRE). This initiative aims to tackle the underlying factors contributing to inequities among Blacks, Indigenous people, and people of colour by emphasizing economic education, career advancement, and community development. 12
GHR has also engaged in collaborations with Catholic Care for Children International (CCCI), the International Union of Superiors General (UISG), and the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA) on a project called the “Regional Portrait.” The collaboration resulted in a foundational study on the approach and progress of Catholic care for children in East Africa. 13
In 2023, GHR worked with the Lancet, a major medical journal, 14 on a study that investigated the effects of COVID-19 on children and families. The study’s findings revealed that, worldwide, between March 1, 2020, and April 30, 2021, approximately 1,134,000 children lost their primary caregivers. 15
The nonprofit also operates a “Programs in Transition” initiative where it reviews its strategies to enable smooth transitions in between projects when GHR responds to new and changing world issues. 16
In 2017, Gerald Rauenhorst made a donation of $50 million to his alma mater, St. Thomas, specifically designated for undergraduate student scholarships. 17
Inspired by Pope Francis’ goal to promote inclusive global development, GHR Foundation established the “Prepare the Future” initiative during the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. GHR’s official homepage highlights that they have made 65 grant donations to support this cause. 18
In 2022, GHR allocated over $55 million in grants, with 38.94 percent ($21,418,192) directed towards education, 22.55 percent ($12,400,000) dedicated to Alzheimer’s prevention, 16.19 percent ($8,906,129) designated for its “Prepare the Future” initiative, 13.27 percent ($7,320,397) earmarked for “Children in Families”, 6.78 percent ($3,730,000) allocated to initiatives promoting racial equity, and 3.05 percent ($1,679,574) allocated to address other issues. 19
In 2023, ST. LOUIS C2N Diagnostics LLC, a leader in advanced brain health diagnostics, announced that it had secured a $15 million program-related investment from GHR Foundation. This financial commitment marks an expansion of GHR’s initial $20 million program-related investment provided to C2N in early 2020. 20
GHR Foundation revenue grew from $23,514,493 in 2012 to $57,385,505 in 2015, but then decreased to $45,004,494 in 2016. Subsequently, in 2019, the revenue surged to $276,688,151 but experienced declines in the subsequent years, culminating in a revenue of $96,660,142 in 2021. 21
- “The Foundation.” GHR Foundation. Accessed October 25, 2023. https://www.ghrfoundation.org/the-foundation.html.
- “History & Legacy.” GHR Foundation. Accessed October 2, 2023. https://www.ghrfoundation.org/history–legacy.html.
- “Suzanne Flannigan.” GHR Foundation. Accessed October 2, 2023. https://www.ghrfoundation.org/suzanne-flannigan.html.
- “Amy Rauenhorst Goldman.” GHR Foundation. Accessed October 2, 2023. https://www.ghrfoundation.org/amy-rauenhorst-goldman.html.
- “Jen Lynch.” GHR Foundation. Accessed October 2, 2023. https://www.ghrfoundation.org/jen-lynch.html.
- “Fred Miller.” GHR Foundation. Accessed October 2, 2023. https://www.ghrfoundation.org/fred-miller.html.
- “About Us.” Faith to Action, September 25, 2023. https://www.faithtoaction.org/about-us/
- “Children in Families.” GHR Foundation. Accessed October 2, 2023. https://www.ghrfoundation.org/children-in-families.html.
- “Alzheimer’s Initiative.” GHR Foundation. Accessed October 2, 2023. https://www.ghrfoundation.org/alzheimers-initiative.html.
- “Catholic Care for Children in Uganda.” Association of Religious in Uganda, July 9, 2019. https://aruamsriu.org/catholic-care-for-children-in-uganda/.
- “Catholic Education.” GHR Foundation. Accessed October 2, 2023. https://www.ghrfoundation.org/catholic-education.html.
- “Twin Cities Racial Equity (TCRE).” GHR Foundation. Accessed October 2, 2023. https://www.ghrfoundation.org/twin-cities-racial-equity.html.
- Catholic care for children in Eastern Africa – ghrfoundation.org. Accessed October 2, 2023. https://www.ghrfoundation.org/uploads/3/1/3/1/31315939/regional_portrait.pdf.
- The lancet | the best science for better lives. Accessed October 2, 2023. https://www.thelancet.com/.
- Global minimum estimates of children affected by covid-19 … – the lancet. Accessed October 2, 2023. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)01253-8/fulltext.
- “Programs in Transition.” GHR Foundation. Accessed October 2, 2023. https://www.ghrfoundation.org/program-transitions.html.
- Prather, Shannon, and Star Tribune. “St. Thomas Receives a Record $50 Million Gift from Grateful Alum.” Star Tribune, November 16, 2017. https://www.startribune.com/st-thomas-announces-50-million-gift-for-undergrad-scholarhips/457842973/.
- “Prepare the Future.” GHR Foundation. Accessed October 2, 2023. https://www.ghrfoundation.org/prepare-the-future.html.
- “Grants & Financials.” GHR Foundation. Accessed October 2, 2023. https://www.ghrfoundation.org/grants–financials.html.
- “C2N Diagnostics Announces Follow-on Investment from GHR Foundation as It Builds on Success in Novel Diagnostics to Aid in Alzheimer’s Disease Fight.” Business Wire, February 16, 2023. https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20230216005805/en/C2N-Diagnostics-Announces-Follow-on-Investment-from-GHR-Foundation-as-It-Builds-on-Success-in-Novel-Diagnostics-to-Aid-in-Alzheimer%E2%80%99s-Disease-Fight.
- Suozzo, Andrea, Alec Glassford, Ash Ngu, and Brandon Roberts. “GHR Foundation, Full Filing – Nonprofit Explorer.” ProPublica, May 9, 2013. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/453996122/202233199349107158/full.