Foundation News

2019 Annual Report

John and Natasha Deane Foundation

Finding and Forging Socially Beneficial Innovations for Tennessee Communities


2019 Annual Report

Prepared by
Jacob Kleinrock
Director, John and Natasha Deane Foundation
January 22, 2020

I. Introduction

 Incorporated in 2017, the John and Natasha Deane Foundation is an independent, not-for-profit organization, whose mission is to find and forge socially beneficial innovations for Tennessee communities. This Annual Report provides an overview of Deane Foundation activities during its second year of operations.

The Deane Foundation effectively began to operate in mid-April 2018 following the retirements of its founders. While 2018 was a time of listening, learning, and discerning across the state, 2019 was a time of implementation and action.

In 2019, we chose two main paths of action: OnwardTN and our CivicSalons. Our aim was to use these two projects to focus within our four pillars (Civic Engagement, Rural Community Development, Health & Wellness, and Social Justice) on decisive activities to help the community.

II. OnwardTN

OnwardTN is our nonprofit consulting organization. From our travels across the state, we learned that nonprofit organizations in Tennessee have a need for external help in developing their operations to their full potential. We also learned that people in our networks were interested in helping with the Deane Foundation mission on short term engagements.

To create a nexus for these two ideas, we created OnwardTN to attract professionals with the time and interest to do this work as pro-bono consultants. Our friends hosted an announcement party which attracted about 50 individuals who heard us pitch OnwardTN as an idea. In follow up to that, we recruited 18 people from a variety of backgrounds to be our pro-bono consultants. Experts in strategy, operations, business development, fundraising, growth and expansion, communications, and more.

We then began reaching out to nonprofit partners. Since many of our pro-bono consultants had backgrounds in the health care field, we focused on finding partners whose mission fell within the Health & Wellness pillar. We partnered with the Tennessee Charitable Care Network to participate in a webinar for their member organizations—nonprofits across the state that work in health care. We had over a dozen Executive Directors join the webinar and ended up helping one of them (Giving Smiles, an organization that provides low-cost dental services) with a communications-related project through OnwardTN.

Some projects used our network to connect synergetic organizations, others imbedded ourselves within organizations to help with their strategic growth and vision, while still others consisted of 100-day engagements to tackle major structural changes

We worked with some great organizations in the state including:

We’ve learned that careful selection is required on the front end of projects to ensure that the Deane Foundation is able to provide real value and impact a true need. In 2020, we will continue to watch for potential partners as we focus on growing our CivicSalon program.

III. CivicSalons

Our CivicSalons are an opportunity for us to introduce the Deane Foundation network and friends to organizations and ideas that we feel are making a major impact, or have the potential to make a major impact, on the future of Tennessee. In 2019 we hosted CivicSalons with guest counts ranging from 30-75 on topics such as:

Our CivicSalons are not fundraisers for the Deane Foundation or our partners, but they are an opportunity for the partners to meet new prospective donors, supporters, and volunteers and an opportunity for our attendees to learn more about the partners. We encourage a back and forth as well as sharing of contact information for partner follow up at a later date.

In 2020, we are committing to offer CivicSalons on a bi-monthly basis. Some partners we already have lined up include Empowering Church Health Outreach, OrganizeTN, and the Southern Christian Coalition. We hope to continue to grow our email list and digital presence to create more opportunities for people to hear about these organizations and people doing important work in our state.

We hope you will save the dates for our upcoming CivicSalons:

If you are interested in attending any of these CivicSalons or are not receiving our invitations and would like to, please email Jacob Kleinrock at

Published on January 22, 2020 3:04pm

John Deane

Article By

John Deane

Born in Baltimore in 1961, John attended American University. For 32 years, John led a successful career as a senior healthcare executive. In 1998 John founded Southwind Health Partners, a start-up healthcare business focused on providing management services for hospital and health system sponsored physician practices out of his home in Nashville and over 20 years grew the business into one of the nation’s pre-eminent healthcare consulting practices. Following the acquisition of Southwind by Advisory Board John led the development of an expansive, full-service consulting and management division serving over 250 health system clients in 50 states with approximately 400 consultants and staff.

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