MARION– Engaging kids in physical activity, helping men and women find housing, providing one hot meal a day, assisting persons addicted to drugs break the cycle, building a healthier community and encouraging teens to complete high school are just some of the many impacts resulting from Marion Community Foundation grants. Change takes perseverance and, often, financial resources. Marion Community Foundation’s Grants Program gives local non-profits organizations the chance to apply for funds to support their programs.
Applications for Marion Community Foundation’s 2014 Grants Program become are now available. Non-profit organizations in Marion County have potential access to nearly $700,000 in grant funds. The competitive grants program draws awards from 16 funds managed by the Foundation, specifically for the purpose of supporting local charitable programs and organizations.
According to Dean Jacob, MCF president and CEO, the Foundation has an annual open application period for area non-for-profit organizations. Applications, which will be due July 25, are available online at marioncommunityfoundation.org. Award decisions will be finalized at the Foundation’s August board meeting.
“While the deadline is several weeks away, it is important for those considering applying that applications be started as soon as possible,” said program manager Julie Prettyman. “This year the application will available exclusively online. Instructions are available online as well; and, we will be holding an instructional seminar on June 24.”
During the June 24 instructional seminar, Prettyman will provide an overview of the grants process for those interested in applying, beginning at 10 a.m. in the Marion Family YMCA conference room, 645 Barks Road. During the session, she will provide attendees with an outline of the grant process, a description of the Grants Committee’s priorities, and instructions for completing the grant applications online. Attendance at the information seminar is not mandatory. More details are available by calling Marion Community Foundation at 387-9704.
“It is worth noting that while $700,000 is a great deal of money, the competitive grants program involves only a small portion of the more than 170 funds in the Foundation’s portfolio,” said Jacob. “Thousands of dollars of additional grant funds are awarded each year from designated, organizational endowment and donor advised funds in addition to the competitive grants.”
There are categories within the competitive grants program. One such category includes an array of seven unrestricted funds. This means that MCF’s Board of Trustees has discretion to make awards from these funds to meet evolving community needs. The unrestricted funds include: A. Merle Hamilton Fund, C Fund, Chester and Mildred Roberts Fund, Founders’ Fund, Conway Family Charitable Fund, Kenny Martin Charitable Fund and the Paul & Susan Ludwig Charitable Fund. Likewise, the Robert M. & Dorothy C. Wopat Community Fund provides significant resources to the community grants.
“The Wopat Fund is an example of individuals who truly cared about Marion, creating a lasting fund that today is helping us award dollars to non-profit organizations in our community,” said Jacob.
Several funds award grants for specific purposes or causes, as designated by the fund’s donor(s). Examples of these funds include the Childcare Choices Fund, Francis & Thelma Wise Fund, Health Care Fund, Helen Cunningham Handicapped Fund, Henry Heinzmann Community Food Pantry Fund, Jerry Grubaugh Memorial Fund, Kathleen E. O’Shea Fund and the Vera O. McDanel Senior Transportation Fund.
Some of the causes these fund seek to address include programs or projects which meet the transportation needs of Marion County citizens, help individuals transition from poverty to education and employment, treat or prevent obesity, address healthcare needs, treat or prevent arthritis, Parkinson’s Disease, blindness or vision impairment, promote the general welfare of persons with disabilities, support food availability to the poor and homeless, address drug abuse prevention, develop the area workforce and assist children, youth and families.
Additional information on Marion Community Foundation and its grants program is available by calling 387-9704 during standard business hours or by visiting the offices at 504 S. State St., inside the Stengel-True Museum, or on the web at marioncommunityfoundation.org.