CF grants help Grundy nonprofits


By Devan Gagliardo – Program Director at the Community Foundation of Grundy County

Jan. 18, 2016

As I reflect on 2015, I am proud of the impact the Community Foundation of Grundy County’s grant-making has had on the local community.

The Community Foundation’s unrestricted or competitive grant program saw an increase in the number of requests for funding this year. With so many worthy causes, it becomes difficult for our grants committee to decide which requests received funding, and which did not.

However, I believe the grants committee was able to make a huge impact in Grundy County this year with the choices made.

Our unrestricted grants program was able to provide grants to several deserving organizations serving Grundy County. Through our grant-making, the Coal City Public Library was able to purchase new furniture for its teen area and Small Town Theatrics was able to purchase costumes for the “Mary Poppins” musical.

A Community Foundation grant allowed Gardner Grade School to bring Rachel’s Challenge to Gardner, South Wilmington and Braceville students and communities. Our grant-making also allowed We Care of Grundy County to purchase a new van and Peace Lutheran Church to purchase an AED.

The AED was much needed as Peace Lutheran hosts many community events and activities, including the overnight PADS shelter.

Joliet Area Hospice replaced its outdated two-way radios with new ones to enhance employee communication, efficiency and security.

Because of our grant-making the Minooka Citizen’s Police was able to purchase an AED for the Community Room within Minooka Village Hall, and Channahon Police Cadets now have bullet-resistant vests to help them better serve the community.

Our grant-making also will allow Community Nutrition Network to continue to provide hot meals to senior citizens in Grundy County. Lastly, we were able to help a new nonprofit organization, The EXibit Fine Arts Center and Gallery, with marketing costs to help spread the word that they exist. Keep your ears and eyes open for more information on The EXibit.

In addition to our unrestricted grants, the foundation has made a countless number of grants to nonprofit organizations from donor advised funds. The Community Foundation also has a Who Wants to be a Grant Maker program during monthly Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours events. These grants are given in $100 increments to a charity of the winning individual’s choice. This year, these $100 grants were given to Just Animals, Grundy Three Rivers Habitat for Humanity, St. Baldrick’s Foundation, We Care of Grundy County, Illinois Valley Industries, Living Alternative, Patriots 4 Heroes, Grundy County Historical Society, Angels of Hope and Community Nutrition Network.

At the beginning of 2015, a youth philanthropy group was created to not only educate youth on the importance of giving, but to also provide them with an opportunity to do so.

Between January and May, a group of 13 students from Seneca High School learned about several area nonprofits, then had the daunting task of deciding who would receive a grant. In the end, they gave out a total of $5,000 to four organizations: We Care of Grundy County, Seneca Food Pantry, Pet Project Inc., and Youth Service Bureau of LaSalle County.

The youth philanthropy group continues to meet the third Sunday of each month at 6 p.m. in Morris. The group is open to any high school student from Grundy County.

The Community Foundation began a new grant year with the start of 2016 and will again have $30,000 to grant to 501c3 organizations serving Grundy County residents. The Grants and Programs Committee meets the first Wednesday of each month to review grant requests.

If your nonprofit organization is interested in applying for a grant from the Community Foundation of Grundy County, visit for information or contact us at 815-941-0852. We wish everyone a healthy, happy 2016!

  • Devan Gagliardo is the program director at the Community Foundation of Grundy County.

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