How to help Grundy County area nonprofits during state budget crisis

By DEVAN GAGLIARDO –  Program director for Community Foundation of Grundy County

Oct. 12, 2015

Over the last several months, the state budget has been the topic of conversation among area nonprofits. It’s a hard topic to ignore when it causes local agencies to change programming and cut staff. Grundy County has many organizations that serve residents and do an excellent job of doing so; however, what happens when the state or federal funding runs out? Mental health facilities close, meals stopped being served, children go without early intervention therapies, and the list goes on and on.

The Community Foundation of Grundy County is interested in educating the community on philanthropy, giving and area nonprofits, which is one reason we started a Youth Philanthropy program. We believe having a philanthropic community is important and philanthropy should start at a young age.

But what if you are not so young anymore? How can you help area nonprofits to ensure your children and grandchildren have future access to local services if and when they are needed?

In the short term, you can give monetarily to those organizations whose missions you believe in or those you have received help from in the past. Offer to volunteer your time at an organization.

Oftentimes having volunteers allows organizations to refrain from hiring staff to carry out certain day-to-day tasks, which in turns saves money. Ask an organization how you can help them with upcoming fundraising events.

If you are looking to make a long-term impact, you can make a large donation to an organization. Although I realize many individuals don’t have the means to do this, there are some individuals who do. When I say a large donation, I mean a donation of office space guaranteed rent free for the next five, 10, or more years.  Or a monetary donation large enough to ensure a specific program can remain intact for many years to come. Talk with us at the Community Foundation of Grundy County about creating a fund that best suits what you are looking to accomplish in your gift-giving. Funds can be set up at the community foundation for a specific purpose or for a specific agency. Funds that are set up with the community foundation allow donors to leave a legacy that will impact their community for decades to come.

So what if you are looking to be charitable, but don’t know where help is needed?

The Community Foundation has a nonprofit wish list available. Organizations were asked to complete a form containing several questions about their mission, goals and needs. These were complied to form a wish list that can give potential donors an opportunity to see what some of the local agencies greatest needs are.

Although this list may not have every nonprofit represented, it is a good starting place. And of course, foundation staff are always willing to brainstorm with you. For information on creating a fund at the Community Foundation of Grundy County or the wish list, call 815-941-0852.

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