New year, new plans

2013 grant budget increases to $20,000

by Devan Gagliardo — Community Foundation of Grundy County


Once again a new year is upon us. The new year is typically a time when we reflect on the past year and make plans for the new year. As individuals, we look at our successes and failures with work, family and our health: the life milestone we reached; the new employment advancement we acquired; the weight we didn’t lose, or the exercise plan that never started.  Each year we make new goals and start fresh.

Organizations, the Community Foundation included, also start the New Year by looking at their successes and areas of improvement. We celebrate our successes, analyze our shortfalls and make goals to improve our impact on the community.

Looking back on 2012, I would say the Community Foundation of Grundy County had a pretty great year.  However, as the old saying goes, “there is always room for improvement.”

The Foundation has a program called “Who Wants to Be a Grant Maker.” Each month at the Chamber of Commerce “Business After Hours” event, the Foundation has a drawing for a $100 grant to the charity of the winner’s choice. In 2012, we were able to provide these grants to the following not-for-profits: Community Nutrition Network, Three Rivers Habitat for Humanity, Angels of Hope, We Care, Morris Hospital Foundation, Ellis House Equestrian Center, Mary Kay Foundation, Grundy Community Volunteer Hospice, Special Connections, Chanooka Wish, United Way of Grundy County and Operation St. Nick.

The Foundation has donor funds and unrestricted funds. This year, donor funds have provided countless grants to organizations near and far at the direction of the donors. The unrestricted funds must be applied for then reviewed and approved by a grants committee. Through our unrestricted grant dollars, we were also able to provide several grants to organizations that assisted with new projects or improvements to existing programs:  Coal City Promfest, Three Rivers Arts Council, Joliet Area Hospice, Mazon Park Board and Boy Scouts of America Rainbow Council all benefited from the grants of the Community Foundation.

The Community Foundation is very proud of our past grant making.  However, in 2012, we saw an increase in the needs of the community that were too large for us to assist with alone. As the Community Foundation often does, we reached out to other organizations, donors and volunteers to help meet needs we could not handle solo.

Because of the increase in needs shown in 2012 and due to generous donors, the Community Foundation was able to significantly increase our unrestricted grants budget for 2013 to $20,000. In 2013, we plan to continue our “Who Wants to Be a Grant Maker” program at the Chamber of Commerce “Business After Hours.”

You may be wondering what the guidelines are for applying for a Community Foundation grant through our unrestricted funds. The Community Foundation is able to grant monies to 501c3 organizations who serve Grundy County.

The Foundation does not typically award funds for individuals, scholarships, religious denominations, disease-specific organizations, operational budgets and tax-supported organizations.

Our grant cycle is January through December, and grants are awarded until the monies are gone. Organizations interested in applying for a grant must provide us with a description of their project, including the benefits it would have on Grundy County, the proposed budget and other funding sources. Organizations must also have proof of the organization’s charitable status.

In addition, organizations must provide the Community Foundation with photographs or copies of PR around the project. Monies granted to an organization must be used for the purpose approved of by the Community Foundation.

If your organization is interested in obtaining more information about applying for a Community Foundation grant in 2013, feel free to contact Devan at (815) 941-0852 or [email protected].  Instructions for assembling and submitting a grant application packet are available on our website

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