Oceana Foundation to increase grant opportunities; $3.5 million awarded in 25-year history

February 24, 2015

Com FdnSHELBY — How does a person choose which charitable cause to support since there are so many organizations doing great work to help make Oceana better? And how do those nonprofits make known their immediate needs? That’s where the Community Foundation for Oceana County comes in.

In 2014, the foundation awarded 32 grants totaling $35,193 in its two competitive grant rounds. Overall, the foundation has now granted $3.5 million in its 25-year history of serving the citizens of Oceana County.

“We’re about facilitating generosity,” said Tammy Carey, CFOC executive director. “Thanks to caring individuals, families and organizations that each year make unrestricted financial gifts to our foundation, we can address some of these emerging needs.”

Some donors have established their own funds at the foundation. But instead of trying to figure out on their own which causes to support, they rely on the foundation, as a hub of community knowledge and local expertise, to know where their gifts are most needed. The foundation also connects donors to local programs or projects that line up with their interests.

Area nonprofits should note that it’s now time for them to apply for the next round of grants. By March 31, interested nonprofits must go into the foundation’s website —oceana-foundation.org/receive/apply-for-a-grant — and submit a letter of intent.

“We do two grant rounds a year, now and in the fall,” added Carey. Grants will again be awarded to 501 (c) (3) or other eligible non-profit charitable organizations serving Oceana County. Applicants should review the criteria for successful grant submissions as awards are made on a competitive basis.

“We’ll soon be talking more about our 2015 goal of growing our Unrestricted Fund. It is one of our most important funds because it allows the foundation to respond to today’s needs” said Carey. “Everyone who makes an unrestricted contribution to the foundation should think of their generosity as gifts to a ‘community impact fund’ that are then channeled to where the need is the greatest.”

Because of limited resources, the foundation can generally make only one-year grant commitments up to $3,000. Longer term commitments may be considered for initiatives that show exceptional promise for community impact. Before submitting a proposal, nonprofits are encouraged to review the grant guidelines on the web site. For more info, call Carey at 231-861-8335.

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