It’s your opportunity to support local community programs

Participate in the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation’s Annual Grant Cycle

“The list is up! The game is a-foot! Come on down, you’re the next contestant on the Price Is Right!” exclaims Sarah Copeland, Director of Grants and Programs at the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation. “However you want to put it, it’s your turn – until October 30th – to participate in our Annual Grant Cycle.”

There are basically two aspects to the Annual Grant Cycle. The first aspect looks at what is happening in our local community, and the second is about who needs support to provide some of our wonderful community programs.

To make things more understandable, the Community Foundation uses categories to group areas of general interest. There are eight general areas of interest:

  1. Arts and Culture

  2. Community

  3. Education

  4. Families

  5. Health and Well-Being

  6. Peace & Safety

  7. Reducing Barriers

  8. Sports & Recreation

Local groups and organizations are instructed to submit a separate application for each program or project for which they need support. Many organizations simply need support for one program, while a few others on the list submit separate requests for specific programs. Copeland explains, “This is great, because people have the opportunity to support their specific interests. A great example, SPARK is continuing the Lunch Buddy Program. Anyone who wants to support Lunch Buddies can choose the Bigfork program, the Murphy School program, or both.”

The same concept is true with Second Harvest. If you like to help reduce children being hungry when they are not in school, you can select and donate to the Kids-Packs-to-Go program. Or, maybe you are more interested in helping Second Harvest provide food to families in the more rural areas of Inger and Squaw Lake.”

Think of the Annual Grant Cycle as a wish list or shopping list of how you can support the wonderful programs that take place throughout the Greater Itasca Area.

This year, there are 59 requests from local organizations. The online list can seem rather long, and it’s not alphabetical. The programs are in the order of the eight categories listed above. “It may be a little difficult to see the categories, and understand the order of the list,” notes Copeland, “but please bear with us. This is the first year we have used this online technology so that the entire community can participate.”

To make going through the list a little more efficient, the Community Foundation has a JUMP TO quick list located on their website. The JUMP TO quick list has a link for every program request. When you click on the link, it will take you directly to the program’s description and donation page.

During these rainy, cooler days as we transition into winter, please take the time to go through the list and select programs where you have the most interest. Consider including your children or grandchildren. Reading through the list on a computer with younger kids involves them in what is going on in the community, showing them that there are other people less fortunate, and when everyone is involved in community, community works better. “Providing your children or grandchildren with a set amount of giving money is a great way to start. There is a minimum donation of $5, but you could set a giving budget of, say, $15, and let him or her decide on the programs they like best,” suggests Copeland.

There are two buttons on the homepage of this website. One says Check out our Annual Grant Cycle requests. When you click it, the entire list will come up, and you can read more about the details of each program. A donate button is conveniently located by the program description. The other button is for the JUMP TO quick list, which allows you to be more specific in your viewing. We hope you’ll join us in supporting some wonderful programs in our community. Thank you.

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350 NW 1st Ave, Suite E  | Grand Rapids, MN 55744  |  218-999-9100

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