Early this winter, 45 local organizations submitted 47 grant requests to the Community Foundation’s Competitive Grants program. Volunteers serving on the grants committee read each proposal and conducted dozens of site visits.
The hours of work by both the committee and the applicants resulted in nearly $288,000 in funding for 31 Jackson nonprofits. The recently awarded $75,000 in Economic Response Initiative funding for food programs also benefitted an additional five organizations.
The committee’s December meeting was the first of two for 2012 funding. The Competitive Grants program, funded by Old Bill’s Fun Run for Charities co-challengers and private donors, will provide approximately $550,000 to local organizations in the coming year. The Community Foundation organizes Old Bill’s Fun Run for Charities, which has raised $82.5 million in the past 15 years for local nonprofits.
“All of our local nonprofits are doing more with less,” observed Katharine Conover, president of the Community Foundation. “At a time when organizations are struggling with diminished resources, it is difficult to allocate funding effectively. The 25 Grants Committee members have the tough job of deciding from among 40 to 50 compelling projects how best to support programs with widespread and varied community impact.”
Jackson Community Recycling, one of the grant recipients, will be awarded $5,173 for its spring cleanup Yard Waste Collection Program. Plastic bags used to dispose of yard waste make it hard to identify the compostable materials. When dumped in the landfill, yard waste produces methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
In addition, sending organic waste to the landfill is expensive. With funding from the Community Foundation, Jackson Community Recycling will distribute 5,760 compostable paper bags to hold yard waste at the 2012 Town Cleanup, as well as educating the public about the value of proper disposal. Town of Jackson Public Works and Terra Firma Organics will collect the bags for composting, diverting as much as 370,000 pounds of organic waste from the landfill.
Other grants include funding for infrastructure needs at Teton Youth and Family Services; the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum’s Voices of the Valley oral history program series; the Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation’s program to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions and scholarships to enable more kids to experience the Snake River through Jackson Hole Kayak Club programming.
The second round of grant applications will be accepted in April, and the Grants Committee will distribute the remaining funds. Historically, the Community Foundation receives more proposals in the second cycle than the first.
For more about grants and grant writing, please visit Grant Pros.