Grants power impact across county


Grant dollars drive huge impact across Jackson County.

Recipients attest to their help in making a difference in the lives of others here at home.

“Chronically hungry kindergarten through sixth-grade schoolchildren each Friday receive the BackSacks: Weekend Food for Kids at school, helping to fill the gap between school lunch on Friday afternoons and school breakfasts on Monday mornings,” said Max Browning of a Gleaners program funded through a fall grant from the Community Foundation of Jackson County.

The Gleaners program offers meals to 252 Jackson County children at eight local schools: Brownstown elementary and middle schools, Crothersville elementary and junior-senior high schools, Medora Community Schools and Brown, Redding and Jackson elementary schools in Seymour.

The grant was one of 19 awarded last October through the foundation’s fall grant cycle, which is funded with earnings from 15 community funds and 14 field of interest funds.

Another of those 19 grants will help Jackson County United Way fund the 2018 Red Ribbon Week campaign across Jackson County, targeting the scourge of opioid addiction and other substance abuse problems in our community.

Red Ribbon Week is the oldest and largest drug prevention and awareness program in the United States, reaching millions of young people annually. The United Way and Jackson County Drug-Free Council led an effort to return Red Ribbon Week to our community last autumn.

“Through sharing information and engaging in activities in schools and in the community, citizens will learn more about reducing the risks (of drug abuse) and enhancing protection in the community,” Tonja Couch of the United Way said.

The staff at the foundation and our 19-member board of directors, with a little help from other community volunteers, do our best to prudently administer more than $11 million in assets to generate earnings that are granted for scholarships, classroom education grants, community impact grants and our fall grant cycle.

Work on this year’s fall grant cycle is underway. Over the next several weeks, foundation Vice President Sue Smith and I will answer questions, review drafts and accept applications. Forms are available online at The deadline for receiving applications is July 31.

Once the deadline passes, Sue will review the applications for compliance (all applications must involve 501(c)(3) organizations or governmental units) and then our grant committee, which consists of board members and community volunteers, will conduct site visits to review the applicants’ requests.

Two factors that can play a role in determining grants include whether a nonprofit organization’s board is engaged financially and whether other funding sources are being pursued. We like to see board members with skin in the game, and we support the concept of bringing funding partners together to deal with community issues and needs collectively.

Once site visits are completed, the foundation staff and grant committee convene to determine which applications will be awarded grants. This takes place in September, and our full board of directors will consider the recommendations in October. While we’d like to say every organization that applies receives funding, we can’t.

Typically, requests for funding total more than we’ll have available.

This year, the foundation board of directors approved a granting rate that will pay out more than $433,000 in grants from scholarship funds, donor advised funds, designated funds, agency funds and unrestricted or community funds. That includes more than $48,000 for the fall grant cycle.

Your gifts, of course, can help make those grant dollars grow, too. If you would like to donate to any of the foundation’s endowed funds or to create your own fund, call me at 812-523-4483. We can discuss your interest in helping others in the community and how to make your assistance a reality.

Your endowed gifts can, through prudent investment, generate earnings for scholarships, classroom education grants, fall grants, agency grants and community impact grants to help people all across Jackson County. Over and over, year after year. Forever.

Dan Davis is President & CEO of the Community Foundation of Jackson County. The Foundation administers more than 140 funds with total assets of more than $11 million. For information about how you can make a donation to any of the funds administered by the Foundation or how you might start a new fund, call 812-523-4483 or send an email to Dan Davis at [email protected]. Send comments to [email protected].

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