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Making grants in our community

By Staff | Dec 26, 2007

In just a few short days, the Emmet County Community Foundation’s third grant cycle will open. This year, with a little over $57,000 available for grants, we will be able to provide even more support to non-profit organizations in our county. While that may not seem like a large amount, in all, by the end of the grant awards made in June, over $150,000 in grants will have been invested to improve people’s lives and the quality of life in our county.

The competitive grant process is one that sparks change in the way community problems are addressed and solutions to those problems are implemented. Grants help organizations respond to current needs through services, programs or ongoing activities of the organization. The process is an open one as the community foundation committee exercises its responsibility of due diligence to ensure that grants will be used for charitable purposes and in the way the funding request is stated.

Grants are investment in Emmet County–not charity and as with any good investment, we expect a good return on the capital being invested. The Community Foundation acts as a partner, not a provider and we look for good return on our grant dollars. We believe we have created a fair process to fund the best projects that support the mission of the organizations who apply for grant funding. When we do a good job making grants we are committing to a better future for all.

All complete grant applications are fully evaluated and scored by all committee members using selection criteria the committee has identified. Extensive discussion takes place over several months to ensure all grant applications get fair consideration. The process is a demanding and difficult one with many more requests for funding than dollars available to fund.

All committee members declare and disclose any relationship or membership which could present a potential conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict with the organization applying for a grant and abstain from participation in the discussion of and voting in regard to those grant applications. Not everyone in the community will be happy with the funding decisions that are made. People’s priorities about needs in the community may vary as well as how those needs could best be met. Careful consideration is given to all grant applications in order to have the greatest positive impact…for Emmet County. For good. For ever.