New grants of $300,000 available to local nonprofits with focus on youth empowerment and skill development

The Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County announced that grants are available through the Community Impact Funding 

The 2017 grant initiative will award more than $300,000 to area nonprofits and will prioritize projects that empower youth, focus vocational education and training to reach their potential, according to a Community Foundation release.

Local 501(c)(3) organizations and other organizations exempt from filing for 501(c)(3) status may apply for the 2017 grants with requests ranging from $10,000 to $50,000. Priority consideration will be given to projects that meet one or more of the predetermined criteria.

The requirements include empowering youth to achieve their full potential, offering innovative or transformative solutions to critical community issues or fostering collaboration across organizations or sectors to increase impact and effectiveness, according to the release.

“Indiana has the 15th-largest population of children in the United States, with more than 1.5 million children younger than 18 living in our state,” said Tina Peterson, President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County, in the release. “Yet many of our children live in conditions that are less than ideal and struggle with issues beyond their control.”


p style=”text-align: justify;”>The grants, co-funded by the Smithville Charitable Foundation, aim to strengthen the community by supporting original projects with lasting impact and enabling organizations to address pressing problems or pursue compelling opportunities in Monroe County, according to the 

Compared to other states, Indiana is ranked 30th for the well-being of its children, 32nd for family and community strength, 44th for the number of residents with a bachelor’s degree or higher, fourth for the number of children who have thoughts of suicide, 10th for the number of children who have attempted, 39th for per capita income, 31st for overall health and 44th for obesity and smoking, according to the release.

“We believe the best way to move the needle relative to these significant issues is by focusing on the potential of young people,” Peterson said in the release. “This year, we are asking for grant projects designed to allow nonprofits and other exempt organizations to prepare young people for success and provide them with skills, knowledge and awareness to inspire and equip them to reach their full potential.”

Youth development grants are intended for programs with broad scope that will influence and address educational, career and general life issues, according to the release.

Possible examples include grant projects that promote and facilitate character development, leadership skill development, career awareness, positive mental health, prevention of substance abuse, tolerance and acceptance of others, entrepreneurship education and preparation for STEM-related training and careers.

“We are hoping this year’s focus on youth will be a strong call to action in our community,” Peterson said in the release. “Only 12 of Indiana’s counties have experienced an increase in child population since 2008, and Monroe is one of those counties. This gives us a unique opportunity to become a leader in addressing the many challenges Indiana faces while empowering youth here at home.”

To be considered for funding, applicants must first submit a two-page letter of intent and verification of tax-exempt status to CFBMC by 5 p.m. Sept. 19. Following review of the letters of intent, selected organizations will be invited to submit full grant proposals. The proposals will be due Nov. 7. Grants will be awarded Jan. 9, 2017.

“We’re incredibly grateful for the generosity of CFBMC donors and the Smithville Charitable Foundation for making this grant initiative possible,” Peterson said in the release. “We have seen these funds used in amazing ways to address a broad range of community needs,” Darby McCarty, a governor on the Smithville Charitable Foundation Board of Directors, said in the release. “We’re excited once again to invest in this initiative and are looking forward to seeing the funded projects make a difference in the lives of Monroe County residents.”


p style=”text-align: justify;”>The Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County has granted $24 million to more than 400 local nonprofit organizations since its incorporation in 1990, according to the 

Smithville Charitable Foundation, established in 2007, was inspired by the desire to enrich lives by creating opportunities and bringing necessities to the communities served by Smithville Communications. As a private foundation, Smithville Charitable Foundation works closely with community foundations in the 17 counties of its service territory to support a variety of causes related to religion, education, health, the arts, relief of poverty or distress and various public organizations, according to the release.

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