Community Foundation to award grants March 19

The Greene County Community Foundation will award 15 grants totaling $151,342 Monday, March 19, at the Fellowship Hall at the First Presbyterian Church in Jefferson. The presentations will begin at 7 pm. Representatives of all groups receiving grants have been asked to attend. The public is welcome.

The 2018 grants will bring the total awarded since the Community Foundation was organized in 2005 to more than $1.3 million. The Foundation has awarded funds to 246 projects.

The funds awarded this year come primarily through Grow Greene County Gaming Corporation from gaming proceeds at Wild Rose Jefferson. Grow Greene County provided $140,000 to the Community Foundation; the foundation used part of its own endowment fund, as allowed by law, to add to the total.

Prior to the opening of Wild Rose in 2015, funds came from gaming revenue designated for non-gaming counties. In those years, the Foundation typically distributed $100,000 to $120,000.

The Community Foundation board spent several hours reading and evaluating 34 grant applications that totaled $410,735. The guidelines board members used included the number of persons who would benefit from a project, how lasting the benefits would be, the applicant’s ability to complete the project, the applicant’s commitment to the project and more. When applications were from government entities, the board considered if the proposed project was a normal and expected function of that entity, or something beyond the normal scope of government.

In addition to Grow Greene County funding, the Community Foundation also conducts a fund drive every fall to raise funds for a permanent endowment. That endowment will assure the Foundation’s future should gaming laws in Iowa be changed.

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