In his 24 years of life, John expressed his passion for the outdoors and beauty of Benzie County.
The endowment in his memory was established in 1993, allowing his spirit to live on through grants supporting environmental education in Benzie County communities and preserving his passion for generations to come.
What impression will you make? Let's give it forward, together.
The Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation’s grants this year so far total more than $2.3 million, including more than $180,000 in grant awards approved this month by the Board of Directors as part of the 2017 responsive grant cycle.
The grant awards are to benefit a variety of organizations in each of the five counties for programs and projects in the areas of arts, education, environment, human services and youth. A variety of factors were considered when determining the 58 grantees, including community need and also how each request aligned with the unique designated purposes of the variety of endowments from which the grants are awarded.
“Every grant we award is an example of our unique role of matching donor passion with purpose,” said Alison Metiva, Director of Community Relations. “Donors give to the Community Foundation to impact causes they care about most – the grants you see are a result of matching that donor passion with the organizations that are changing lives and strengthening our communities.”
While these responsive grant awards represent the many areas that are essential to the strength, vibrancy, and health of our five-county region, grants this cycle show an emphasis on human services and youth.
This focus on youth is in large part due to grants awarded from the Community Foundation Youth Endowment, which is designated for youth programs and services. A total of $50,000 was awarded from that endowment alone.
“In grantmaking from our Youth Endowment, we engage area high school students in the grant process through our Youth Advisory Council (YAC) program,” said Gina Thornbury, Community Foundation grantmaking and program officer. “High school aged students are tasked with awarding the grants that will have the most meaningful impact on their peer group.”
In the area of health and human services, grants supported a wide range of efforts. But, Metiva said, there were trends around philanthropic approaches to meeting community needs.
“There are a number of grants awarded to help organizations meet basic, immediate needs of our communities. Things like food pantries and emergency senior needs,” said Metiva. “This is balanced with grants for programs related to stable housing and supports for skill building for families.”
Metiva added that another $12,000 was awarded to support early childhood efforts and noted those investments have the power for great community impact.
“When families have access to quality early childhood care and experiences, it can have a great ripple effect,” said Metiva. “Helping provide for those littlest kids in turn helps provide for their families and can lead to greater employment, housing, and family stability.”
The Community Foundation for Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska and Leelanau Counties was established in 1992 to create endowments that serve community need, now and forever. By matching passion with purpose and creating endowments to benefit the areas that matter most to donors, the Community Foundation helps donors create a lasting impression. A steward of the region’s vibrancy, The Community Foundation awards grants to organizations that are impacting lives and enriching our communities for years to come. For more information about the Community Foundation, including a complete list of grant awards, visit www.gtrcf.org or call 231-935-4066.