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Community Impact: Spring 2017 Grants

The Board of Trustees of the Community Foundation for Oceana County (CFOC) recently approved grant awards to a variety of community organizations in support of projects throughout Oceana County. A total of $25,822 was awarded as a result of CFOC’s competitive application process that is overseen by a subcommittee of its trustees.

Highlights of CFOC’s Spring Grant Round include support for:

  • El Centro Hispano de Oceana – $3,000 to assist Hispanic individuals seeking legal status or to become a U.S. citizen
  • Love INC – $1,000 for household assistance incentives through a financial literacy program
  • Oceana County Parks and Rec Commission – $3,000 to construct a new stairway and viewing platform to improve access for more people to the beach in Cedar Point County Park.
  • Oceana County Council on Aging – $3,000 to provide for adult day care needs and equipment
  • Muskegon Community Health Project – $3,000 to support Spanish language diabetes self-management classes
  • New Era Christian Reformed Church – $1,710 to build a ramp and viewing platform to make the outdoor stage more accessible during the farmer’s market music program
  • Village of Walkerville Pioneer House Museum – $3,590 for new windows
  • AmeriCorps VISTA – $3,522 to host a member to coordinate the early literacy Read Early, Read Often program and provide marketing support
  • Oceana Employer Resource Network – $3,000 to support second year funding costs for an employer-based success coach to increase employee retention and success
  • West Shore Pregnancy Care Center – $1,000 to improve and expand its parenting class materials and incentives for the Oceana office
  • Teacher mini-grants – $1,178 for various classroom projects in Hart, Hesperia, Pentwater & Shelby schools

CFOC is currently comprised of 131 funds, totaling $11.3 million in assets.  The individuals and organizations creating most of them are actively involved in deciding which nonprofits are supported, but some fund creators entrust the CFOC board to manage the contributions as part of CFOC’s competitive application process.  Other grant resources come from CFOC’s Community Investment Fund, to which anyone can contribute.

“We’re hoping to attract more contributions from folks and organizations to our Community Investment Fund, so our team of trustees can support causes like these more meaningfully,” added Carey.  “This Fund’s purpose is to support nonprofits serving Oceana that have critical, unmet needs that suddenly arise or to respond to community projects and opportunities as they develop. However, our unrestricted resources are very limited and amount to just 2% of our total assets. This only allows us to be able to meet a fraction of our funding requests. We are eager to serve Oceana County at a new level and have made a specific goal to double the Community Investment Fund.”

Efforts to boost this Fund’s size have been met with success.  In late 2015, a generous, anonymous contributor stepped forward with a $25,000 challenge grant to bolster the Community Investment Fund, and another important CFOC fund called the Administrative Fund.

“This individual stepped forward for a second time in late 2016,” said CFOC Board of Trustees Chair Nancy Sterk.  “She inspired others in our area to contribute not just another $25,000 to match her gift, but $43,430! It was an exciting end to our year and we are so grateful for the confidence in us to steward these resources.”

Area nonprofits can apply for grants from CFOC in the spring and fall of each year.  Fall Grant Round applications are due September 30.  Nonprofit organizations interested in seeking grant support from the Community Foundation are encouraged visit www.oceana- to learn more.

Ms. Carey and several CFOC trustees are now making plans to speak to several community and neighborhood clubs, churches, organizations and associations over the next few months. They will share the challenges faced by Oceana citizens, how the Foundation helps confront them, and how people and groups wanting to help make a difference can become part of the solution.

“We look forward to telling our story to more groups and encourage anyone to give us a call to schedule a presentation. We are eager to hear from every corner of this County and learn more about the many opportunities to foster well-being,” said Carey.  For more information, contact Carey at 231.861.8335.