The Community Foundation of West Chester/Liberty granted more than $5 million in 2017 to nonprofit organizations serving the local community and beyond, and more is on the way.
The completion of a recent strategic plan, including a 2016 Community Needs Assessment, has helped the foundation align its funding priorities and chart a course toward growth and greater impact, according to Erin Clemons, the foundation’s president and CEO.
“We are currently working on completing our Forever Fund Operating Endowment to ensure we will be sustainable well into the future,” Clemons said. “We are currently at $3.85 million of a $5 million goal, to be completed in 2018, and are happy to announce we have received 100 percent financial commitment from the Community Foundation Board of Directors.”
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In spring 2017, the foundation granted more than $230,000 to help launch the new nonprofit, Caring Like Angels and Heroes. The dollars for this effort were raised while the group held funds at the Community Foundation and granted them out after Caring Like Angels and Heroes obtained their non-profit status.
“The mission of Caring Like Angels and Heroes is to assist individuals and families, honor those who help others, and facilitate projects for the betterment of the community and surrounding areas,” Clemons said.
Throughout 2017, the Community Foundation of West Chester/Liberty awarded grants to 30 nonprofits serving West Chester and Liberty Twp., totaling more than $100,000, from its Community Grants Fund. A $12,000 grant to Focus on Youth, in collaboration with EDGE Teen Center, will fund the Connect Project to serve at-risk youth by connecting them with strategies to thrive mentally and emotionally.
For the third year, the foundation also funded The ID Project at all four Lakota junior high schools with a grant to match funds raised by the PTO groups at each school.
“The ID Project not only promotes anti-bullying but also fosters acceptance and understanding among students to create a more supportive and healthy school environment,” Clemons said.
The Foundation’s Power of the Purse Women’s Giving Circle awarded its $10,000 annual grant to Family Promise of Butler County in December. Family Promise works to help address the needs of children and families who are homeless in Butler County by providing shelter, meals and comprehensive support services.
“We are so proud to partner with so many great organizations making an impact in our community,” Clemons said. “Our hope is that through our strategic plan and community needs assessment we can widen our reach and help create a vibrant and thriving West Chester and Liberty Twp.”
For 2018, the foundation has launched its new Community Grants Fund process to align with the results of the Community Needs Assessment, focusing on Education, Transportation, and Workforce Development programs and initiatives. The Community Grants Fund awards $33,000 in each of three funding cycles throughout the year.
The first round of applications, focusing on education, is in process and will be awarded in May, Clemons said.
Also new in 2018, the Foundation will award the Christine Humphreys Impact Grant to a nonprofit organization focusing on parks, pets, or quality of life in West Chester/Liberty. The $40,000 annual grant will carry out Humphrey’s legacy and wish to make a difference in the community, Clemons said.
The application process is underway, and the final recipient will be announced at the 2018 Leadership Through Philanthropy Event on April 26, which will feature keynote speaker Marvin Lewis, head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals.
SAVE THE DATE
WHAT: Community Foundation of West Chester/Liberty's Leadership Through Philanthropy event
WHEN: April 26
WHERE: Cincinnati Marriott North, 6189 Muhlhauser Road, West Chester Twp.
KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Cincinnati Bengals Head Coach Marvin Lewis
OTHER: The CFWCL will also present a series of awards, including the Patricia F. Alderson Philanthropist of the Year Award, Lakota Educator of Excellence Award and Corporate Philanthropy Award at Leadership Through Philanthropy. RSVP by Feb. 1 at www.tinyurl.com/CFphilanthropy2018 and receive a $15 discount.