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Community foundation awards grants

The Evanston Community Foundation has announced grant awards to 16 local organization and is seeking new grant proposals.

The foundation is awarding nine organizations a total of $90,000 in grants in the ninth year of its root2fruit program, funded by the Mammel Foundation.

The Evanston Community Foundation has announced grant awards to 16 local organization and is seeking new grant proposals.

The foundation is awarding nine organizations a total of $90,000 in grants in the ninth year of its root2fruit program, funded by the Mammel Foundation.

And, in the foundation’s newest human-needs grants, seven organizations will receive a total of $25,000 to address the adverse impact of the state budget crisis. 

Root2fruit 
Three organizations are new recipients of 2011 root2fruit grants: Evanston Day Nursery, Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse, and The Talking Farm. Six others will continue in the three-year capacity building program: Evanston Festival Theatre, Infant Welfare Society of Evanston and LIFT-Evanston for a second year, and Evanston Coalition for Latino Resources, PEER Services, and Percolator Films for their third and final grants.

All grantees share the goal of enhancing their organizational capacity to best serve the community. Evanston Day Nursery provides early childhood care and education to a diverse population of children, 35 percent of whom are from low-income households. Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse encourages deconstruction and reuse of building materials for environmental and workforce training purposes. The Talking Farm promotes healthy, locally grown food through demonstration projects and collaborations.

Root2fruit is built on the premise that small nonprofits benefit from technical assistance in addition to grant funds. The Foundation offers assistance with board development, resource development, and other key organizational issues. Each grantee is eligible for up to three years of funding.

“Since 2003, the Evanston Community Foundation has invested over $800,000 and immeasurable expertise in 30 Evanston organizations through root2fruit,” Sara Schastok, the foundation’s president, says. “The Mammel Foundation, which conceived the program and has funded it, has made an extraordinary impact on what these organizations can do to serve our community.”

Human needs grants
The new round of grants is directed to organizations providing human services that have been adversely affected by state budget cuts or delays in payments on state contracts.

Recipients are Connections, which works to end homelessness; Family Focus Evanston’s program for pregnant and parenting teens; North Shore Senior Center’s initiative for low-income grandparents raising grandchildren; Rimland Services’ pre-vocational training for adults with autism; Trilogy, Inc.’s outreach to connect homeless people to housing and services; Youth Organizations Umbrella’s TeenREACH after-school and summer programs; and YWCA Evanston/North Shore’s community-based counseling for women affected by domestic abuse.

“New resources for organizations whose services are needed more than ever is certainly good news this year when funding cuts are widespread,” says Marybeth Schroeder, the foundation’s senior program officer. These new grants come from an endowment established in 1997 by Evanston United Way for the benefit of Evanston residents.

New proposals sought
The foundation invites proposals for its 2011-2012 responsive grants cycle. Proposals may address issues, concerns or opportunities in Evanston community in areas ranging from arts and education to human services and community development. The Foundation made 27 grants totaling $200,000 in this cycle in May of 2010.

Funding guidelines and application procedures are available at evanstonforever.org. The deadline for completed applications, which must be filed electronically, is Tuesday, Feb. 15, at 6 p.m. Hard copies of proposals are due the following day at noon.

Foundation staff will meet by appointment with grant seekers who have questions about applying for a grant on Tuesday, Jan. 18, from 2:30 – 7 p.m. Appointments can be scheduled at [email protected] or 847-492-0990.

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