October 4, 2012

New grant program aims to improve community

The following is from the September 2012 issue of Cornerstone, the newsletter of the Lucy R. Allen Cornerstone Club. Download the PDF or read the articles online.


Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”


With the new Board of Directors Community Improvement Initiative, the Saginaw Community Foundation is encouraging people to collaborate to create the changes they want to see in their communities.


The Board of Directors Community Improvement Initiative is a new grant program at the foundation. Each year, the program will grant $25,000 to a selected project in Saginaw County. An additional $5,000 can be earned if the initial grant is matched.


“We want this community improvement initiative to be a funding vehicle that will enable us to be more proactive in addressing community improvement needs,” said President and CEO Reneé Johnston. “We want to encourage the community to create and implement community improvement initiatives on their own.”


In order to effectively implement this project, the foundation worked with its board of directors to define “community improvement.”


“For this program, a community improvement initiative will be defined as a project that will create indelible, measurable impacts in the immediate and broader community,” Johnston said. “These projects need to be supported and planned by a broad range of users ranging from businesses to governmental entities to neighborhoods and individuals.”


This initiative extends beyond existing charitable organizations, churches, schools and county/city officials. Individuals, community groups, neighborhoods, businesses and youth groups can apply if they utilize the foundation as a fiscal agent. New and existing community projects are eligible.


The first recipient of this grant was the Deindorfer Woods Park restoration project.


The application for the 2013 Community Improvement Initiative will become available on Jan. 1, 2013. Applications must be sent to the foundation by Feb. 1, 2013.