As you and your organization begin the process of applying for a grant from the Wabash Valley Community Foundation, we feel it is important to share with you our philosophy about grants.
When you see our logo, you also notice our tagline: For good. For ever.® The fulfillment of this goal lies at the center of the grants which we fund. The Community Foundation seeks impactful, visionary grants that serve as investments in our community — investments whose results are measurable and permanent (not transitory). Grant applications should reflect collaborative efforts, organizational commitment and the ability to benefit a large segment of the community. They also should focus on the desire to improve our community “For good. For ever.®”
The many generous donors who have given over $49 million since the Community Foundation was established in 1991 have trusted us with the permanent endowment of those contributions. As varied as our donors are, one thing they all have had in common is the desire to invest in the Community Foundation so their dollars will be used forever to achieve good things in our communities. Like all investors, they have contributed with the expectation of realizing much gain from their investment.
It is this same philosophy that guides our grant-making process. We want to invest in projects that are going to create the greatest return in bringing about positive changes that impact our communities. We look at grants as “investments” that are being made in partnership with your organization. As such, together we can focus on investing in solutions that over time will lessen and eliminate chronic problems. Robert D. Lupton, author of Toxic Charity, points out that “When we do for those in need what they have the capacity to do for themselves, we disempower them…..If we are serious about significant impact, the missions we invest in must produce measurable results.”
We have a fiduciary responsibility to our donor-investors to evaluate our grants by focusing on the outcomes of the projects in which we invest. This is why it is important that your organization identifies the potential outcomes of your project, particularly if your group is chosen to submit a full proposal for a Community Foundation grant. In our view, a clearly defined and focused vision for your organization’s missions and efforts is critical to producing lasting and impactful outcomes.
To this end, we have developed procedures to be followed if your organization seeks to submit a grant proposal to us for consideration. Grant distribution committees, comprised of volunteers from our local communities, will carefully review and evaluate a one (1) page “Letter of Intent” from each grantee organization. Projects that the committee identifies as ones addressing significant needs with the potential for positive outcomes will be invited to submit full proposals for consideration. All proposals will be submitted in writing.