The money is there for the taking

Viewpoint

By Deb Hadachek Telescope editor
www.thebellevilletelescope.com

Money doesn’t grow on trees, but there’s an awful lot of it available right now for those willing to provide a little time or talent.

Local organizations have until May 1 to apply for the latest round of Republic County Community Foundation (http://republiccountycf.org/) grants. $35,000 is available, including $7,500 earmarked specifically for health-related projects.

On Monday, officials set a May 1 deadline for any community that wants $2,500 to encourage volunteer clean-up projects in their communities.

Republic County Economic Development director Luke Mahin noted that many of the smaller communities have taxed their “volunteer capacity” to the limit.

But this money, offered by the Dane Hansen Foundation (https://danehansenfoundation.org/), offers some creative ways to encourage volunteerism: maybe host a meal for the people that come out to help fix up and clean up.

County commissioners are eyeing any money left over from the $20,000 total grant for a tire or hazardous waste disposal effort.

It might take thousands more to do the job right, but at least it’s a start.

This issue of The Telescope contains a call for grants from the Duclos Foundation, which benefits Republic and Cloud counties.

Duclos money is absolutely the easiest money to get. Countless projects in communities and schools have benefited from the program, usually $500 to $2,000, depending on the size of the request and how many people it will benefit.

Because we’re so darned polite, people tell me they are sometimes reluctant to apply for a grant “because we’ve already gotten some money in the past”.

I know members of the board that oversee these programs, and they are eager to help continue and expand good programs that help kids, senior citizens, beautify communities, provide opportunities for arts and entertainment, support food and health and education programs.

You don’t need to be an experienced grant writer to apply for funds. If you can make a list, devise a budget, and clearly communicate in a sentence or two what you hope to achieve, you’ve got a good shot at making your community a better place to live.

Follow through and tell the grant committee how you used your money and how it made a difference. And always, always, say thank you. Like all of us, grant donors like to know their support is appreciated.