Recognizing local nonprofits still have a need for financial assistance to cover operational demands in light of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, the Berrien Community Foundation is continuing For Ever Sustainability Grants in 2021.
“Many of our nonprofits are still struggling to keep the lights on as they weather the effects of the pandemic,” said BCF President Lisa Cripps-Downey. “Fundraising events are still on hold and many organizations remain in survival mode. We felt it was important to adjust our grantmaking focus to help nonprofits bridge this gap.”
For Ever Sustainability Grants were established as a one-time opportunity for local nonprofits to receive assistance as they adhered to state mandates and planned for recovery after shutdowns. But, as the pandemic continues to impact nonprofits, Berrien Community Foundation will again offer this support during the Spring 2021 grant cycle. Grants are available to 501c3 nonprofits in Berrien County in amounts of up to $10,000.
Also included in the Spring 2021 grant cycle are the traditional For Good Grants, awarded in amounts of up to $10,000.
Deadline to apply for either the For Good Grant or For Ever Grant is Feb. 24. Applicants may only apply to one.
In the Summer of 2020, BCF awarded $200,000 in For Ever Sustainability Grants and For Good Grants. In the Fall of 2020, the Berrien Community Foundation awarded $74,000 in For Good Grants to 16 Berrien County organizations.
Over 20 community volunteers sat on committees to review For Good Grant applications, which cover a broad range of community needs including arts, children, community development, education, environment, health, seniors, and youth leadership and development. Also reviewing grants was TEAM (Teens Exhibiting Able Minds), the youth advisory committee for BCF made up of high school students from across Berrien County.
Recipients of the Fall 2020 For Good Grants were:
- Berrien County Cancer Service — to support skilled nursing services in the homes of cancer patients.
- Feeding America West Michigan — for mobile food pantries in Berrien County.
- Fernwood Botanical Garden — to update their main entrance.
- Junior Achievement — to provide economic education curriculum to area students.
- Meals on Wheels of Southwestern Michigan — to provide fresh produce and fruit to area seniors.
- Michigan Abolitionist Project — to launch the Abolitionist Program, which will spread awareness of human trafficking in Berrien County.
- Niles Salvation Army — to provide meals to elementary school children over the weekends.
- Paris’ Purse — for equipment to make bags filled with personal hygiene products for homeless women.
- Renaissance Enterprises — to bring music programs to nursing homes and other care facilities.
- School of American Music — for scholarships for music students.
- Watervliet Free Methodist Church — to support their community outreach programming.
TEAM grants totaled $24,000. The recipients are:
- American Cancer Society — to implement an HPV vaccination initiative.
- Boys & Girls Club of Benton Harbor — for driver education training for club members.
- CASA of Southwest Michigan — to train new volunteer advocates for children in foster care.
- LOGAN Community Resources, Inc — to purchase tablets for lending for autism therapy.
- Niles District Library — for yard signs that can function as a story walk, outdoor museum exhibit or art gallery.
“We want to extend a hearty ‘thank you’ to the many volunteers who poured through dozens of applications and made some really tough decisions,” said Susan Matheny, Berrien Community Foundation’s program manager.
For Good Grants are awarded twice per year. For more information or to apply for a For Good or For Ever grant, visit www.BerrienCommunity.org/ForGoodForEver.
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