Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation is preparing for its yearly grant programs. The NCCF mission "to enhance the area in which we live and work" which is achieved in two distinctly different ways. The first is to assist donors in fulfilling their philanthropic goals. The second is to assist local nonprofits achieve their goals by providing financial assistance through grant dollars. The two merge together to achieve the mission as donor dollars provide the money to support nonprofit grants. The NCCF currently operates three separate grant programs.
The Northern Chautauqua Environmental Grants Program is designed to increase public knowledge of environmental issues in Chautauqua County, particularly those relating to Lake Erie and its watershed. A broad range of educational activities have been funded including educational events, hands-on educational experiences, creek water studies, equipment, and stipends for internships and lectures.
The Community Pride Program is a biennial grants program that promotes citizen participation and community pride. Community pride projects have included beautification projects, tree plantings, signage, community gardens, and community events. Grant requests considered range from $100 to $1,500 with a 1:1 match in dollars, volunteer hours, and/or supplies.
The Community Grants Program, which occurs in the spring and fall of each year, is the NCCF's largest discretionary grants program. Community grant awards to nonprofit organizations benefit the areas of arts and culture, economic development, education, the environment, health, human services and more.
"Our grants programs are made possible through the generosity of community members who have made gifts to unrestricted endowments within the NCCF. Thanks to the support of our donors we are able to generate the greatest community impact," said Eileen Dunn, NCCF Program Coordinator.
A fall 2012 grant to the Chautauqua Striders is a shining example of the impact the NCCF's Community Grants Program has in northern Chautauqua County. At one time, the Striders' tutoring program in Dunkirk ran four days a week; however, budget cuts throughout the years have reduced tutoring to two days a week. This $4,000 grant, along with funding from the United Way, has allowed the Striders' program to reinstate a third day of tutoring, hire an additional tutor, and offer academic enrichment activities that support and reinforce the NYS Common Core Learning Standards.
"Chautauqua Striders thanks NCCF for its support as we strive for a broader reach in northern Chautauqua County. As a hidden jewel in this area, we want more families to take advantage of the programs we offer for youth ages 6 to 24," said Michele Starwalt, the North County Academic Coordinator for Chautauqua Striders.
The Community Grants Program and the Community Pride Program's letter of interest deadline is Friday at 4 p.m. To learn more about NCCF Grant making programs contact Eileen Dunn at 366-4892 or visit the web site at www.nccfoundation.org.
The NCCF was incorporated in 1986 as a tax-exempt charitable organization. Since its establishment, the NCCF has distributed more than $8.8 million in the community through its various grant programs. It is an organization inherently committed to enriching the northern Chautauqua community and encouraging local philanthropy.