The Foellinger Foundation announced more than $120,000 in grant funding Thursday to four local nonprofits.
They money comes from the foundation's Breakthrough Fund, a $500,000 initiative “to support people-focused ideas that create a significant impact on the residents of Allen County.” Recipients pitched ideas to creatively address problems or challenges.
The first phase of the project – the “refine phase” – provides funding for organizations to develop the ideas. Money can be used for things including training, research or hiring consultants.
About $400,000 is earmarked for the “realize phase” during which groups can finalize details of their plans. They can compete for that funding to be doled out next year.
Foundation President Cheryl Taylor compared the funding with research and development money that often is difficult for nonprofits to secure.
“Historically, that funding doesn't exist at all or is extremely limited,” she said.
ACRES Land Trust, $39,050 –It plans a real estate development to provide nonprofit agencies access to natural areas including trails and outdoor classrooms.
Lutheran Social Services, $21,115 –It will partner with Catholic Charities, SCAN and Brightpoint to pool resources including budgets and staffing “to build service bridges and overcome organizational boundaries.”
Northeast Indiana Innovation Center, $42,000 – It will provide training, mentors and resources to clients “to achieve goals on their own terms at places with people they trust.”
League for the Blind and Disabled, $18,000 – It will help students with disabilities transition to adult life through coordination with public and private organizations.
“Growing up is hard to do,” league President and CEO David Nelson said. “Becoming an adult is hard to do, especially if you have a disability.”
The nonprofits that received grants will report back to the foundation in May or June, and additional funding could be awarded in late summer or early fall.
Taylor said 16 organizations applied for grants.