The Adams County Community Foundation distributed its first grant this year. The foundation granted $333 to the Drug and Alcohol Coalition to improve their alcohol and drug-free events. For this year’s New Year’s party and future parties, the Drug and Alcohol Coalition used the money to purchase laser-tag guns.
The Adams County Community Foundation fund started in 2015 with a $10,000 donation from ALLETE Clean Energy. Nearly four years later, the balance has grown by over $2,000 and now the committee has begun to allocate a small percentage of the interest generated from the foundation to the community.
Over fifty communities in North Dakota, big and small, have their own community foundations through the North Dakota Community Foundation.
The North Dakota Community Foundation allows each community to be a component in the broader organization and the take on a nonprofit status. Each local community is able to work under the state-level umbrella of the North Dakota Community Foundation.
The foundation allows each community to be a part of a foundation without having separate by-laws, a Board of Directors, or staff maintaining the fund. A community only needs a committee of local citizen volunteers to fundraise and make grants.
According to the North Dakota Community Foundation Regional Director John Heinen, the community foundation money is becoming active again due to Jasmin Fosheim’s initiative as Executive Director of the Hettinger Chamber of Commerce and Adams County Development Corporation.
“Now that there is more stability with Jasmin’s position, she has helped organize a local committee of nine people. It’s been her doing. She wanted to make sure this fund was available to the community,” said Heinen
So far, the members on the local Adams County Community Foundation are Cheryl Dix, Kyle Kennedy, Allen Wickstrom, Denise Andress, Cody Jorgenson, Dorothy Becker, Pam Burch, Andy Roehl, and Jasmin Fosheim.
“When the grants open up each year, organizations can apply for the balance that is available. Generally speaking, the foundation will give away 4% of the fund every year. So naturally as the fund grows, [the foundation] will able to do more service and benefit the community more. The goal of the fund is very general; it’s there to improve the quality of life,” Heinen continued.
Although the application of the money seems broad, the money follows a specific grant process. The committee is supposed to be the experts in what are the priorities of the community and what are the key needs. The committee then gets those entities to submit applications. The applications are evaluated to determine which grants would do the most good in the community.
“The North Dakota Community Foundation simplifies the process so the local committee can focus on telling their story to the community and fundraising through either volunteerism or donating,” said Heinen.
According to Heinen, it’s not a state level or regional level that pushes to approve a grant. The North Dakota Community Foundation just helps with the processing. Ultimately, it’s up to the local committee to push for the grant.
For those who are interested, more information is available at ndcf.net.