During August, the Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas accepted grant applications for its Future Fund Giving Circle. This year, the Future Fund has $14,586 available for granting. But the applications we received requested a total of more than three times that!
So, like every year, those applications will have to be reviewed to determine which will receive grant awards and which will not be funded this year.
How do we do that? Read on to find out!
Table of Contents
Background: What is the Future Fund?
The Future Fund is a “giving circle.” In a giving circle, donors pool their funds and jointly determine how to distribute them. The Future Fund’s founders (try saying that three times fast) decided that its funds would only be available for nonprofits, schools, churches, and government institutions within Crawford County, Kansas.
Other than that restriction, which organizations receive grants from the Future Fund is determined by the Future Fund Review Committee based on those organizations’ grant applications.
In the past, the Review Committee has funded grant requests for organizations such as:
- Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas to purchase CPAP-machine supplies.
- SEK Humane Society to purchase to purchase equipment and supplies to care for Humane Society animals.
- Special Olympics Kansas to provide medals for Crawford County Special Olympics athletes.
- The Salvation Army to provide Christmas stockings for children in families that participate in the annual Christmas distribution.
- SEK Women Helping Women: A Fairy Godmother’s Fund to provide one-time grants for working women in need due to crisis situations.
A more complete list of Future Fund grantees going back to 2014 can be found on our Future Fund page.
Behind the scenes of the Future Fund: What we’re up to now
September is a busy month for the Future Fund. During August, local organizations submitted grant applications to the Community Foundation. September is when the Future Fund Review Committee meets to go over those applications and decide which projects to fund. Here’s a timeline for the month:
- Last week: We mailed application packets to Review Committee members. Those packets included a copy of each grant application, information about committee members’ role, and an organizer to help them keep track of all the grant requests.
- This week: Between now and the middle of the month, committee members will be reviewing Future Fund grant applications. In determining which grant requests to accept, committee members will consider several factors, including:
- The requesting organization’s ability to complete the proposed project.
- The efficacy of the project in addressing the need identified.
- The efficient use of available resources.
- The appropriateness of the requested budget for the project.
- September 17: The Future Fund Review Committee meets. Committee members will discuss each application and together decide which proposals should receive a grant. For successful applications, the Committee will also decide how much money to award, which may be less than the amount requested.
Shortly after the Review Committee’s meeting, the Community Foundation will notify applicants of the Committee’s decision. Successful applicants will also receive a grant contract and grant-evaluation report. Money is distributed from the Future Fund only after the grant contract is returned.
Finally, at the completion of the project or by July 2020, each organization that received a grant will have to return the grant-evaluation report. That report helps us ensure that Future Fund money is being used properly by grantees, and it can impact which organizations receive grants in the future.
How to support the Future Fund
Unfortunately, the Future Fund can’t fund every grant request we receive—at least, not this year. But that’s where community members like you come in.
The Future Fund is open to donations of any amount from anybody. And if your total contributions in a single year are at least $250, you can become a member of the Future Fund and be eligible to serve on the Future Fund Review Committee.
In that way, you can not only help grow the Fund so more money is available for local charities, but you can also help direct how that money impacts our community.
Learn more about the benefits of giving to the Community Foundation.
Of course, you can help even if you can’t donate. You can share this post with friends and colleagues on Facebook so that they can learn more about the Future Fund or the Community Foundation’s many other funds. Or you can volunteer with local charities, enabling them to do more with the resources they have.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Future Fund, the Community Foundation, or charitable opportunities in southeast Kansas, please feel free to contact us today!