MAHASKA COUNTY COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OFFERS GRANT OPPORTUNITIES

Oskaloosa Bandstand

Oskaloosa Bandstand

The Mahaska County Community Foundation announces that it will again have in the neighborhood of $100,000 to give away to qualified recipients.

While the Mahaska County Community Foundation (MCCF) is a relatively new organization, its impact has been significant in the local area, awarding just under a half million dollars in its 7-year history. MCCF was organized in 2005 in response to a new law passed by the Iowa Legislature. As just a few Iowa counties were receiving the financial benefits of gambling profits, legislators from non-gambling counties devised a plan in which gambling profits would be spread throughout the entire state. Their solution was to create a formula in which a certain percentage of all gambling dollars was to be divided between those counties which did not have gambling facilities. Each county was to have a designated Qualified Community Foundation to be the administrative vehicle through which these funds were distributed to worthwhile causes within the county.

In addition to being the caretaker of these funds for redistribution within the County, the MCCF also serves another unique purpose. As a Qualified Community Foundation per the Iowa Code, it can serve as the umbrella organization for other local groups who want the benefits of a foundation, but don’t have the capacity to administer the monies and complete the paperwork that can be a daunting part of managing a foundation. The individual foundation groups can continue to operate their funds and make decisions on their own, simply running their transactions through MCCF, which in turn has the avenues to provide the somewhat complicated legal, reporting, and accounting issues that can come with foundations.

As for the 2013 grant-application cycle, emphasis will be placed on applicants that are involved with capital projects, are creating services not presently offered in the area communities, or are involved in creative and innovative programs. “Two large grants awarded in the Oskaloosa area last year were classic examples of this” noted Board Member Madonna Bowie, who is very involved in the grant making activities of the area as she is also a Board Member of the George Daily Trust that distributes funds to worthy local causes. “One was to the Oskaloosa Police Department for developing an internship program with William Penn Students, and another was to the Mahaska County Recreational Foundation for adding batting cages to the Lacey Complex.” Grants will not be made to support annual operating budgets, and increased consideration will be given to those projects which have obtained elements of support from other sources, either in the form of cash or “in-kind” donations, such as donated labor or materials.

Calvin Bandstra, a banker at Leighton State Bank and the Secretary of MCCF, noted that the deadline for applications is not that far away. “As grant applications must be received by March 22, 2013, we encourage all non-profit organizations to take a look at their project needs, see if this need meets the grant eligibility criteria, and take the time to submit an application.”
The application forms can be downloaded from MCCF’s website at www.mahaskafoundation.org.

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