February 28, 2017

Arenac Community Funds opens fall grant cycle


ARENAC COUNTY — Nonprofit organizations, schools and units of government looking for some financial assistance with a project have until Oct. 1 to apply for a grant from the Arenac Community Funds’ general endowment fund.

Garrett Geer, chairman of the Arenac Community Funds Committee, said there is $15,000 available for this grant cycle.

“The total of the endowment funds is approaching $800,000, which is very exciting, and obviously the grants are based on the proceeds or interest earned on those funds,” he said. “For this year it would be about $15,000 that we would have available to grant across Arenac County.”

Typically, grants of $2,000 are awarded and mini grants of $1,000 are awarded, Geer said. Unlike past grant cycles, all of the applications have to be done online at bayfoundation.org, Geer said.

“This year all applications are done electronically, so they’re all online,” he said.

Geer said the community funds committee is hoping to have more people request grant funds this year. Oftentimes, grant monies have rolled over back into the general endowment fund.

“It seems to be a challenge every year,” he said. “We often don’t receive enough grants to fulfill the proceeds that we have available to grant out.”

Arenac Community Funds is reaching out to more people about the grants this year, specifically in the area of education, Geer said. He said representatives from the organization hope to meet with some teachers in the county to tell them about the funding opportunities available.

“We are often encouraging the teachers in our schools in Arenac County to submit a grant application for support for something for the students,” he said. “Unfortunately, we don’t get many requests for any type of support in that regard.”

Money is raised for the general endowment fund via an annual auction, which is being held at Ali’s UpNorth in Au Gres in December, and a golf outing held every year in May. The monies raised at fundraisers are invested, and proceeds from the investment are what is granted out every year, Geer said. Reaching $1 million is within the organization’s sights, and the group is excited to reach the milestone, he said.

“As the endowment fund grows, so do the proceeds and we can then begin to target larger-scale projects, which is something we’re very anxious to do,” he said.

The Arenac Community Funds also includes a scholarship fund, which is supported by an annual trivia night.

For more information on how to apply for a grant, contact Jeffery Tenbusch with the Arenac Comm­unity Funds Committee at 989-893-4438.


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