New grant opportunities available for non-profit organizations based in Bay County

It’s going to be a busy season for Joni King.

As program officer for the Bay Area Community Foundation, King is tasked with administering the grant processes. It’s a busy job in any year – especially the closer it comes to a deadline for applications, she says – but in 2020, King expects the COVID-19 pandemic to considerably increase the number of applications she receives.

Of the various groups hit hard by the pandemic, perhaps one of the hardest hit yet least likely to receive attention are non-profit organizations. That’s why the BACF has created special grant opportunities for these very groups.

"We have heard back from non-profits and over 80% of non-profits have had fundraisers cancelled. Some are postponed, some are being re-imagined," King says.

"These fundraisers are where they get most of their operational support."

The first of its kind, the BACF is currently offering the Nonprofit COVID-19 Support Mini Grant. The program offers grants of up to $1,000 to Bay County non-profit organizations. The grant is only available to those organizations that are not government- or school-affiliated.

The grants are meant to cover costs related to COVID-19, like Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) equipment and sanitizing supplies.

It’s proven a popular program; approximately half of the funds have already been awarded. The application window will remain open until the fund is exhausted. (King expects the fund to last another week.)

Of course, there are other grant opportunities from the BACF. The application windows for the Semiannual Grants – which represent the majority of money awarded each year – and the Leslie L. Squires Foundation Grants both open on Mon., July 13, and close Mon., Sept. 21.

The latter grant is for projects that benefit children or adults with cognitive or physical disabilities in Bay County.

Each year, the Semiannual Grants are available to non-profit organizations – tied to schools and governments, or not – throughout Bay and Arenac counties.

This year, however, a portion of the money will be made available only to Bay County non-profit organizations – and not school- and government-affiliated ones – to help cover operational costs, a change from years previous.

It is a competitive grant process, and King recommends that all organizations submit their applications sooner rather than later.

"Things are evolving and we’re trying to be responsive to area non-profits and be there for them in a way that we haven’t had to in the past," King says.

"It’s all because of COVID-19."

For more information about the various grant opportunities from the Bay Area Community Foundation, visit them online.

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