Applications open for Gannett Foundation’s crowdfunding and grant program for nonprofits
Wisconsin nonprofit groups could receive up to $100,000 in grants from the Gannett Foundation‘s annual fundraising program.
Applications are now open for the 2021 A Community Thrives program. Organizations can apply to raise money for a specific project, first through crowdfunding campaigns. Then, they’ll be eligible for one of15 national grants of up to $100,000, or hundreds of community operating grants starting at $2,500. Community grant recipients will be chosen by leaders across Gannett’s USA TODAY NETWORK of more than 250 news sites in 46 states.
Organizations that focus on building up historically under-resourced and underserved groups will be specially considered.
“A Community Thrives is an opportunity for Gannett to raise up local ideas and community needs by providing nonprofit organizations with visibility, grants and exposure to new donors through the unique power of the USA TODAY and USA TODAY Network platforms,” Gannett Foundation director Sue Madden told USA TODAY.
Applications are due June 30, then a four-week crowdfunding period will begin July 19 and run until August 13. The Gannett Foundation expects to announce all grant recipients in late September.
A Community Thrives is sponsored by Gannett, the USA TODAY NETWORK’s parent company, and is marking its fifth year supporting groups that address social issues. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Green Bay Press-Gazette, The Post-Crescent, Oshkosh Northwestern, Fond du Lac Reporter, Sheboygan Press, Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter, Wausau Daily Herald, Stevens Point Journal, Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune and Marshfield News-Herald are all part of the USA TODAY Network.
Last year, the Gannett Foundation provided $2.3 million in grants and helped participating nonprofits fundraise more than $3 million.
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One Wisconsin organization that received some of that money was Everyone Needs a Community in Marshfield. The nonprofit’s goal is to build community for seniors and people with autism and other developmental disabilities, starting with educating the community and affordable housing.
“One thing that COVID did was it educated all of us about how hard isolation and loneliness are,” board President Kathy Meyer said. “And these are two populations (senior citizens and people with disabilities) that struggle with isolation and loneliness. It’s something I don’t have to explain to people anymore. Everybody gets it. We all need social connections. It’s an inherent part of health.”
Everybody Needs a Community raised $8,000 last year and was awarded a $3,000 grant, Meyer said. The money helped the organization pay for its website and a Zoom membership, she said.
Everyone Needs a Community is planning to participate in A Community Thrives again this year, Meyer said. The organization has only been around for two years, and last year was its first time fundraising online. Doing it through A Community Thrives program was helpful, she said.
“That was so incredibly needed,” Meyer said. “As you well know, our public events couldn’t happen (due to the COVID-19 pandemic), and we were new to fundraising. Between that grant and the fundraising we did for the first time online through A Community Thrives, it supported us through this difficult time.”
The Waukesha Free Clinic raised more than $5,000 last year and received a $12,000 grant, which the clinic is using to start pediatric obesity program for uninsured and low-income kids and their families in Waukesha County, clinic executive director Amy Vega said in an email.
The program, in partnership with Carroll University College of Health Sciences, will begin in the fall, and the clinic will work with families and kids to “make physical activity, nutrition, and decreased screen time fun and accessible,” Vega said.
“This funding is allowing us to start a program that is new to Waukesha County, addressing a need that can have a significant positive lifelong impact on the health of participants,” Vega said. “We will be able to pilot the program to provide materials to participants (kids), to facilitate success and grocery store gift cards for families!”
Penfield Children’s Center in Milwaukee also received a $35,000 grant last year for its behavioral clinic.
Contact Natalie Brophy at (715) 216-5452 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @brophy_natalie.