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McHenry County nonprofits get $700K in foundation grants

Published: Sunday, July 7, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

LAKE IN THE HILLS – The McHenry County Community Foundation recently awarded nearly $700,000 in grants to area nonprofits.

The grants went to 65 organizations across McHenry County during the foundation’s annual grants breakfast celebration in June.

This year’s largest grant was $66,000 and was given to the Challenger Center for Space and Science Education.

“The grant came from a donor-advised fund,” said Robin Doeden, executive director at the McHenry County Community Foundation. This means the person or organization who is donating decided who received the grant.

Most of the grants range from $1,000 to $15,000. The McHenry County Community Foundation was established in 2001 to accept donor-directed funds and unrestricted endowments to grant seed or expansion money to nonprofit organizations across McHenry County.

“A bulk of our funding comes from the unrestricted funds,” Doeden said. “These are donations given from people who may not know exactly who they want the money to go to, or they would like the donation to remain anonymous.”

Donations from the unrestricted funds are divided up among nonprofit organizations by a committee at the foundation.

“It’s really a grant cycle process,” Doeden said. “Each nonprofit organization fills out an application and requests an amount they wish to receive. We then look at the requests and the organization’s size and grant whatever we can. It is a long process.”

The grant recipients celebration was held at Boulder Ridge Country Club in Lake in the Hills. More than 200 attendees watched the awards and a presentation by Doris Christopher, founder and chairman emeritus of The Pampered Chef.

Nonprofit organizations that benefited from the grants included organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of McHenry County, Free Guitars for Future Stars, Northern Illinois Food Bank, Pioneer Center for Human Services and Wellness Place.

“Our main goal here is to enable organizations, people and families an opportunity to make gifts and narrow their focus as to who the recipient of that gift should be,” Doeden said.

Nonprofit organizations within McHenry County that would like to start working with the foundation should call 815-338-4483.

The community foundation also offers training programs for nonprofit organizations. For information on these and how to apply for next year’s grant cycle, visit www.mccfdn.org.

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