The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

July 29, 2013

Community foundation grant cycle ending

By Robert Barron, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — The grant application cycle for the Cherokee Strip Community Foundation ends Wednesday,  according to Executive Director Mary Stallings.

“It’s coming quickly and there’s not a lot to do,” Stallings said.

Most of the grants are in the $1,000 to $10,000 range. The first step is the letter of intent, which actually serves as the grant request. She said the letter is no more than two pages.

The letter should include an introduction into the mission of the organization, Stallings said. It should describe how the current programs support the mission, and a brief outline of the need or problems addressed by the proposed grant, the purpose of the grant and the amount requested, she said. The total cost of the project also should be included along with a simplified project budget. The letter should include a statement of charitable status, and a list of the board of directors.

“We notify when the committee meets and will notify to go ahead and proceed with the grant application,” Stallings said.

Stallings said the community foundation already has received a number of applications that have come in throughout the year. The application period opened at the first of the year for the 2013 grant cycle. Grants are distributed in December, along with the regular Community Foundation distributions.

Enid Community Foundation awards grants from unrestricted endowments once a year. After receiving a grant, the foundation prefers the recipient not participate in another grant proposal in the immediately following grant cycle. Proposals must be received no later than noon on the deadline date. Letters of intent are due July 31, and grant proposals must be submitted by Sept. 1.

Cherokee Strip Community Foundation was created in 2000, to provide a permanent source of funding to respond to the needs of Enid and northwest Oklahoma, Stallings said. It has built Enid’s charitable future through encouragement of families, individuals, businesses and organizations to create endowment funds at the foundation, she said.

“An endowment fund is permanent — the initial investment that creates the funds along with the gifts that are added over the years, will always be at the community foundation to generate income to meet future needs,” Stallings said in a prepared statement.

One of the earliest investors was the Sisters of Mercy Health System. In 2000, after the foundation was created, it received $1.8 million from the Sisters of Mercy as an investment in the charitable future of Enid. According to the Sisters request, the $1.8 million was matched and held as a permanent endowment, with the principal invested and the income used for grant-making purposes in Enid and northwest Oklahoma.

“The Sisters of Mercy clearly understood the implications of a gift of endowment. The Sisters of Mercy at the CSCF matched dollar for dollar every donation received over the two-year time period up to $1.8 million,” Stallings said.

Fifty cents of every dollar matched went into a field of interest fund for grant-making, and the other 50 cents was applied to the donors gift for matching to create funds for local charities, she said. As of June 20, total assets of the Cherokee Strip Community Foundation are $13,523,392.

In the past 13 years since the inception date of the foundation, more than $2.5 million have been made to beneficiaries of endowed funds, and through grants that has been awarded during the annual grant cycles at the foundation. An additional $3.5 million has been distributed from gift funds, Stallings said.