BY PAUL BICKLEY
“We want Bloomington to be a place where everyone succeeds,” says Tina Peterson, president and CFO of the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County. In December, the Foundation awarded $326,700 in Community Impact Grants to 13 area nonprofit organizations working in the arts, youth development, health, self-sufficiency, and other areas.
A record 70 nonprofit organizations applied for awards ranging from $10,000 to $50,000. A committee of 14 Foundation board members and area residents selected the recipients. “We address the community’s compelling needs by supporting things that others aren’t,” Peterson says. “It’s hard for nonprofits to find $10,000–$50,000, especially for innovative efforts. We favored applications proposing solutions, innovative strategies, capacity building, and collaboration.”
More than half of the organizations receiving funds work in the areas of physical and mental health and self-sufficiency. “We had most applications in these areas, and we felt some responsibility for helping such organizations,” Peterson says. “Only through a broad tapestry of them will we see changes.”
Two programs receiving funds to address substance-use disorders include Indiana Recovery Alliance with a grant of $50,000 to fund counseling and individualized interventions and a $32,000 grant to Centerstone Bloomington to provide additional extended-transition supportive housing for those in recovery.
Some of the other organizations receiving funding include:
• Monroe County United Ministries: $30,000 to pilot its Self-Sufficiency Center’s Your Path program, which teams clients with coaches to set goals for increased earnings and increased job training or education.
• Boys & Girls Clubs of Bloomington: $29,600 grant to pilot its Youth Mental Health Bridges Program, designed to enhance responses to members’ social, emotional, behavioral, and mental health needs and provide proactive services.
• New Leaf – New Life: $27,040 to fund a volunteer program to help ex-offenders transition back into the community.
• Volunteers in Medicine of Monroe County: $11,000 matching grant to hire legal and accounting assistance in its effort to merge with an existing federally qualified health center so it can treat patients who are insured but still experiencing poverty.
Donations fund the Community Impact Grants. “Bloomington residents support nonprofits very generously,” Peterson says. “I don’t know what better defines community than that.”
For more information and to make a donation, visit cfbmc.org.