Deadline to apply for community foundation grants drawing close

File photo
Playground equipment assembled by volunteers earlier this year in Omer was purchased with grant funds from the Arenac Community Foundation.
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ARENAC COUNTY — Area organizations and school districts looking for some funding for specific programs or projects may be able to receive a grant from the Arenac Community Foundation (ACF), but need to apply for the funds by Oct. 1.

Jeffrey Tenbusch, a program officer for the Bay Area Community Foundation, an affiliate of the ACF, said there are thousands of dollars up for grabs.

“As it stands now, I’d say they have upwards of $10,000 that they can give,” he said.

Many diverse organizations have been awarded grants through the ACF in the past, and used them for education, conservation and recreation in the case of Omer, which used grant funds to purchase playground equipment, Tenbusch said.

“They’ve given grants to area schools, the Arenac Conservation District,” he said. “It’s really very general.”

Organizations can apply for as much money as they feel is necessary for the project, Tenbusch said.

“There are no limits,” he said. “It’s really just whatever you think you’ll need to make your project or program successful.”

However, Garrett Geer, chairman of the ACF Committee, said there has been a shortage of grant applicants the past few grant cycles.

“We never seem to be able to fully grant out the funding that we have available for the communities,” he said. “We fund everything from emergency services, arts and culture, youth recreation programs. We’re always looking at ways we can improve quality of life for citizens of Arenac County.”

Geer added that people who think they might qualify for a grant should follow up and see if there is funding assistance available.

“We’re looking for organizations, groups, initiatives, that are in need of funding,” he said. “Whether we are the lion’s share of the support or just a portion of the support.”

Tenbusch said if the full amount is not requested, the funds will roll over into the next grant cycle.

“I know this fall we haven’t had a lot of grantees applying,” he said. “If we don’t get $10,000 in requests, we don’t give out $10,000.”

Geer added that it is uncommon for the ACF to turn down an application.

“In most cases, it’s very rare that we would not award a grant for something that was solicited from us,” he said.

Tenbusch added that grant applicants are usually notified in mid-November if their request is approved, and will receive the money a few days later. He said a spring grant cycle is also held by the ACF.

To apply for a grant, or for more information, contact Tenbusch at 989-893-4498. He said interested people can also visit bayfoundation.org to see a copy of the grant application.

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