Philanthropist gives $100,000 for Community Foundation Grants Program

VERO BEACH — The Indian River Community Foundation unrestricted grants program received a substantial boost this month with a gift of $100,000 from a local philanthropic couple who have been the lead givers to the fund for the past three years.

The couple, who wish to remain anonymous, helped launch the unrestricted grants program in 2008 and have been joined by other philanthropists each year in contributing to the fund. Since inception, $160,000 has been awarded to programs that address critical and time sensitive community issues.

“Several contributors to this fund have acknowledged the Community Foundation’s local knowledge, experience and flexibility to target grants where the need is greatest,” said Kerry Bartlett, executive director. “Our anonymous donors have specifically found value in the increased accountability we require from our grant recipients to measure the return on philanthropic investments.”

In the past, the unrestricted grants program has responded to the severe ongoing economic challenges facing local residents by focusing on programs and services that meet the basic needs of the most vulnerable citizens of Indian River County.

Previous grants have ranged from a vehicle repair program for qualified residents to a medication management program for frail seniors and even a program to rehabilitate foreclosed homes to give homeless and near-homeless families a place to live.

“Our grants committee looks for well-tested models that can be brought to scale or expanded in our community, as well as pilot programs that can be grown and replicated,” Bartlett said. “We pay particular attention to organizations that show collaboration, knowledge of their sector, a clearly identified target population and benchmarks for success.”

The Community Foundation uses a Board-appointed committee of local experts and community leaders to determine a funding focus each year. The committee reviews a variety of resources, such as local needs assessments and economic data to identify areas where targeted grants can have the greatest impact.

“In the past donors to this fund have been most impressed with the interim and final grant reports showing the impact of their gifts,” Bartlett said. “We require both quantifiable and qualitative information on the achievement of benchmarks described in the original grant request.”

The Indian River Community Foundation is a nonprofit organization that provides donors with flexible philanthropic tools to achieve their current and long-term charitable giving goals. The Foundation currently manages over $9 million in charitable assets, the majority of which are held in donor advised funds.

The unrestricted fund is open to anyone interested in pooling their funds with other philanthropists looking for immediate impact and targeted solutions through their charitable giving.

For more information contact Bartlett at kerry@ircommunityfoundation.com or (772) 492-1407.

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