The Putnam County Community Foundation awarded over $60,000 in grants to 24 charitable organizations at its spring awards ceremony on June 6 at the Area 30 Community Center.
The Community Foundation presented three types of grants to organizations seeking to improve Putnam County through its unrestricted endowment. Community Grants, Endowment Builder Grants and Youth Philanthropy Grants each awarded local charities with grants.
The Community Grants program awarded over $50,000 to charities meeting one of six criteria such as economic development, educational attainment and improving senior citizens' lives. The Citizens Action Committee for Industrial Development received the largest grant of $16,250. The CACFID plans to use the funding to support its development center. Other recipient charities include the A-Way Home Shelter, New Providence Baptist Church and the Area 30 Childcare Center.
The Foundation's Endowment Builder Grant matches every two dollars donated by citizens to selected charities with one dollar, increasing the charities' endowment by 50 percent. Putnam County Habitat for Humanity received $5,000 to match the charity's existing endowment through the grant program. In total, the Endowment Builder Grant program awarded $8,250 to recipients.
Eric Wolfe, Director of Community Development, said the Endowment Builder Grants help build sustainability through hard times for local charities.
The Putnam County Community Foundation also awarded over $2,000 through Youth Philanthropy Grants. According to Wolfe, the Youth Philanthropy Grants seek to promote youth leadership and service in the community.
A committee of Putnam County young people and adults evaluate grant awards of up to $500 to youth-led community service projects. Peace Lutheran School's fifth grade class received a grant for creating a nature and fitness trail to be open to the public. Other grant recipients include Greencastle High School Knitting Club and Greencastle Boy Scouts.
The Community Foundation's unrestricted fund has a total yearly payout for 2008 of about $168,000.
In addition to grant programs, the fund commits funding to organizations such as Ivy Tech Community College.
Wolfe explained the purpose of the Community Foundation's unrestricted fund.
"The fund was established by donors in order to respond to the community's needs in both a reactive and proactive way," Wolfe said. "Not only does the fund provide grants for charitable organizations through grant applications, but it could react to a disaster in the area as well."