Berrien Community Foundation to offer $20,000 in sustainability grants to nonprofits

ST. JOSEPH — With nonprofit organizations struggling during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Berrien Community Foundation will focus funding on sustainability providing $200,000 in general operations grants to Berrien County nonprofits.

“We know that many nonprofit organizations are struggling for survival right now,” said Berrien Community Foundation President Lisa Cripps-Downey. “They have canceled fundraisers and stopped or altered services. Some have continued services without adequate funding.”

With “For Good. For Ever.” as its tagline, the Berrien Community Foundation normally hosts two competitive grant cycles each year for its For Good Grants. During this season, it is time to support nonprofits with For Ever Grants, officials said.

“We could not continue business as usual,” said BCF Board Chairman, Dr. Bob Harrison. “While we needed to hold some dollars for typical project grants, it was important for us to recognize the need for sustainability and to take measures to ensure Berrien County has a healthy nonprofit sector for years to come.”

Along with the $200,000 in For Ever Grants, BCF will provide another $50,000 to $90,000 in traditional project grants with a For Good Grant cycle in September.

The Berrien Community Foundation provided $50,000 in funding to the Southwest Michigan Cares Fund to first help provide basic needs during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The fund, a partnership with United Way of Southwest Michigan and a host of other funders, businesses and individuals, will then shift to recovery efforts.

“In addition to these efforts, we offered 2019 grantees to the opportunity repurpose any unspent grant dollars for sustainability,” Cripps-Downey said. “We will also review some project grants from the spring that could support the community at this time.”

The For Ever Grant application will be available this week on the Berrien Community Foundation website, berriencommunity.org. Other grant opportunities through BCF will move forward including the Alamar Nonprofit Sustainability Grant and the Stephen E. Upton Love Your Community Grant. For more information on these grant opportunities, visit the BCF website at berriencommunity.org.

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