Organizations and nonprofits in the tri-county area of Wayne, Holmes and Ashland counties can apply for a new round of grants made possible by a program sponsored by Gannett, owner of the Wooster Daily Record and Ashland Times- Gazette.
The 2022 A Community Thrivs programa $2 million initiative created by the Gannett Foundation, will award grants to groups seeking to improve communities across America.
Since the program’s inception in 2017, more than $17 million in grants have been awarded through crowdfunding efforts that have been distributed to more than 500 organizations across the country in markets where Gannett’s USA TODAY Network operates. .
Holmes Center for the Arts and Matthew 25 Outreach Center were among the groups chosen for grants last year.
A Community Thrives welcomes applications from organizations seeking to raise awareness for a specific community-building project with a focus on impact on historically underserved individuals and groups.
“The program not only provides grants, but opportunities for organizations to expand their networks and deepen their donor base by connecting with our consumers,” said Sue Madden, director of the Gannett Foundation.
“In addition, participation in the Community Thriving program can result in national and local media exposure. Year after year, we hear fantastic stories from participants about how the program has accelerated development,” she continued.
Organizations will first raise funds through crowdfunding, then they will be eligible for 16 project grants up to $100,000: three grants of $100,000, seven grants of $50,000 and six grants of $25,000, according to the A Community Thrivs website.
Other grants include operating grants for eligible participants with community operations in Gannett Markets, incentive grants for groups that raise the most funds, and bonus challenge grants for those who wish to compete.
Organizations can apply on line. The fundraising phase of the program will run from July 18 to August 12, with recipients announced on October 5.
Why fundraise for local communities?
Local stories told by USA TODAY Network reporters helped inspire the creation of A Community Thrives. By telling these stories, journalists hear amazing ideas for improving American communities.
“A Community Thrives further underscores Gannett’s mission of empowering communities to thrive not only by telling their stories, but also by providing support to those who need it most,” said Mike Reed, CEO of Gannett and Chairman of the Gannett Foundation. “This initiative is organically helping quality organizations that share our desire to improve lives and we are proud to implement the program for the sixth year.”
Interfaith Neighbors received a $100,000 grant in 2021 to support the expansion of the Kula Urban Farm in New Jersey which helps the community with a homelessness prevention program and meal programs.
“Communities matter,” Paul McEvily, executive director of Interfaith Neighbors, told USA TODAY in 2021. “People who reside in this community need to understand and appreciate what makes the community thrive, and a community thrives when everything everyone in this community is doing well.”
Since the farm’s inception in 2014, “it has become a community gathering place for residents to come and harvest produce to use in their meal preparations, for young people to participate in STEM learning, for people of all ages participate in community workshops”. it states this on the organization’s 2021 donation page. Their farm-to-table dinner series “features local chefs and brings residents together in a social setting for fellowship and healthy eating.”
Interfaith Neighbors planned “to purchase an adjacent vacant plot of land which will allow us to double our hydroponics operations, expand our seasonal agricultural beds, as well as construct a 3 season lodge structure to accommodate our community workshops and program educational in an expanded space,” the company wrote on its donations page in 2021.
Past winners include:
- Coastal Georgia Area Community Action Authority, recipient of a $100,000 grant, planned to establish a Head Start program and provide space for organizations to serve community members.
- 864 Pride, a recipient of a $50,000 grant, helped support the development of Amaryllis Counseling’s trans peer support program. 864 Pride hopes to “Create and maintain mental health programs that do not currently exist for LGBTQ+ people and provide funding for LGBTQ+ people to access medical and mental health care,” according to its donation page. 2021.
- RefugeeConnect, a $25,000 grant recipient, planned to use the funds for 50 additional families through the Community Navigation Program which “supports the long-term goals of refugee families living in the Greater Cincinnati area. ensuring they are connected to the resources and services that enable them to thrive,” the organization wrote on its giving page in 2021.