The Coronavirus pandemic has greatly affected local nonprofits. It forced organizations to cancel major fundraising events, alter or suspend programs, and, in some cases, even cut staff hours.
While CFA’s Support Abilene grants and fundraisers like Abilene Gives have helped immensely, there’s still work to be done. This is why CFA has decided to adjust our upcoming grant cycles and maximize impact for nonprofits who need funds to offset the impact of the COVID crisis.
We will combine our fall 2020 discretionary grant cycle and spring 2021 discretionary grant cycle into one large cycle this fall. This will allow available funding to get to nonprofits sooner. This grant cycle is open to any local nonprofit serving in Abilene. Current discretionary grant guidelines and a preview of the online application can be found here.
We will also move our Future Fund 2021 grant cycle forward from January 2021 to late fall 2020. This grant cycle is open to local nonprofits serving children and youth in our community.
Applications for the discretionary grant cycle will open July 15 at cfabilene.org/grants. Future Fund details and deadlines will be released after August 1.
Grants Director Michelle Parrish explains the impact of CFA’s discretionary grant cycles.
“Discretionary grants are intentionally designed to meet the ever-changing needs of our community. Each cycle, the grant committee reviews the needs and prioritizes funds based on what is most urgent. The impact of COVID-19 in Abilene was certainly felt among our committee members this year. They responded with grants to serve immediate and high priority needs, which is exactly how the process should function. Flexible, responsive grants make the greatest impact in Abilene. I’m so proud of our efforts to act during a time of crisis.
The Role Donors Play
As CFA President/CEO Katie Alford explains, this impact is possible because of our fundholders and other donors.
“Unrestricted funds are so vital to how we’re able to impact local nonprofits. Donors who have given us unrestricted gifts understand the importance of giving us the flexibility to make grants each year based on the current and ever-changing needs of our community being addressed through the grant requests. It also gives us the flexibility to support and invest in new nonprofits as they begin serving our community.
Our donor advised fundholders also get the opportunity to partner with us on funding grant requests coming through our discretionary grant cycles. We give them information on the requests we receive from the nonprofits, they review the list to see if there are any causes or programs that they want to support, and then they let us know how much they want to give from their fund to help support the ones they select. Having them add their dollars to the dollars we have available allows us to fund more of the requests which makes more impact in our community. Oftentimes, these are projects and programs that the donors weren’t aware of, so it is a great opportunity for them to learn about amazing charitable work going on in Abilene.”
Any donor can contribute to the discretionary grant cycle, by visiting this link.
Together, we can make an even greater impact on the nonprofits working to enhance quality of life in our community.