The Hillsdale County Community Foundation recently granted $15,000 to the GOAL programs, with grants ranging from $250 to $1,000.
President and CEO of HCCF Sharon Bisher said HCCF’s traditional funding cycle doesn’t match well with the school year and progression of GOAL programs, prompting to HCCF to design and offer grants specifically designed for GOAL programs. This is the first time the HCCF has dedicated a program to helping GOAL leaders learn about and apply for their grants.
“We did that because we recognize the students are making a huge impact in our community,” Bisher said.
Bisher presented a workshop to teach students how to apply to grant programs. The GOAL leaders then had two weeks to apply to an HCCF grant. HCCF awarded grants to 19 different programs, including A Few Good Men, Gier Reading and Journal Buddies, and Community Action Agency Preschool. Hannah Moeggenberg, who runs CAA Preschool, said she received a $700 grant, which she plans to use to purchase snow boots for students and gift cards for “volunteer of the week.”
“The HCCF made grant writing very simple,” Moeggenberg said in an email. “The writing process itself was easier than I had expected once I knew exactly what it was that I was asking for. The two most important parts, in my opinion, were conveying my plea with passion, and making sure that all of the numbers were exact and reasonable.”
HCCF also granted a $3,000 scholarship to the leadership of GOAL, who will be hosting a campus-wide volunteer event next semester.
“It’s really cool they reached out to the college about this extra money,” said GOAL Director and senior Lucile Townley. “[Sharon] knows a lot about the needs of the community and the community itself.”
Although this was the first time HCCF hosted a program like this for GOAL, Bisher said the foundation wants to make it an annual process.
“We have a strong commitment to youth leadership,” she said. “We wanted to encourage a love of philanthropy.”