Although much has changed in the past few months, nonprofits in our counties are adjusting and continuing their critical work. The Shelk Foundation is privileged to help as they serve the most vulnerable children, families and seniors in our communities.
The Shelk Foundation is closely aligned with the Oregon Community Foundation and most of our granting this year has come through the Shelk Advised Funds at OCF.
During the first half of 2020 we have funded CASA of Grant and Harney Counties, Frontier CASA in Wheeler County and Families First in John Day to help with technology and staffing to keep in contact with their children and families online as the pandemic prohibited face-to-face meetings. MountainStar Relief Nursery, KIDS Center and Family Access Network have also received our support to help them continue serving Prineville and Crook County children.
As many of our neighbors have found themselves unemployed, we have advised grants to St. Vincent DePaul Crook County’s food bank to help meet increased demand and the Meals on Wheels program of the Prineville Soroptimists to help them continue delivering meals to our home-bound seniors.
Oregon foundations are rapidly evolving to meet critical needs across the state. Funding deadlines and priorities are changing. If grants are a part of your nonprofit’s financial planning, or if your organization has unexpected expenses due to Covid-19, be sure to research foundation websites for current funding opportunities. Click on the Resources tab above for current information.
In a time when there seems to be limits on everything that once seemed normal, one thing stands out in abundance. That is the amount of caring and compassion people are showing to one another. Rather than dwelling on what we are missing, we are asking, “What can I do to help?”
Grantmakers around the state are figuring out ways to help get funds out quickly to nonprofits who are responding to their community’s basic needs. Oregon Community Foundation and The Ford Family Foundation have established emergency funds for COVID-19 needs. Funds are limited, but the application and timelines have been streamlined to be as responsive as possible. Here are links:
OCF Oregon Community Recovery Grant Program: https://oregoncf.org/grants-and-scholarships/grants/oregon-community-recovery-grants/
The Ford Family Foundation: https://www.tfff.org/general-article-news-stories-etc/open-letter-our-grantees
Other organizations serving nonprofits and foundations offer regular news updates with information about COVID-19 efforts to help Oregon nonprofits and communities.
The Nonprofit Association of Oregon website posts COVID-19 updates every few days with information about programs and actions addressing the coronavirus impact: https://nonprofitoregon.org/
Grantmakers of Oregon and SW Washington website has a COVID-19 page that updates Foundation efforts around the state: https://gosw.org/covid19/
We will post other resources as they become available. And when we finally emerge from our homes and back into the sunlight – and we will – may we have a greater understanding and appreciation of what is truly important.
Last year 51 organizations in Wheeler, Grant and Crook counties, as well as others serving Eastern Oregon, received a total $164,351 from the Shelk family through its various funding sources.
We support projects that improve people’s lives across a spectrum of education, youth development, civic engagement, natural resources, arts and culture, and children and families in need. A domestic shelter in Grant County, a 4-H STEM project in Wheeler County, a youth summer theater camp in Prineville and a senior center in Monument are a few examples. This past year we also funded a food bank, the Hatfield lecture series, a newspaper intern program, and a butterfly garden.
Shelk Foundation grants are relatively small, but the impact is large. Our funding serves as matching local support, an important factor that larger statewide foundations including Oregon Community Foundation, the Ford Family Foundation, Collins, Miller, and Reser consider when evaluating grant applications.
Because of our relationships with other funders, Shelk Foundation support of a local project serves as a “seal of approval” that can help leverage larger grants. As funders conduct their due diligence on grant proposals, they often reach out to us for our insight and knowledge of local projects and needs.
It is a great partnership and we all – local organizations, statewide funders, and the Shelk Foundation – are working together to connect resources and people in the communities we serve.