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.