We established the Shelk Foundation in 1994 after co-advising on the OCF Shelk Advised Fund for fifteen years. We noticed the nonprofits in our geographic region did not access those advised funds with grant requests very frequently. Since most of our contributions are through the advised funds, we wanted to help them gain the capacity to understand the process and submit a competitive proposal.
Through the Shelk Foundation we use another approach and focus on offering assistance to nonprofits. We began in 2002 with the first biennial Cultivating Communities Conference and alternated locations between Prineville and John Day until 2010. In 2012 we joined other funders and a local planning group to organize the first Eastern Oregon Nonprofit Conference in Ontario. More than 250 people attended, including nonprofit representatives from 7 Eastern Oregon counties, and funders and presenters from around the state.
In addition to supporting local conferences and workshops to make them more accessible for nonprofits in our region; we provide information, resources, technical support and guidance. Nonprofits serving Grant, Wheeler, Crook and Harney counties and Funders interested in supporting these rural communities can call our staff person, Kristi Steber, at 541-447-6296 for information.
— Linda Shelk