By Jared Lindell
Most people familiar with the Community Foundation know about the many different types of funds offered by the Foundation as well as grant processes. While Community Service Grants and Karl Peterson Grants get most of the publicity, there is also a monthly Field of Interest Grant process, which is just as effective. Although the amounts of the Field of Interest grants are generally less, relative to other grants, they continue to have a significant impact on the community nonetheless.
As demonstration of this impact, Lutheran Social Services (LSS) recently received a Field of Interest Grant for an Intergenerational Music Day Camp. Volunteers at the Lutheran Home and Rehabilitation Center have been running this summer camp for the past three years, and it has become very popular with both children and LSS residents. The basic idea of the camp brings children from kindergarten to 8th grade together with senior LSS residents so that the two generations can spend time together. During this time, activities are planned, company is kept, and friendships are forged, as the children and seniors learn from one another and develop respect for each other’s current lives and pasts. This awareness of each other’s generation helps shape the lives of the young ones while allowing the seniors to understand current youth and their trends. LSS was awarded a CRCF Field of Interest grant to help offset fees associated with the camp, as it serves to create a better understanding between the generations in the community and does so in a fun, interactive manner.
Funding for certain projects like the Intergenerational Music Day Camp are only possible through the support of Field of Interest funding. While an Intergenerational Music Day Camp might seem like a certain niche, niches or specific “interests” are exactly what Field of Interest Grants fund. The monies disbursed for Field of Interest Grants come from the Community Foundation’s Field of Interest Funds. Field of Interest Funds are established by donors with specific “interests” in mind. These funds cover a broad range of “interests” including education, youth assistance, disabled individuals, domestic violence, community development, and physical illness to name a few. Based on these examples, it is easy to see what makes starting a Field of Interest Fund so appealing to a donor. With this type of fund, you can literally target a certain area in the community you feel is underserved and set up a fund to benefit strictly that area. If your interest is cancer treatment, then a Field of Interest Fund could be created to benefit those with costs involved with cancer research and treatment…there is very little limit to the fund possibilities, as long as the criteria is charitable.
If there is an “interest” within the community that you would like to see served, then creating a Field of Interest fund is a viable way to do so. If you would like more information on Field of Interest or any of CRCF funds, please call the Community Foundation staff at 661-3390 or visit www.crcfonline.org. All grants make an impact, and Field of Interest Funds will allow you target that impact.