What do you do?

What do you do?

When I tell people I work at the local Community Foundation, the response is usually along the lines of, “what do you do there?” When I worked as the Office Manager, my humorous reply was, “what don’t I do?!” But since moving into the position of Director of Community Services, I’ve been able to narrow that focus and get into the meat of why the Foundation exists. Daily, I get to work with non-profit organizations and people in the community who desire to serve. It is not surprising that I’m often faced with an extremely passionate person regarding the program or organization they have invested so much time and energy into. (Honestly, I myself have that same passion on certain subjects.)


But I digress…What I do – in a nutshell – is help organizations get funding so they can focus on the services they provide their clientele. This is done in a variety of ways…My favorite is the onsite visit. This is usually a way for an organization to brag about what they do! And I love it – it is always filled with dreaming and hope for the work to be accomplished.


Another way is to assist is with grant applications. The McPherson County Community Foundation facilitates 6 grant rounds a year (in addition to Moundridge, Lindsborg, and Inman grants as well as scholarships.) Sometimes I’m able to work with a non-profit before their application is even submitted – which gives me an opportunity to understand the project and offer assistance regarding language and information to include in the application so the grant’s committee has a very clear understanding of the request.


Sometimes, though, my first glimpse is after an application is submitted. This works, too, because I’m still able to ask questions I think the grant’s committee will want to know.


Why is this important? Because the MCCF has an ongoing grant process, we hope this allows non-profits to submit a proposal when it makes the most sense for the project or equipment needing funding. Therefore, it is my philosophy that submissions should – to the best of our ability – be considered when it’s submitted. That way we can get funding into hands as soon as possible. This doesn’t always happen. If the grant’s committee doesn’t have enough information, the proposal can be tabled for a later discussion. Obviously, this is not my preference.


It is always so much fun to share with people that their proposals have been funded in some way!


In addition to the above, I also work in the community to help with the larger / deeper needs towards collaboration of meeting those needs. For the past year, this has included working with the Youth Advisory Council, which you read about last month. Next month you will have the opportunity to learn more about my work with the Community Coalition.