Final part of series featuring grants in action
Northfield Shares, a community foundation centered on philanthropy, volunteerism and collaborative leadership, distributed over $68,000 to 15 local nonprofits as part of its annual grant cycle. Grants were awarded to organizations whose projects create long-term solutions to core issues affecting the Northfield community, enhance the overall well-being of the area and generate a significant multiplier effect. Several funds under Northfield Shares’ management make it possible to award these grants.
The organizations that were selected to receive grants from Northfield Shares represent a wide variety of nonprofit work and outreach. Grant recipients for 2017 include Cannon River Watershed Partnership, Community Action Center of Northfield, Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys, Greenvale Park Community School, HealthFinders Collaborative, Laura Baker Services Association, Northfield Area Learning Center, Northfield in Bloom, Northfield Booster Club, Northfield Community Resource Center, Northfield Healthy Community Initiative (Reading Rockets and YouthBank), Northfield TORCH, Northfield Union of Youth, Northfield Youth Sports Collaborative and Project Friendship.
Northfield Shares Executive Director Mike Krance said, “It was important for us to recognize each grant recipient organization and the unique effort they put forth to strengthen the fabric of our community. Northfield Shares is proud to support them in their endeavors.”
Northfield Community Resource Center
The Northfield Community Resource Center (NCRC) will be supported through a $3,000 grant from Northfield Shares. The NCRC installed a sign with digital messaging that informs passersby about the important resources of the nonprofits housed within the building. To beautify the area and comply with City ordinances, NCRC wanted to add landscaping around the sign. NCRC Director Lynne Pederson said, “Funding from Northfield Shares will allow us to perform vital gardening duties, like laying soil, mulching and edging as well as planting four trees. Their support affects not only the outside of our building, but it will help us signal the warm, welcoming nature of the seven nonprofit organizations inside of the building as well.”
A total of $9,220 from Northfield Shares funds will support TORCH (Tackling Obstacles, Raising College Hopes). Specifically helping fund the organization’s alumni program, the grant will provide support for an alumni outreach coordinator, whose role will be to help TORCH graduates find success after high school. TORCH Director and Northfield Public Schools Assistant Principal Marnie Thompson said, “Generous funding from Northfield Shares will help TORCH combat barriers that graduates face as they leave high school and begin college. By employing an alumni outreach coordinator, our hope is to support 200 recent TORCH alumni and help close the enrollment gap that exists in our community.”
Northfield Healthy Community Initiative
Northfield Healthy Community Initiative (HCI) received $8,000 in funding from Northfield Shares to support their Reading Rockets program, an initiative that provides summer literacy assistance for Northfield elementary youth who are behind grade level in reading. Northfield HCI Executive Director Zach Pruitt said, “The impact of collaborative partnership is undeniable. A total of 200 youth are receiving reading literacy aid as a result of funding we receive from engaged supporters like Northfield Shares. Youth get to see measured, sustained reading growth as a result of participation. That is so powerful for both youth themselves and the success of our community as a whole.”
Northfield Booster Club
Funds from a $1,000 Northfield Shares grant will help support the Northfield Booster Club as it continues its efforts to help families who struggle financially to pay athletic registration fees. Activities Director Tom Graupmann said, “Community support allows all students the opportunity to participate in our school’s athletic program. Funding from Northfield Shares assisted over 100 students during the 2016-2017 school year, and we are so thankful. Being on a team teaches youth many important life skills, and it is crucial that every student has a chance to experience that.”
Greenvale Park Community School
A total of $14,000 from Northfield Shares helped to fund a second co-coordinator position at Greenvale Park Community School for a full year. Greenvale Park Community School Principal Sam Richardson said,
“The funding we received from Northfield Shares allowed us to support a staff position that was key to strengthening our organization and effectively serving more students and families. As our school continues to grow and thrive, community support is vital, and we are very grateful to organizations like Northfield Shares.”
A $5,000 Northfield Shares grant provided matching support to a HealthRise grant obtained by HealthFinders Collaborative, a community health center that provides a comprehensive primary access point to health services for the marginalized families of Rice County. HealthFinders Collaborative Executive Director Charlie Mandile said, “This support allowed HealthFinders to ensure full implementation of coordinated services across partner systems, agencies and projects in Northfield. We are dedicated to the well-being of the individuals and families we serve, and the support we receive from partners like Northfield Shares helps us meet our mission, collaborate for good and engage communities in health and wellness.”
Northfield Shares Board Chair Jennifer Sawyer said, “To see everyone come together for the greater good is one of the many wonderful things about Northfield. Supporting one another is vital for positive growth and impacting the community in meaningful ways.”
Northfield Shares is the Northfield area’s community foundation founded to advance philanthropy, inspire volunteerism and promote collaborative leadership.