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Berrien Community Foundation to provide $200,000 in grants to sustain non-profits

Dozens of businesses in Rock Island have received COVID-19 Emergency Grant funding. In an announcement released on Friday, officials said 48 businesses received $98,975 in funding. (MGN)
Dozens of businesses in Rock Island have received COVID-19 Emergency Grant funding. In an announcement released on Friday, officials said 48 businesses received $98,975 in funding. (MGN)(KWQC)
Published: May. 10, 2020 at 8:57 PM EDT
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The Berrien Community Foundation is recognizing a growing need for non-profit services among the county's residents.

The foundation is opening up $200,000 for grants to go out to non-profits struggling during the pandemic.

These grants will specifically be for funding general operational expenses at non-profits, a shift from grants they typically give out to fund projects.

The foundation president says it's important these services have the resources to stay afloat through these uncertain times.

"Right now that real need that they're having is just some of those general operations expenses," said Berrien Community Foundation President, Lisa Cripps-Downey. "Sometimes those are just the hardest dollars to raise. So our board said, in the extreme situation that we're in, we need to make some changes."

Talking about how these grants are important for the long term health of non-profits in Berrien County, the foundation board chairman Dr. Bob Harrison said, "while we needed to hold some dollars for typical project grants, it was important for us to recognize the need for sustainability and to take measures to ensure Berrien County has a healthy nonprofit sector for years to come.”

Non-profits can now also re-purpose unused grant dollars from 2019 for sustainability during the pandemic.

"There's a lot of people who work for non-profit organizations and we need to remember that sector of our economy and we want them to be healthy and thriving when we come out of this," Cripps-Downey said.

The foundation has roughly $50-90 thousand reserved for traditional project grants available for application in Sept.

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