The Historic Ellisville Restoration Organization (HERO) was one of 37 nonprofits supported by a Galesburg Community Foundation Turnout Grant in the last year. HERO’s initiative “A New Beginning” sought to revitalize the nonprofit’s event-driven fundraising strategy, make upgrades to its Opera House Theater, and resume performances there by the youth Spoon River Rascals Theatre Troupe. “During the year we were able to plan how to continue our events, plan new ones, and initiate efforts to reach out to potential donors to assist in our goals for the future,” said Kelvin W. Sampson, one of HERO’s directors.
Each year, The Turnout combines dollars from generous donors who hold charitable funds at the Community Foundation with dollars from the Community Foundation’s Impact Fund to fully fund proposals from nonprofits dedicated to bettering our region.
“The Turnout empowers our local nonprofits to tell their stories of impact and ask specifically for what they need to make their important work happen,” said Tiffany Springer, Community Foundation director of grants and programs. “Being able to see the impact of these grants helps us keep a pulse on all of the good happening in the region and strengthen relationships with our grant partners.”
Like HERO, Central Congregational Church in Galesburg used a Turnout Grant to enhance their organizational capacity. The church invested in a new computer and accounting software, allowing them to respond to donors faster and track their gifts more seamlessly—a major boon when it came to raising funds for repairs to the church sanctuary’s distinctive stained-glass windows.
“While Central Congregational’s Turnout Grant didn’t ask to fund those repairs directly, it did give the church the tools to make that much-needed project a reality—tools they will be able to keep using as they continue to fulfill their mission,” said Springer.
The church also expanded their calendaring system software, which has allowed them to open their doors to local nonprofits in need of free meeting space. “Our region’s nonprofits are passionate and creative when it comes to living out their missions,” Springer added. “They know the value of the resources they receive and how to make the impact of those resources go the furthest.”
Other Turnout grants went toward general operations and programming. Resources to fund fixed expenses gave the Monmouth Early Learning Center (MELC) the capacity it needed to create a “very positive” school year, according to speech therapist Amber Postin. “As a very small board of enthusiastic parents, we often find ourselves stretched thin,” she said. With operating costs covered, MELC was able to resume a wide variety of activities, trips, and visits for students. Among those were a trip to the bank to count change for the students’ “Pennies for Jamieson” campaign and a visit from the Jamieson Center to discuss how their donation would support the Jamieson Center Food Pantry.
“The Turnout gives the Foundation an opportunity to walk side by side with these organizations and give them the support they need to see success,” said Springer. “Whether they’re implementing a new initiative or enhancing their organizational capacity, Turnout grants have a real impact on our region.”
Galesburg Community Foundation will announce the recipients of 2022 Turnout Grants in mid-July.