Black Belt Community Foundation offers grant workshop

Published 8:19 pm Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Nonprofit organizations in Dallas County and across the Black Belt can not only apply for grants, but now can learn how to apply with the help of the Black Belt Community Foundation.

The organization seeks to “Use what we have to make what we need,” as their motto states and they will use more than $200,000 they have received in donations and funnel that into other organizations to better health, education and development in the region.

On Thursday, April 16 at the Hampton Inn in Selma, BBCF will host a Community Awareness Grant Seeking Workshop at 5:30 p.m. for all interested organizations.

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Program officer Erica Crenshaw said though BBCF has been giving money to organizations in the community for the last nine years, many organizations either still don’t know what BBCF does and what they provide for the community.

“They can actually apply to get their nonprofit status from the IRS and we can put them in touch with groups that will help them do that,” Crenshaw said.

She explained organizations should still come to the workshop to at least see what goes on and learn about the application process as well as the review process for grant selection.

The workshop is also a chance for BBCF to, “hear what the people are saying in the community as far as if there are any critical issues that the foundation needs to be aware of,” and use as a listening tool, Crenshaw said. And in return, the organizations get the opportunity to apply for funding.

“A lot of people have never applied to us before,” she said. “but we are here to help.”

In September, five grants of 53 that were given across the region were to help Dallas County organizations such as the Black Belt Central Alabama Housing, Children’s Policy Council of Dallas County, Orrville Volunteer Fire Department, Sardis Churches Unity Fellowship and the Tabernacle Community Outreach Center.
BBCF will give $100,000 worth of the grants to those organizations focusing on the arts and the other $100,000 will go towards those working on community health projects, educational projects and community economic development.

There will be one workshop for each of the 12 counties they serve in the region. In addition to Dallas County’s workshop, Lowndes County will have a workshop Thursday, April 11 at the Lowndes County Community Life Center; Wilcox County on Monday, April 15 at the Wilcox Chamber of Commerce and Perry County on Thursday, April 18 at the Albert Turner Sr. Courthouse Annex in Marion.