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      Local organizations benefit from nearly $600k in grants

      Twenty two grants totaling $593,413 were announced Tuesday by Al Bonney, Chairperson of Rotary Charities of Traverse City.

      Nearly two-dozen organizations across northern Michigan are reaping the benefits of a new round of gifts from Rotary Charities .

      Twenty two grants totaling $593,413 were announced Tuesday by Al Bonney, Chairperson of Rotary Charities of Traverse City.

      "We are pleased to award these grants, which run the gamut of improving quality of life in our region. They include making affordable housing more energy efficient, supporting the arts, encouraging local food consumption, and building accessible trails," stated Bonney.

      One of Rotary Charities grants this cycle supported a unique merger between two critical nonprofits: Third Level and Child and Family Services. The process was facilitated by NorthSky Nonprofit Network, a program of Rotary Charities. Marsha Smith, Executive Director of Rotary Charities said, "Combining the services and administrative functions of the organizations will reduce costs and increase efficiency to meet community need. As a grantmaker, we are always asking nonprofits to deliver their services more effectively and efficiently. This is a great example of the two organizations consolidating to do just that. They will be able to provide easier access for a wide continuum of care and enhanced financial stability. Charities' funds were used to cover transition costs, which may not be covered under other grant sources. We are hoping that with more than 2,000 nonprofit organizations in our region, this will be used as a model for others to streamline costs and assuring services aren't be duplicated."

      These grants were awarded based on applications received during the fall 2013.

      The following grants were awarded in the single year program, capacity building and capital category:

      Single Year Grants: $280,000

      Child and Family Services: Capacity Grant $40,000Support the merger opportunity with Third Level Crisis Intervention Center

      HomeStretch: Capital $40,000Provide funds to enhance energy efficiency for affordable housing units being built by both HomeStretch and Habitat for Humanity at the Depot in Traverse City

      Interlochen Center for the Arts: Capital Grant $35,000Support equipment upgrades to enhance the delivery of Interlochen Public Radio programs

      Michigan Land Use Institute: Program Grant $25,000Help with the transition of Taste the Local Difference food program from a grant and donation funded program to become a self supporting marketing campaign

      Michigan Legacy Art Park: Capital Grant $40,000Re-build the entrance and re-purpose a service drive into a barrier-free trail from the parking lot of the Art Park to the amphitheater

      Music House Museum: Capacity Grant $15,000Upgrade basic technology to help increase outreach and revenue

      The Nature Conservancy: Program Grant $25,000Assist the effort to manage invasive plants threatening coastal ecosystems along the entire 500-mile Eastern Lake Michigan Shoreline

      TART Trails: Capital Grant $50,000Continue with Phase II of the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail that will add 8 miles to the 7-mile section built in Phase I

      Yuba Historical Museum: Capital Grant $10,000Assist with the installation of an HVAC system and upgrades to the plumbing system

      In addition to single year grants, Rotary Charities also makes three-year grants for programs and organizational capacity building. This change occurred nine years ago, when the board recognized the importance of innovation; collaboration; and creating stronger, more effective nonprofits. The Board also recognized the time it takes for programs and organizations to reach their full potential and thus created the multiple year grant category.New Multiple Year Organizational Capacity Building and Program Grants: $137,350

      Benzie Home Health Care: Year 1 Capacity Building Grant $29,850Improve marketing and technical capacity

      Botanic Garden Society: Year 1 Capacity Building Grant $30,000Support a fund development professional to provide the board with assistance in leadership to develop diversified funding streams

      Disability Network: Year 1 Capacity Building Grant $37,500Hire an experienced fund developer who will design a major gifts program and grow the capacity of the organization to cultivate and solicit donors

      Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency: Year 1 Capacity Building Grant $40,000Assist in implementation of the communications and development plan by hiring a Development Director

      Multiple Year Grant Renewals: $176,063

      American Red Cross: Year 3 Organizational Capacity Building Grant $15,000To provide funds for fund development and community outreach

      Benzie Area Christian Neighbors: Year 3 Organizational Capacity Building Grant $11,352To increase organizational sustainability and fund development to better meet the growing need for services in Benzie County

      Bethany Christian Services: Year 2 Program Grant $25,000To expand the Safe Families for Children program, which provides safe, temporary, volunteer host homes for children whose parents are experiencing temporary crises

      Foundation for Mental Health: Year 2 Organizational Capacity Building Grant $30,000To provide funds for a part-time administrative assistant and to increase the executive director to full time. Foundation for Mental Health provides supportive Housing services to the mentally ill.

      GT Regional Community Foundation: Year 2 Organizational Capacity Building Grant $28,450To build community relations, communications and fund development capacity for the organization

      Junior Achievement: Year 3 Organizational Capacity Building Grant $5,000To strengthen community outreach and marketing for the K-12 economic education program

      SEEDS: Year 2 Organizational Capacity Building Grant $35,000To support a development officer and strategic business plan and ensure the continuation of the organization, with specific emphasis on the at-risk youth conservation and energy conservation corps

      United Way Volunteer Center: Year 3 Program Grant $13,200 To provide funding for an outreach and training program for an innovative technology program that engages and manages volunteers

      Women's Resource Center: Year 3 Organizational Capacity Building Grant $13,061To provide support for increased board development, fund development assistant and volunteer coordination

      In addition to the grants listed above, Rotary Charities provides planning grants to organizations for capital or program planning and organizational capacity assessments. These grants are made on a continuing basis and awards are up to $5,000. During the period June through November 2013, $109,920 was awarded for 18 planning grants.

      The next opportunity for single year capital and program grants will be March 1, 2014. Multiple year grant applications will next be accepted September 2, 2014, along with single year grants. Check the Charities' web site ( for further information and forms, or contact the Rotary Charities office at 231.941.4010.

      Since its inception in the mid-70s, Rotary Charities has distributed more than $58 million in the form of 1077 grants to organizations and non-profits in Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Benzie, Kalkaska and Antrim counties.

      The public foundation was formed following the 1976 discovery of oil and natural gas reserves on property owned by the Traverse City Rotary Club. Its purpose over the years has been to distribute interest income generated from the oil and gas royalties to organizations throughout the five-county region of northwest Michigan.ã??