The Community Foundation of Utah is honoring the innovative work of 20 purpose-driven Utah organizations with a share of the foundation’s inaugural $10,000 Social Enterprise Grant.
Individual grants range in amounts from $500 to $1000 and support Utah organizations working to strengthen their communities, support families and children or protect the state’s wildlife and environmental resources through specific programs or projects.
Social enterprises create a sustainable, positive, impact on people and communities. Many focus on the creation of jobs for people served by the nonprofit, while others tap the expertise of an agency to create profit centers. All help nonprofit organizations reduce their dependence on annual donations.
“The new economy means that Utah nonprofits have to find ways to reduce their dependence on donations. Social enterprises, which are mission-driven businesses run by a charity, are one approach,” Utah Community Foundation Executive Director Fraser Nelson said. “We hope these grants will help spur innovation and help nonprofits find new ways to meet the communities’ needs – and their own.”
The grant awards come from The Utah Fund, the foundation’s discretionary grants program and includes $5,000 in matching funds from GE Financial Services.
Grant applications from nearly 100 organizations were reviewed by a panel of local community and business leaders. Awards were give to programs demonstrating a strong commitment to looking at their work and revenue streams in a new way, exploring how new models of capitalization can help the agency become more self sustaining.
Southern-Utah based New Frontiers for Families will use its $1,000 grant to pay for a consultant’s work on a business plan, along with marketing and fundraising strategies that will help the organization better serve its clients.
With office in Tropic, New Frontiers works independently or in partnership with other agencies to help families in rural Utah access services for children living with disabilities, mental health challenges and other developmental issues. year New Frontiers provided more than 270 individual families with weekly services, ran an after school program for about 1,600 children and partnered with Utah State University on a program to help farmers and ranchers remain productive in agriculture when facing limitations like aging, injury, illness or other disabilities.
“We don’t have much of a budget at all ... so $1,000 was amazing,” said Johnson, who helped found New Frontiers about 15 years ago. “We haven’t spent any time on the infrastructure at all, we’ve just been doing the work. But we can’t do the work unless we go back and build that infrastructure.”
Other grant recipients include:
- Canyon Creek Women's Crisis Center, Cedar City Bad Dog Arts, Salt Lake City
- Boys & Girls Club South Valley, Murray
- Cancer Wellness House, Salt Lake City
- Grand Co School District - After-school Program, Moab
- Hawkwatch International, Salt Lake City
- International Rescue Committee Inc., Salt Lake City
- Local First Utah and Utah Microenterprise Loan Fund, Salt Lake City Neighborhood Nonprofit Housing Corp, Logan
- New Frontiers for Families and Allies with Families, Panguitch Odyssey House of Utah, Salt Lake City
- Ogden Nature Center, Ogden
- Rescue Mission of Salt Lake, Salt Lake City
- The Road Home, Salt Lake City
- Salt Lake Community Action Program – Head Start, Salt Lake City Utahns Against Hunger, Salt Lake City
- Valley Services, Inc., Salt Lake City
- Volunteers of America, Salt Lake City
Funds were also awarded to to the Utah Nonprofits Association to support applicants needing grant writing training and other technical assistance.