Cedar County offers matching grants

What started as an idea for a way to help local groups fund larger-scale projects has turned into one of Cedar County Community Foundation's most popular grant programs.

The foundation typically runs two grant cycles, one in the spring and a second in the fall. Several years ago, the foundation decided to provide a $10,000 matching grant during the fall cycle, said Advisory Board Chair David Shinker. "It allowed us to help people with larger projects," he said.

This year, the foundation reserved funds from their county endowment dollars for two $10,000 matching grants. The receiving organization must provide the $10,000 match.

It is a great fit for organizations or groups who can raise additional funds from other sources, but wouldn't be able to complete the project without the match. "One example is a school playground," Executive Secretary Aaron Horman said. "They raised funds and we did the match. The cost of the project ended up being close to $30,000. Without the grant, they probably wouldn't have been able to get it off the ground."

The foundation received eight application this year for the matching grants. "We'd like to help all of them," Horman said. "You want to give everybody something and so it is a challenge. It is about what project will have the most impact." 

Establishing a matching grant program is a wonderful way to support your community. Learn more about grantmaking approaches in the affiliate handbook.