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There Are Small Grants, Too

Sometimes, it’s easy to get focused on the larger grants that are awarded by the Sonora Area Foundation, mistaking the idea that the larger the grant award the more impactful the grant.

But that isn’t always the case.  Quite often, a small grant award can be just as impactful as a large award because it can be just what is needed to help a project or program to successful implementation.  What follows are a few items that have recently come through the Foundation office where a small grant helped to make a difference:

Dance Floor at the Dome – When a call came from Connie O’Conner-Gahagan, Executive Director of the Tuolumne County Arts Alliance, to see if we could help with a new wooden dance floor to be installed at the TCAA buildings at the Dome, I told her to get me a short proposal and a budget.  Three months later, the floor has been installed with grant help from two donor funds – a $3,000 grant from the Acorns to Oaks Fund and a $1,000 grant from the Toni Gibson Fund.  Dance and exercise classes are being scheduled and another step in creating an arts center for the community at the Dome has been taken.

CSU Two Way Radios – The Community Services Unit of the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Department performs thousands of volunteer man-hours annually, assisting the department with a variety of services.  When a need was identified for two way radios to better perform their functions at special events, the Foundation was able to help through a $2,963 grant from the Thomas Pugh Fund for purchase of the radios.  We know that the radios will go to good use.

Scholarships – As the first wave of another scholarship season comes to a close, this blog article reminds me that many of the scholarship funds held by the Foundation are, in fact, small grants to help students with their continuing education.  Scholarship awards are a critical piece of a funding puzzle that every parent and student going to college knows all about.  We are proud of our role to award scholarships to Tuolumne County students and solve a piece or two of that college funding puzzle.

Gift from McDonald’s to Help Support Sonora School – It has been reported that with the opening of the new McDonald’s on Mono Way, franchisee Dennis Graspointner made a generous gift of $2,500 to the Foundation.  The “rest of the story” is that when I first met with Dennis and we discussed the pending gift, I asked him how he would like to see the Foundation use the gift.  We talked about making an impact on kids and how he and his staff were particularly stricken by last year’s fire at Sonora Elementary School.  I advised Dennis about the Support Sonora School Fund held by the Foundation and how the programs and activities of that parent-teacher organization have helped in the recovery process.  Dennis’ gift has been placed in that fund for future small grants to benefit the Support Sonora School organization.

If you think that you would like to make a difference – whether big or small – give me a call at 533-2596 and let’s talk about where your funding interests may lie and how you can help.