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Ongoing Programs, Ongoing Need: New Grants Fund Nonprofits' Existing Operations

In the nonprofit world, new programs are exciting. They get attention – from the public, from donors and from foundations. But what about the programs that already work? When the Community Foundation of Louisville met with local nonprofits, they heard over and over how challenging it can be to fund existing programs to keep them strong and thriving – and maybe even to help them grow. "Many times foundations or other grant makers do want to fund something new. Let’s try something new, let’s do something innovative. That is a very valuable part because you’re constantly wanting to move things forward. But you don’t always want to try to move things forward at the cost of what is currently working," says Community Foundation vice president for communications and marketing Anne Monell. “We wanted to find a way to balance. Let’s find a way to build up what they’re already doing well, maybe expand what they’re doing well, and then give them that additional support to help them get to the next level, if that’s where they want to go.”So the Community Foundation  is partnering with the Lift a Life Foundation, a local foundation dedicated to helping people in need and building leaders, to offer $250,000 to local nonprofits to help support and improve existing programs. "It’s not limited by industry or by age of organization. You could be a three-year-old organization or a 30-year-old organization. It could be arts, it could be education, it can be youth services, any and all 501(c)3s are welcome to apply," says Monell. "It’s so flexible. It’s whatever is going to help enrich and improve Louisville."The grant money comes from the Fund for Louisville, an endowment administered by the Community Foundation to address emerging needs and opportunities in Louisville, and the Lift a Life Foundation, along with funds from an anonymous donor. The maximum grant amount is $25,000, but smaller grants will also be awarded. The deadline for applications is September 30, and more information for applicants can be found on the Community Foundation website. Interested organizations can attend one of four information sessions on August 22 at the foundation. The sessions are free, but reservations are required. "You never want to fill out a grant application in a vacuum. Come and talk to us," says Monell. "We are very open to seeing what will emerge from this grant process."