HANNIBAL, Mo. — The Marion County Endowment Fund has had a significant impact in the area since its inception in 2014, but its board plans to “jump start” efforts to support area nonprofits.
The council held an event for local organizations on Thursday at the Hannibal Arts Council as part of efforts to secure support and provide grants under the competitive grants scheme.
Kaylee McFarland, development officer for the Community Foundation Serving West Central Illinois and Northeast Missouri, explained how efforts to raise awareness of the endowment fund and conduct fundraising efforts have slowed due to the pandemic.
The Marion County Endowment Fund is set up to continue to grow from generation to generation. The endowment consists of money from Marion County that goes back into the community to support local causes.
“It’s just about supporting the nonprofits that make Marion County what it is — a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family,” McFarland said.
Now that restrictions have eased, community foundation representatives are taking the opportunity to organize public events. Word is spreading about the Marion County Endowment Fund and how to support it, McFarland said.
Representatives from more than 12 nonprofit groups attended last week’s celebration. Agency representatives have expressed strong interest in applying for the Marion County Endowment Fund grants for 2022. The application process is open through June 1.
The Marion County Endowment Fund has provided nearly $20,000 in local grants so far. The pandemic has brought specific local needs to the fore, and McFarland said three grants in 2021 helped meet those needs. A grant went to the Salvation Army to support homelessness efforts in Marion County.
A second grant was awarded to the Hannibal Alliance for Youth Success for social, emotional and social support through mentoring services. A third grant went to the CHART Teen Task Force to provide sex education in NEMO schools.
While it’s unclear what the future will bring, McFarland said the Marion County Endowment Fund will be able to make a difference locally for years to come.
“What we know is that this endowment fund will always be there to provide funds to help meet these changing needs and opportunities,” she said.
McFarland encouraged community members to consider supporting the Marion County Endowment Fund. Gifts received make a difference for generations, she said, providing a way to make a lasting investment in the community.
After the application period for the competitive grants program closes, an awards ceremony in mid-August will highlight the nonprofits selected to receive grants in northeast Missouri.
More information on how to provide support and apply for competitive grants is available by calling 217-222-1237.