Nonprofits: Don’t miss this opportunity
When was the last time you heard of a nonprofit organization that couldn’t use more money? Not the mega-nonprofits that pay CEOs big bucks, but the community nonprofits that rely on volunteers and raise money selling cupcakes and crafts, serving spaghetti dinners, playing golf, and staging concerts, plays, and poker rides. They hold fundraisers in hopes of netting enough to fix a roof, give a scholarship, provide a classroom with updated technology, or beautify a park or equestrian center.
Those are the groups Ramona Community Foundation wants to help. The foundation, off to a shaky start in 2010 because of the economy, for the first time has money to give to nonprofits with proposals “that clearly address Ramona-specific issues and needs.”
What an opportunity for groups like the Arriba Teen Center, which may be forced to close in June, and Ramona Town Hall, which could use a heating and air conditioning system for the East Wing that’s up for rent. Schools could apply for everything from iPads for a classroom to a fix for a leaky roof. And what about the skate park we’ve heard about for years?
The foundation has $30,000 to give away this year. That’s not a lot, but it’s not chump change, either. It’s a start — and it may jump-start communitywide interest in the foundation. The possibilities are endless in a town like Ramona, where much depends on volunteers and generous donations, often from anonymous donors.
A mother at a recent school board meeting begged trustees not to lay off teachers and suggested they set up a Ramona Unified Foundation similar to the Del Mar Schools Education Foundation. Another resident discussing the likelihood that the trustees will put a bond issue on the November ballot commented that some Ramonans would rather give $5,000 to a meaningful project than vote for a bond.
Ramona may never be in Del Mar’s ballpark, but one never knows. It depends, after all, on its residents.
The Ramona foundation has only eight members, who pledge at least $1,000 a year. Fifty percent goes toward grants for that year and the rest goes to an endowment that grows interest.
Much needs to be learned about the Ramona Community Foundation. Wednesday, May 30, seems like a good place to start.
We encourage nonprofits to send representatives to the 3:30 p.m. meeting in Olive Peirce Middle School Library to learn more about the grant process and about the foundation.
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