For more than 30 years, the Westerville Fund has been giving local agencies and nonprofits a boost to help them complete projects in the public interest.
Money from donors is invested with the Columbus Foundation. Often, donors contribute in their wills.
“We only spend the interest each year – we don’t touch the principal so we can have this on an ongoing basis,” says Bill Rectanus, chairman of the Westerville Fund’s board.
Grants are doled out by the fund’s seven-member board and cannot be used for operational costs. Recipients must be located within the Westerville City School District and must have 501(c)3 status.
The fund gave its first grant in 1977: $100 to Concord Counseling Services. Since then, it has provided grants to the Westerville Area
Resource Ministry, Westerville Parks Foundation, Westerville Symphony Orchestra, Westerville Area Chamber Foundation, Westerville Public Library, Westerville Historical Society, Westerville City School District and more. In 2011, the fund gave $2,493 to the Westerville Crew for life vests and thermal suits, allowing team members to practice in the winter; $15,000 to the city of Westerville for the Westerville Legacy Train Depot; and $6,750 to the Otterbein University Police Department for body armor and protective vests.
The fund has been very generous and helpful to W.A.R.M. and, by extension, to Westerville residents in need, says W.A.R.M. Executive Director Scott Marier. Westerville Fund grants have paid for telecommunications and computer equipment and a food display cooler.
The cooler, in conjunction with a display freezer funded by the Rotary Club of Westerville Sunrise, allowed the food pantry to offer more perishable items and create its Client Choice program. The program gives clients the opportunity to select food based on their own needs, rather than take home pre-sorted bags.
“Prior to that, we just had residential refrigerators and freezers … and you couldn’t have somebody just rummage through five refrigerators and freezers to see what they want,” Marier says.
The fund’s board will accept submissions for 2013 from Jan. 1-Oct. 1.
Applications for grant funding can be sent to the Westerville Fund, Howard House, Otterbein University, 131 W. Park St., Westerville, OH 43081. Contributions can be sent to the same address.
Garth Bishop is editor of Westerville Magazine. Feedback welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.