Grassroots Community Organizing
A New Year – A New Needmor
A message from Board Chair, Abby Stranahan…
As the new year begins, we want to share some important information regarding the future direction of The Needmor Fund. After a year of thoughtful deliberation and planning, born of our desire to maximize the use and impact of the resources available to us, we have structured a new core grantmaking program that will focus exclusively on supporting community organizing in the Midwest. Our newly defined target region consists of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
Although home to Needmor, the Midwest has historically been a ‘fly over zone’ for many social justice funders. This dearth of funding, along with the potential role the Midwest can play in shaping the future direction of our country, were among the factors the Board considered in making the decision to become a regional funder. In addition, we view this as an opportunity to deepen our understanding and relationships with organizations that are working to promote justice and improve communities in the Crossroads of America. We anticipate discovering much that is now not known as we build out our connection to this region.
Beginning this year, applications for our core grantmaking program will be accepted once annually. The deadline for submission will be June 30th. The application process will open in mid-April. Please check back then for additional information and instructions on our website.
In the meantime, I am excited to share information regarding a new grant program that we are launching. As many of you know, Frank Sanchez retired at the end of 2017 after having been a part of Needmor for over 25 years. In recognition of his steadfast dedication, as well as his many contributions to the Fund, the Board is pleased to announce the establishment of a grants program in his honor.
The Frank I. Sanchez Award will be awarded to one organization annually to recognize excellence in the field of community organizing. This one-time grant of $50,000 may be used to support general operations and/or any need identified by the recipient organization. Any prior Needmor grantee, including those previously supported through our National, Southeast or Southwest Clusters, are eligible for consideration for this award.
Applications for the Frank I. Sanchez Award will be accepted by invitation only. Click here to review the guidelines and criteria for this grant. If you wish your organization (or some other) to be considered, please contact our Executive Director, Mary Sobecki, at 419-872-1490.
Following his departure at the end of 2017, Frank Sanchez took some time to reflect on the work of the Needmor Fund, as well as on the field of community organizing in general. Fortunately, he has agreed to share his thoughts with us. To read them, click here.