By: Jud Fisher—
MUNCIE, In—Over twenty local organizations have benefitted from Ball Brothers Foundation Rapid Grants during the second half of the year. A number of these Rapid Grants have been specifically designated to support visioning, marketing, and branding efforts that will help nonprofits plan for the future and better tell their stories of impact in the community.
“The importance of strategic planning cannot be overstated,” stated BBF’s President and COO Jud Fisher upon reflecting on the recent grants. “Organizations that aspire to greatness will not get there without having a solid, actionable plan in place. BBF recognizes the importance of supporting the behind-the-scenes work that helps organizations assess their strengths and weaknesses in order to make a plan to move forward. We also know that marketing and branding efforts are key to helping organizations raise their profiles in the community and grow their base of support. We were pleased to provide several organizations with these types of support through our Rapid Grants program.”
A cancer services organization, a youth serving organization, a community soup kitchen and a neighborhood revitalization group are all sharing in grants for these purposes.
Cancer Services of East Central Indiana will utilize a $2,500 BBF grant to support strategic planning efforts. Since the organization last updated its strategic plan, significant changes in health care and health insurance systems have occurred. The BBF grant will allow Cancer Services of East Central Indiana to build the agency’s capacity to meet the changing needs of those experiencing a cancer diagnosis and to promote cancer prevention, detection, and wellness.
A grant totaling $4,625 will help the Boys and Girls Club of Muncie with strategic planning as well. The Club will utilize the grant to assess community perceptions of the organization, develop a refreshed mission, vision, and tagline, and consider the organization’s internal strengths and weaknesses.
A rebranding effort by Harvest Soup Kitchen also gained BBF support with a grant totaling $5,000. Funding will assist Harvest Soup Kitchen with the development of a new logo, website design, and creation of new marketing materials. With its refreshed identity, the soup kitchen hopes to make itself more well-known in the community and build its base of supporters.
Finally, a Rapid Grant of $2,500 will support Greater Muncie, IN Habitat for Humanity and the 8 Twelve Coalition. The group is focused on neighborhood revitalization in a target area comprising parts of the Thomas Park/Avondale and South Central neighborhoods. BBF funding is supporting the creation of printed materials that describe the coalition, the target area, and improvement plans. Funding is also supporting a campaign aimed at educating donors about the impact of the work underway in this area of the city. Ultimately, it is hoped that BBF Rapid Grant funding will help the 8 Twelve Coalition attract additional support for the transformational projects that are engaging neighborhood residents, local businesses, and service organizations on the city’s southside.
Other organizations that received Rapid Grants during the second half of the year included: Ball State University, Healthy Lifestyle Interventions to Target Mental Health and Well-Being in Medical Students, $5,000; Cornerstone Center for the Arts, Boiler Upgrade, $4,566; Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County, Funders Forum, $2,500; Cowan Community Schools, Camp Adventure Outdoor Education, $2,605; Delaware County Historical Society, Scout Muncie Project, $5,000; Delaware County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff’s Summer Kids Camp, $2,500; Gateway Association, Playground Safety, $5,000; Hartford City Public Library, Outdoor Kids’ Learning Landscape, $5,000; Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry, “Meat” the Need, $2,500; Huffer Memorial Children’s Center, Classroom and Teacher Materials, $5,000; Muncie Sports Commission, Sportsplex Light Repairs and Equipment Needs, $5,000; Project Leadership, ICE League Media, $3,300; Red-tail Land Conservancy, Improving Habitat Restorations and Extended Opportunities, $5,000; Roy C. Buley Community Center, ICE League, $5,000; Smart Living Project, Living Lightly Fair 2016, $1,500; Wes-Del Community Schools, Pre-School Program, $5,000; Women in Business Unlimited, 2016 Catalyst for Empowering Women Symposium/ATHENA Awards, $2,500; YMCA of Muncie, ICE League, $5,000.
Details about Ball Brothers Foundation’s Rapid Grant program and other funding opportunities are available on the foundation’s website at www.ballfdn.org.
Grants awarded by Ball Brothers Foundation in 2016 totaled $7.25 million, the largest payout in the organization’s history. In 2016, BBF celebrated its 90th year of grantmaking. The foundation is one of the state’s oldest and largest foundations still led by members of its founding family. It remains committed to carrying on the legacy of the Ball Brothers in the foundation’s home city, region, and state.
Related article on Muncie Journal