OSWEGO — The Richard S. Shineman Foundation announced Thursday a dozen non-profit grants as part of the organization’s third and final round of 2019 awards.
The Richard S. Shineman Foundation, which has awarded more than $7 million to local non-profits since 2013, is aimed at enhancing the quality of life in Oswego County by using its resources to stimulate economic vitality, encourage strong social bonds and working with non-profit partners. The foundation bills itself as a “catalyst for change” and at a November board meeting bestowed $593,000 to 12 non-profits in Oswego County.
Executive Director Karen Goetz said the awards announced Thursday were evenly distributed across several funding areas, noting the projects and programs awarded are ultimately a result of the applications the foundation receives. Goetz said the final round each year is typically the organizations smaller, but this year, it represents the largest round of funding.
“We had more applications this round, double the amount that we had in both the first and second round,” Goetz said, noting the number and the total amount of funding requests have expanded since the organization started awarding grants in 2013.
Goetz said thankfully, the Shineman Foundation fund that was started in 2012 has grown due to a healthy investment market and despite handing out more than $7 million in awards, the fund itself has grown from $24 million to $33 million.
“Because it has grown, we have more funding we can give out if we choose to do so,” she said.
Announcing the winners Thursday, the organization noted the funded projects reach a wide range of people in Oswego County and represent a diverse cross-section of community organizations in economic revitalization, education, arts and culture, health and human services.
The largest awards announced Thursday were a pair of $150,000 grants to the Crouse Health Foundation and to grassroots neighborhood improvement non-profit Fulton Block Builders (FBB).
The Crouse award in support of its capital campaign to renovate and expand Crouse Hospital’s regional neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) to provide state-of-the-art support services to at-risk babies and their mothers. Goetz said the Crouse award is in support of a campaign that could help spur other foundations and individuals to step up and support the project. She called the NICU an important project and said the unit supports the entire region.
The FBB award is a two-to-one matching funds grant to further the organization’s Healthy Neighborhoods revitalization program. Goetz said the funding was also designed to help the organization in its fundraising efforts for the upcoming 2020 campaign.
Revitalization grants were also announced to ARISE for the relocation of its Oswego office and to the Salvation Army of Oswego in support of the repair and resurfacing of its parking lot to address safety concerns, officials said.
The Shineman Foundation also made what it characterized as “a large commitment” of $145,500 to The Reading League to provide pre-Kindergarten through third grade educators in Oswego County’s nine school districts with evidence-aligned reading instructions using livestream video technology. The grant will cover the costs of the league’s five professional development offerings for five years.
A pair of education, arts and culture grants awarded from the Shineman Foundation is aimed at expanding outreach into Oswego County schools. The REV Theatre Company, formerly known as the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, will receive funding for its touring Sequential Dramatics program, and the Museum of Science and Technology’s Oswego Count on the Go science program. Oswego County on the Go brings 45-minute classroom-based science demonstrations to all 78 sixth grade classes in Oswego County.
The foundation also awarded several health and human services grants, including to David’s Refuge for respite/caregiver support to parents and guardians of children with special needs, the Food Bank of CNY to enhance its mobile food pantry in Oswego County and Journey of Faith United Methodist Church for its weekend backpack program for 150 children in the Hannibal school district. Victory Transformation also received funding to launch its Cars for Change pilot program.
Goetz said with the exception of Fulton Block Builders, the Crouse Health Foundation and Salvation Army, all the funding would be put to use in the near future.
“Our goal is when we do make awards, the funding is going to get used quickly,” she said, noting the three projects that wouldn’t be implemented immediately would benefit from the influx of funds to better position themselves in the future by either boosting fundraising efforts or enabling them to lineup work for next year.
Applications for the Shineman Foundation’s first round of 2020 applications are due Feb. 24, Goetz said, with funding decisions expected at the organization’s March board meeting.