Zionsville Community Enrichment Committee Seeks to Improve Local Quality of Life
Photographer / Amy Payne
In an effort to award financial assistance to local community-serving organizations, the Zionsville Community Enrichment Committee launched in January. The committee plans to enhance the quality of life for residents, business owners and visitors.
The committee consists of five members who will serve one-year terms, including Janet Campbell Baker, Wendy Schrepferman, Jennifer Cross, Ed Thomas and Scott Condes.
Schrepferman answered the mayor’s call to help.
“At one point in the fourth quarter, the mayor put something out there asking if anyone was interested in the position,” Schrepferman says. “ I answered the call and was successful in my appointment.”
Schrepferman is a 15-year Zionsville resident.
“I work in the fine arts field, and I think that’s one of the components of the community enrichment grants,” Schrepferman says. “I feel some of the grants may be cultural or arts-related.”
She also has experience writing grants.
“I’ve spent 30 years writing grants for education, health care and arts, so I’ve always been the one doing the other side of it,” Schrepferman says. “It really helps me to know what to look for in a grant.”
Nonprofit organizations located in Boone County that serve Zionsville residents and businesses are eligible. Funding must be used for charitable purposes.
“I think what’s most interesting about the process is when people begin to apply, it uncovers needs community leaders were unaware of in our community,” Schrepferman says. “I think it’s a great exercise for our council leadership and mayoral leadership on the needs of Zionsville.”
Grant applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Awards are made on a semi-annual basis, on March 30 and September 30. All funds dispersed come from the Zionsville food and beverage tax. Funded projects must be complete 12 months from the grant award date.
“I think the key to any grant is to find something that touches the most people,” Schrepferman says. “These grants are to better Zionsville and its residents, so we’re looking for things that will impact the most citizens and have the most impact.”
Criteria for grants include:
- Addresses community need and/or desires and fosters cooperation with other organizations
- Clearly describes the plan for the project, and outlines the planning process and completion goals
- Provides a balanced budget, with expenses indicated and evidence of cash-match, in-kind, and other funding sources. In-kind includes any goods or services that would have been purchased
- Provides evidence of the fiscal responsibility of the organization
- Provides reasonable, measurable outcomes for the project
- Prior grant final report submitted for a previously funded project
- Demonstrates cooperation with other organizations
- Demonstrates quality, vision, effectiveness and good management
“I want to get this out there to the audience that these grants are available, then offer resources about how to apply and how to be successful, and offer feedback to those applicants who may not be successful,” Schrepferman says.
Mayor Emily Styron led the charge to create the committee.
“Anything I can do to help the residents, business and Town of Zionsville I want to do,” Styron says. “This committee will help local nonprofits and others to realize and fulfill a need in the community.”
Condes has been a Zionsville resident for 16 years and has extensive experience with nonprofit organizations.
“I think this committee is going to provide an opportunity to build relationships in the community, and across business owners and residents,” Condes says. “This town has so much potential.”
Condes would like grants to go toward very specific areas, including adult mental illness and education.
“There is a huge need for additional resources or programs for adults with mental illness,” Condes says. “Adults with mental illness tend to drift. The most important thing for them is for the community to wrap their arms around them. It guards against social stigma and seclusion – two issues that lead to suicide.”
Condes is excited to be part of the new committee, and provide feedback to community members.
“When I heard about it I thought it was such a great idea,” Condes says. “I would love to see grants awarded to applicants with plans for sustainability. It’s something that is going to continue to give back to the Zionsville community. Seeing the grants grow into more is the really exciting piece for me.”
Specific information must be provided with applications, including but not limited to a narrative, proposed budget, proof of nonprofit status, budget summary, resume, board of directors list, as well as one to three examples of publication, brochures or promotional materials for the organization. Additionally, a final report and budget must be filled out within 60 days of the completion of the project or program.
All applicants must apply online. For more information, visit zionsville-in.gov/577/Community-Enrichment-Grant.