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Local Foundation Begins Grant Program

LAKE GENEVA - The Geneva National Foundation (GNF), a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that is dedicated to funding charities that serve people with disabilities in Walworth County, WI, is now accepting grant applications for participation in the 2014 Lifelong Empowerment Open. The L.E.O. has been the largest single-day fundraising event held in Walworth County for the past seven years, with more than $1.6 million donated to six organizations in that time.

This is the first time the GNF has conducted a grant application process for participation in this high-visibility fundraising event. In the past, the GNF board has made the decision as to whom they would like to help through the L.E.O. without any type of application process.

Kevin Paluch, GNF board president, summed up the decision to allow organizations to apply for funding from the GNF this way: “We’ve (the board) always had a good pulse on the needs of organizations that serve those with disabilities in our community. But with changes in government funding and smaller organizations struggling for dollars to meet government standards to help those with special needs, the board felt it was time to open up the opportunity for all organizations in Walworth County that serve people with disabilities in some aspect, to apply for funding. We have a proven ability to raise a lot of money in one day. We want to be sure that the dollars we raise (and donate) are being directed to the organizations with the greatest needs, and that anyone who is serving people with disabilities has an opportunity to benefit from being a part of the L.E.O.”

According to GNF Acting Director, Pamela Chambers, the primary goal of the L.E.O. grants will be to fund specific projects or needs for an organization, rather than contribute to general overhead. “It’s hard,” Chambers said, “because so many organizations are just trying to keep their doors open. And we certainly understand that need on a very practical level. What we’re hoping to accomplish through this grant application process, is to help fund specific projects or needs for which organizations may find it difficult to raise additional money – above and beyond their operational needs. People donate to the GNF because we have a proven track record of helping organizations accomplish great things for people with disabilities, and because we are able to help multiple organizations at once. We want to make sure our donors clearly see how their dollars are making a difference. If your organization has a project that will help ‘turn disabilities into possibilities,’ then we want you to apply.”

Grant applications are available on the GNF website by clicking here

or by emailing a request for an application to the GNF office at:

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