The Brown County Community Foundation handed out about $83,000 in grants to local nonprofits July 7, as well as another $7,000 in money raised through the annual morel mushroom sale.

None of this year’s grants covered 100 percent of what any of the applicants asked for, said foundation CEO Larry Pejeau.

The foundation looks for how it can make the greatest impact, Pejeau said. For example, a $18,072 grant was given to the Brown County Solid Waste Management District to buy a machine that helps form recyclable materials into denser bales. The condenser allows the district to increase operating revenue and general productivity, according to the grant application.

In other cases, the foundation may give the group enough to get started on a project, but not the entire amount required for it, Pejeau said.

Story continues below gallery

Money for the grants comes from a percentage of the unrestricted funds the foundation manages, Pejeau said. This year, they gave away 4 percent of the funds.

Those funds are established by individual donors and from organizations such as the Lilly Foundation, which recently gave the foundation $500,000 for unrestricted grants.

“We’re kind of like the community chest, where people can put their money in and they know that it’s going to support the community forever,” Pejeau said.

The foundation also administers about 170 endowed funds. They are dedicated to specific organizations, such as the Brown County YMCA or Mother’s Cupboard.

“People can give money to that fund, and know the Y’s going to get a grant every single year forever, because it’s a designated fund,” he said.

The foundation also can help new organizations which do not have their own 501c3 not-for-profit designation yet, Pejeau said. The Backpack Program is one example.

The foundation can help guide such organizations into obtaining their own 501c3 status and can assist with grant writing, he said.

“They were able to operate under our not-for-profit umbrella,” he said. “They’re able to get donations, donors get tax-deductible letters, and then we turn around and grant that money to that organization.”

Brown County Community Foundation 2016 grants

  • Society of St. Vincent de Paul — $3,000 for vouchers distributed through food pantry for school supplies.
  • Knobstone Hiking Trail Association — $923.70 for a park bench honoring Jim Allen and Suzanne Mittenthal.
  • Keep Brown County Beautiful — $4,000 for Picture Perfect Brown County, advocating litter awareness.
  • Mother’s Cupboard — $1,400 for kitchen equipment.
  • Brown County Literacy Coalition — $1,650 for a project focused on the cognitive and technical competencies of 4- and 5-year-olds.
  • Brown County Parks and Recreation — $1,718 for outdoor recreation equipment for Salt Creek.
  • Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library — $5,843.78 for 5 months of books for Brown County children.
  • St. David’s Episcopal/Bean Blossom Farmer’s Market — $500 for stipends to musicians at the farmers market.
  • Brown County Enrichment for Teens Association (BETA) — $900 for rental of Brown County Playhouse Rental for nine enrichment sessions for area teens.
  • Brown County Historical Society — $3,000 for Hands on History children’s program
  • Hoosier Mountain Bike Association — $5,000 matching money to secure larger grants for natural surface trails in Brown County State Park.
  • Brown County Art Guild — $1,200 for one pergola for the Tuck Away outdoor area.
  • Young Life — $267.36 for faith-based programming
  • Brown County Playhouse — $2,000 for two-week musical theater camp for kids ages 6 to 12.
  • Peaceful Valley Heritage Society — $2,000 for preservation of Henry Cross’ sculptures.
  • Brown County 4-H Council — $3,395 to replace a damaged food booth building at the 4-H Fairgrounds.
  • Salt Creek Preservation Group — $986 for a non-motorized Jon boat for creek cleanup.
  • Brown County Sheriff’s Reserve — $1,491.28 for holsters, Breathalyzers and traffic signs.
  • Brown County Solid Waste Management District — $18,072 for a condensing perforator.
  • Centerstone of Indiana — $3,328.15 for Therapeutic Resource Library.
  • Brown County Habitat for Humanity — $ 1,318.53 for Brush with Kindness initiative for home repairs.
  • Nashville Police Department — $ 2,102.23 for National Night Out.
  • Fruitdale, Jackson and Van Buren volunteer fire departments — $13,000 for communications equipment.
  • Fruitdale, Jackson, Van Buren, Cordry Sweetwater, Hamblen and Brown County (Nashville) volunteer fire departments — $1,000 each for general use.
Ben Kibbey is a Brown County transplant from the cornfields of central Ohio. He covers county government, business, outdoors, sports and general news.