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Seekers and funders coming together to talk

By BOB HANSEN - bhansen@newsexaminer.com

Organizations that need money and groups that may have money to give to their causes will be brought together next Wednesday.

The Fayette County Foundation is planning a “conversation” over dinner called Better Together, Anna Dungan, executive director, said. It will be from 5:30-7 p.m. June 13 in the James Roberts Memorial Building at Roberts Park.

“A lot of times we (the Foundation) are not the fit for organizations that need money but there are groups in the community that raise money to give to projects and causes,” Dungan said.

She explained that the Foundation doesn’t award funds for most administrative costs, annual special events, or team and event sponsorships.

A recent study by the Foundation found that there are some organizations that raise money for causes they hold dear but can’t find groups to use it. For instance, she said, an organization may want to raise money to help in the fight against opioid abuse but can’t find a group doing that, and so ends up giving away scholarships.

And, “There are several organizations doing great things in the community that are months away from closing” because they are unaware of where to find money in the community, she said.

Some months ago, the Foundation hired an intern who conducted a study of local nonprofit organizations with an eye toward identifying those that need money – called seekers – and those that have it to give away – called funders.

The study identified a large number of civic organizations that raise money to give towards projects, including women’s clubs, service clubs, fraternal organizations and businesses.

“I’m excited because we have this knowledge and want to share it with others,” Dungan said.

In Phase 2 of the same study, the Foundation asked community members what they knew about the Foundation and its work.

Presenting the assessment will be Terri Johnson of the Indiana Philanthropy Alliance. She provides training and on-site consultation for the boards and staff of the 94 community foundations in Indiana. She previously spent 10 years as the executive director of the Northern Indiana Community Foundation in Rochester.

Dungan said the Foundation has invited many organizations and individuals to share the conversation. Organizations may send more than one person, she said, and it is hoped they will mix and mingle to find common interests, “for the good of the community.”