Nonprofit news and notes

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Innovation grants available

BRATTLEBORO — Funding is now available from the Innovations and Collaborations grants program at the Vermont Community Foundation. One of a number of competitive grant programs at the Community Foundation, Innovations and Collaborations supports projects that help nonprofits collaborate across sectors and regions to develop common solutions to community needs. Typically, applications are accepted from one lead organization in association with one or more additional partner organizations. Grants range from $10,000 to $20,000 and multi-year funding is available but not guaranteed.

Letters of Interest for the second grant round of 2016 are due May 25. Visit www.vermontcf.org/IC to learn more or apply.

Entergy employees donate to Girls on the Run

BRATTLEBORO >> Entergy Vermont Yankee employees recently donated $750 to Girls on the Run Vermont. This was achieved in partnership with Entergy, which sold off surplus office equipment to its employees and donated the money to support Girls on the Run Vermont.

The non-profit youth program is designed specifically for girls in grades 3 through 8, and focuses on physical, emotional, social and intellectual development. The girls complete the 10-to-12 week program with a stronger sense of identity, greater self-confidence, a healthier body image and a better knowledge of what it means to be a member of a team and a community.

"As a nonprofit we rely heavily on the support of our amazing community members and businesses." Elkaliouby said, "This generous donation from the employees at Entergy will help us empower and inspire more local girls with our program."

VPR to collaborate on new news source

COLCHESTER >> Eight public media stations in New England, including Vermont Public Radio, have received a $625,538 grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to establish a regional news collaboration.

The New England News Collaborative will produce multimedia coverage focusing on the region's energy usage, climate, transportation infrastructure, and its people and immigration issues. This partnership is expected to produce dynamic reporting projects for on-air broadcast, digital and web presentations, and a series of public Town Hall-style meetings centered on issues facing New England and its residents.

"The New England News Collaborative will be a multimedia boon to this region. By working together, the eight public media stations that make up this effort will have the opportunity to delve deeper into news coverage and share high-quality reporting at the local, regional, and national level," said Bruce Theriault, CPB senior vice president of journalism and radio. "CPB is proud to support this new partnership."

"Vermont Public Radio has always partnered with other public radio stations to broaden and strengthen our reporting from around the region," said John Dillon, VPR's News Director. "The New England News Collaborative will build on this foundation, helping to tell the stories of and explore the issues that affect all New Englanders."

This regional collaborative is hosted by Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network and includes: Vermont Public Radio, New England Public Radio, WBUR, Maine Public Broadcasting Network, New Hampshire Public Radio, Rhode Island Public Radio, and WSHU Public Radio.

The NENC will report for partner stations and collaborate with national programs, including Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Here & Now, and other public media programs in New England.

VSECU donates $23,000 to local charities

Annual giving program, We Care 2, gives members a voice in charitable giving

MONTPELIER >> VSECU, a member-owned cooperative and not for profit credit union for everybody in Vermont, has donated $23,000 to Vermont charities. More than 4,300 credit union members directed the earmarked funds through VSECU's annual We Care 2 program, by casting votes for charitable organizations that impact issues of food, shelter, heat, or financial education for Vermonters.

"At VSECU we work to foster financial, environmental and social prosperity for Vermont by employing our scale, resources, and cooperative spirit to make an impact on our members and their communities," said Rob Miller, CEO of VSECU. "The We Care 2 program empowers all of our nearly 60,000 members with the opportunity to direct that impact toward the organizations they value most."

This year, the We Care 2 program received 33 applications for consideration from qualifying charities across the state. The five finalists selected by VSECU's Board of Directors Giving Committee were American Cancer Society Hope Lodge, Umbrella Inc., Vermont Center for Independent Living, Vermont Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health, and Veterans Outreach and Family Resource Center. VSECU members had the opportunity to cast a vote for their favorite organization based on demonstrated impact and community support.

For the first year in the program's five-year history, We Care 2 funds were distributed based on the percentage of votes each charity received. As directed by VSECU members, the charities received the following We Care 2 funds:

• American Cancer Society Hope Lodge received $6,439 to give lodging to patients undergoing cancer treatment in Burlington;

• Umbrella Inc. received $2,728 for a job-skills program that trains women emerging from domestic crisis and feeds 120+ seniors in the Northeast Kingdom;

• Vermont Center for Independent Living received $3,886 to support self-directed independent living for disabled Vermonters;

• Vermont Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health received $3,545 to provide support to families with mental health challenges to navigate housing issues and meet other basic needs; and

• Veterans Outreach and Family Resource Center received $6,399 to support the food, shelter, heating, and other needs of disabled veterans in the state.

To learn more about We Care 2 and the winning organizations, visit www.vsecu.com/wecare2.

VSECU is a member-owned cooperative and not for profit credit union for everybody who lives and works in Vermont, offering a full range of affordable financial products and services to its member owners. VSECU is committed to improving the lives of Vermonters by empowering the possibilities for greater social, environmental, and financial prosperity. For more information about VSECU, call 802/800 371-5162 or visit www.vsecu.com.


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