Centre Gives 2017: Applications, Success Series, Save the Date May 9-10!

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The application for Centre Gives 2017 is now open!  Centre Foundation is encouraging qualified nonprofit organizations serving Centre County to apply for its annual online giving program ahead of the February 10th deadline.   “Centre Foundation is thrilled to be hosting our sixth annual Centre Gives event on May 9th and 10th this year,” said Molly Kunkel, Centre Foundation’s Executive Director.  “This event continues to grow in both its popularity and its impact in Centre County.” Since Centre Foundation launched Centre Gives in 2012, over $4 million has been invested into the local non-profit network.  In five years, Centre Gives donors have strengthened over 130 organizations, improving thousands of lives through work in the areas of arts, animals, education, environment, and health & social services.  “Once again, Centre Foundation will provide a $100,000 stretch pool along with additional prize money,” continued Kunkel. “Donations made during Centre Gives are stretched further, which helps donors make a bigger impact with their generosity!” To provide an improved, user-friendly, and record-breaking event, Centre Foundation is working with a new website vendor for 2017.  More information and a preview of this exciting new site will be announced in the coming months.  Participating organizations will again be able to sharpen their fundraising, communication, and donor appreciation skills during the Centre Gives Success Series. Attendees must register for sessions, which will be held at Centre Foundation’s office throughout the month of March.  Please contact Lauren Petrone ( | 814-237-6229) for more information about Centre Gives, the application process, or the Success Series.---Quick Links:Apply for Centre GivesRegister for Success Series2017 Participation Guidelines

$2.3M Invested in the Community in 2016

Over $2.3 million in grants and scholarships were invested in the local community this year thanks to the visionary and generous donors that support Centre Foundation’s various programs, online giving events, and the hundreds of endowment and scholarships funds! “This year has been a truly impactful year and we can’t thank the community enough for making this incredible investment in our local area,” said Molly Kunkel, Executive Director at Centre Foundation.  “Donors past and present, of all ages, and from across Centre County have demonstrated their commitment to our community through Centre Foundation.  We are honored to be able to work with these inspired donors to achieve their philanthropic goals and make a difference in the community.” Just over $1 million was distributed among the more than 100 local organizations that participated in Centre Gives this year.  This online giving event was held over two days in early May and touted over 6,000 gifts to organizations working in every field imaginable: arts, animals, education, environment, and health & social services.   Each Centre Gives gift was stretched further thanks to the $100,000 stretch pool and $25,000 in prizes provided by Centre Foundation.  The gifts were stretched yet again when an anonymous donor added $50,000 to the stretch pool!  Since Centre Gives launched in 2012, the program has invested over $4 million into our local non-profit network thanks to over 23,500 gifts. Almost $300,000 in scholarships were distributed to over 95 students this year.  These scholarship and award funds were opened by community members who seek to inspire the next generation.  Scholarship recipients will be able to achieve their educational goals just a bit easier thanks to this financial support. A total of $970,000 in grants were distributed to almost 100 non-profit organizations.   “Endowment funds provide our local organizations with annual grant money that they can depend on every single year in perpetuity,” noted Kunkel.  “Additionally, when some donors establish their own family funds at Centre Foundation, they designate their favorite organizations to receive this same type of annual grant payments which also occur in perpetuity.” Young philanthropists also made an impact with grants this year.  Centre PACT (Philanthropic Actions Created by Teens) had a successful pilot program.  These Centre County high school students raised their own money, did research, and then gave $5,000 in grants to four local organizations working towards the students’ theme of ‘Setting Students up for Success.’ Engaged community members of all ages also made an impact in a social way.  Giving Circle members met in August for their annual cocktail reception and to hear presentations from three local organizations.  After members’ votes were counted, the group granted a total of $15,000 across the three health & social service organizations. “Our local community is blessed with engaged donors who have a plethora of philanthropic passions,” explained Kunkel.  “At Centre Foundation, our staff is happy to help anyone who wishes to make a difference in our community.” To learn more about setting up your own fund to support a passion near to your heart, please contact our Development & Events Coordinator, Irene Miller ( | 814-237-6229). For more information about all of Centre Foundation’s granting opportunities, please visit our website, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or contact our Grants & Scholarship Coordinator, Ashley Pipe ( | 814-237-6229).).  

Nearly $41,000 in Grants to Local Organizations from Centre Foundation’s Annual Field-of-Interest Funds

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Centre Foundation’s annual round of competitive grants have been finalized and checks totaling about $41,000 will be released!  These grants are funded by Field-of-Interest Funds, which were established by the original donors to support various causes or geographic areas in Centre County.  There are currently 13 of these funds, which open for applications each September. “We received 117 applications from 52 organizations across Centre County,” explained Executive Director, Molly Kunkel.  “The decisions were tough, but our staff and our board members ultimately decided these were the right projects to fund at this time.” This annual granting cycle will distribute funds to communities and projects in each of the five Centre County school districts.  It will fund programs that focus on education, health and social services, animal welfare, at-risk youth, and the performing arts.  People across the county will be able to feel the impact of these numerous grants.  The Philipsburg Area Fund’s $1,512 grant will go to the Central PA Community Action’s Food Pantry to strengthen and expand nutrition services to those in need in Philipsburg. The Counseling Service Fund, which supports organizations that provide behavioral and mental health counseling services in Centre County, made its $9,231 to the Community Help Centre for counseling services. This fund will allow the Community Help Centre to provide immediate, compassionate responses 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The Centre County Medical Society Fund promotes healthy lifestyles for children, making its $1,053 grant a perfect partner for Park Forest Preschool’s fruit and vegetable nutrition program.  The Patricia Farrell Music Fund supports all types of music programs – especially those focused on children – and is named after a former chair of Centre Foundation, an active community volunteer, a Penn State professor, and a musician.  This year, the $6,291 was given to Discovery Space for their Music Makers Program. J. Alvin and Vera E. Knepper Hawbaker Memorial Endowment Fund will grant $3,631 to the YMCA of Centre County to support enhancements to an outdoor pond at their Penns Valley facility.  Located in Spring Mills, this new venue will provide educational and recreational programming for children and families in the community. The Carolyn A. Petrus Memorial Seeing Eye Dog Fund will grant $11,785 to The Seeing Eye. This grant will provide instruction for Centre County residents partnered with Seeing Eye dogs in upcoming classes. The Ruth E. Rishel Charitable Fund focuses on Rishel’s home community of Penns Valley.  This $1,959 grant was divided among two organizations this year. YMCA of Centre County will receive a $1,579 grant to supplement the aforementioned pond project in Spring Mills. Centre County Youth Services Bureau will receive $380 to use towards connecting with youth in the Centre Associates Mobile Home Park.  This program goes into communities to help keep these youth safe, help with homework, provide mentorship, and distribute healthy snacks. The Centre Children's Fund, supporting services to at-risk children, will also be divided among two organizations.   Central Intermediate Unit #10 will use a grant of $1,100 to implement art-based programming for juvenile offenders ages 12-21.  These programs will provide a creative and therapeutic outlet to address emotional and behavioral challenges, develop new talents, and communicate their thoughts and ideas through artistic exploration. Centre County Youth Services Bureau will receive a $492 grant to provide healthy food and snacks to youth who visit their centers across the county. The Louis E. and Patricia H. Silvi Fund was established to support at-risk children, especially in the areas of early childhood education programs that improve the health, care, and education of young children.  This year, the fund’s $996 grant will go Easter Seals to buy supplies and to fund their Therapeutic Recreation Programs, which include Horseback Riding and an All Abilities Social Group.  The Mattil Family Fund  will split $902 between three organizations that support animal welfare.   This fund will provide $326 to support to Centre County PAWS’ Spay/Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP).  SNAP provides low cost spay/neuter vouchers Centre County pet owners in need. Pets Come First will also receive $326 to support their cat spay/neuter program, which helps to eliminate the number of neglected and abused animals in our community And, Centre County Animal Response Team will receive $250 to purchase animal care supplies for emergency response preparation. The Ben Franklin Fund supports community projects in Centre, Clearfield, Huntingdon, and Mifflin counties, carrying out Franklin’s commitment to giving back to Pennsylvania’s communities.  This fund’s $1,866 grant will be divided among three organizations. Central Intermediate Unit #10 will receive $500 to further supplement the art-based programming for juvenile offenders, mentioned above. Schlow Centre Region Library will receive $683 to expand the offerings of their downloadable audiobook collection through the addition of 59 new popular children and adult titles.  Finally, Huntingdon County Library will receive $683 to fund the first-ever "Maker Faire" in Huntingdon. The event will be a celebration of the Maker Movement and will be a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness. For more information about all of Centre Foundation’s granting opportunities, please visit our website, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or contact our Grants & Scholarship Coordinator, Ashley Pipe ( | 814-237-6229).).   To learn more about setting up your own fund to support a passion near to your heart, please contact our Development & Events Coordinator, Irene Miller ( | 814-237-6229).

Toys for Tots - 2016 Campaign - Centre Foundation Office Accepting Donated Toys & Food

Centre Foundation is excited to announce that it is again a drop-off location for this year’s Toys for Tots drive, as well as the accompanying food drive.  Items will be accepted through Thursday, December 15th at Centre Foundation’s office, located at 1377 Ridge Master Drive in State College (just off Blue Course Drive).Toys for Tots is an initiative of the United States Marine Corps Reserve.  Locally, the program is entering its 30th consecutive campaign.  This track record of successful campaigns is thanks in large part to Gene and Donna Weller, as well as their army of local volunteers, corporate sponsors, and local organizations.The toy drive corresponds with a food drive for non-perishable food items, as well as paper and hygiene products.  Items like toothbrushes, diapers, coffee filters, spices, salad dressings, and similar non-food items cannot be purchased through food stamp programs and are often needed by local food banks and food pantries.Families in need across Centre County will receive these items in mid-December, thanks to the efforts of volunteers, the Food Bank of State College, and many food pantry partners in the county.To learn more, please contact Toys for Tots (814-234-9831) or the Food Bank of the State College Area (814-234-2310).  Toys for Tots is also on Facebook and Twitter.