Four seats available for nonprofit advocates
October 21, 2016
Joy Erickson thought she and the six others serving on a committee charged with selecting three finalists to be in the running for a $25,000 grant took a small risk when they suggested an organization that, at the time, did not exist.
She said, however, they all believed PC Tots would bring something to the community that was much needed. Apparently members of the grant fund agreed.
With a full membership vote, PC Tots ultimately became the $25,000 beneficiary. It also raked in $5,000 from a membership matching challenge.
Now in full swing, the nonprofit provides affordable childcare in Park City.
"We all felt strongly about providing the resources to help get them off the ground," said Erickson, who is a committee member of the donation-created Women's Giving Fund (WGF) that helped kickstart PC Tots, which now is planning to open a second childcare center.
"It's really proven to be an exceptional project," she said. "I feel terrific about it."
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Approaching the end of her term, Erickson hopes the WGF committee member who takes her place will strive to accomplish the fund's goal of handing out grants to local nonprofits such as PC Tots. She wants her successor to pick to fund innovative organizations that serve women and/or children.
In addition to Erickson's spot, three more committee seats will open, and the Park City Community Foundation, which oversees the fund, is seeking member nominations.
Nominations are due Oct. 28, said Ollie Wilder, project manager for the foundation.
Applicant forms can be found online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2016WGFNoms.
They can be submitted by someone who wishes to nominate herself for the all-woman committee that has grown to nine members, or by a person who knows someone who would be perfect at helping select which nonprofits have potential to get grant money from the fund.
Erickson said those interested in sifting through grant proposals highlighting impressive projects planned by a wide spectrum of Park City's nonprofits should know something about the nonprofit sector.
"I have a lot of experience in the nonprofit world, both as a volunteer and as a professional," she said. "I worked for United Way in Salt Lake for five years. We were involved in grant review processes as part of what I did there."
Erickson said the committee is in need of dedicated and organized women. It took a lot of focus and attention to detail to narrow the original field of applicants down to three before PC Tots got the $30,000. She also felt it required hard work before the fund, which was founded in 2015, awarded a second high-impact grant to the Summit County Children's Justice Center.
"We also look for diversity of age and background when selecting members," Erickson said. "They also have to certainly be a member of the Women's Giving Fund."
Erickson said a person who holds strong opinions might be a good addition to the nine-person group.
"You can't be afraid to voice opinions," she said. "We have a very strong committee, and have a lot of dialogue and a lot of exchange."
Erickson feels, however, the most important quality a committee member can have is to believe in the Women's Giving Fund, which started with the goal of signing up 1,000 women promising to give $1,000 each.
"As it turned out, there are now 1,200 members of the Women's Giving Fund," Wilder said. "That has helped create an endowment of more than $1.2 million."
The endowment is used to give one big grant per year to organizations that represent women and children.
"I think it's a good thing whenever you can create resources to put back into your community," Erickson said. " We do have a lot of needs in our community, but I think women's and children's issues are always important."
WGF's next round of grant applications will start in January. They will be due in February.
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