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Grant will boost fundraising efforts

The Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts will be the beneficiary of a grant through the Hampton Roads Community Foundation, it learned last week.

The Building Excellence Development Capacity Building Grant will provide fundraising services from The Curtis Group for 18 months, SCCA executive director Paul Lasakow said Monday.

“We need professional guidance in terms of fundraising,” Lasakow said. “Our development director is very good, but even the best organizations will bring on external consultants, because they can see the big picture.”

The extra money Lasakow expects from the professional services will be used to continue the center’s educational and outreach activities.

“Most important, it will move us along our strategic goal of being independent of any one source of funding,” Lasakow said. “We’re incredibly appreciative to both the Curtis Group and the [Hampton Roads] Community Foundation for enabling this.”

The grant process was extremely competitive, Lasakow said, and required the center to provide evidence of sound fiscal management, the effectiveness of its mission and its services to the community.

“We are thrilled and incredibly grateful to the Hampton Roads Community Foundation for recognizing that the Suffolk Center exhibits the financial strength and program reach that make it an invaluable asset to our community,” Lasakow said.

As the largest grant and scholarship provider in southeastern Virginia, the Hampton Roads Community Foundation has awarded more than $140 million in grants and scholarships since the Norfolk Foundation was founded in 1950. In January 2010, the Norfolk Foundation and Virginia Beach Foundation merged to become the Hampton Roads Foundation.

For more information on the foundation, visit www.NorfolkFoundation.org. For more information on the arts center, visit www.SuffolkCenter.org or call 923-0003.