A great distribution

Published 10:03 pm Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Seven years ago, the Suffolk Foundation began awarding grants to various Suffolk nonprofit agencies — starting in 2008 with a $75,000 disaster relief fund to support victims of the devastating tornado that tore through parts of the city in April that year.

The foundation’s first scheduled grant distribution was the awarding of the $2,500 Howard Mast Scholarship. By the end of that grant cycle, the nonprofit organization had distributed more than $41,000 to nine different nonprofit agencies.

During the ensuing years, both contributions and disbursements have grown. Operating under competent and resourceful leadership, the Suffolk Foundation has steadily increased the deposits that fund its unrestricted accounts, the source of those funds that are not already directed for some particular use by those who have donated them.

Email newsletter signup

Recently the Foundation released its list of 2015 grantees, and the numbers are up again. This year the Foundation was able to disburse $116,500 of unrestricted funds to 28 different nonprofit agencies. Since 2007, it has awarded more than $3.2 million in unrestricted and donor-advised grants and scholarships. As the invested funds continue to grow, the Board anticipates being able to support more agencies, and a diversity of needs, with more funds.

Beneficiaries of the foundation’s largesse range from the Girl Scouts to Riddick’s Folly to the Nansemond River Preservation Alliance to the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters. Donor-supported programs will benefit low-income children with educational deficiencies, adults who need literacy tutors, low-income senior citizens with medical needs and many other worthy efforts for area residents.

Congratulations to this year’s grant recipients. But even more important, thanks to the Suffolk Foundation and its distribution committee for years of great work yielding great results.