The International Downtown Association (IDA) has recognized the Community Foundation of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Region and Greater Grand Forks Young Professionals with the Downtown Achievement Pinnacle Award for its work and initiatives related to The Longest Table.
Each year, IDA recognizes outstanding projects as winners of the Downtown Achievement Awards which identify improvements to urban centers by dedicated organizations around the globe. The industry’s highest recognition, the Pinnacle Award, represents the most creative and inspiring innovations in urban place management. During a comprehensive review, this year’s projects were awarded by a jury of IDA members. The Longest Table won in the category of marketing, communications, and events.
“This event gives a voice to the everyday citizen, inviting them to the table to participate in civic conversation,” said Becca Baumbach, executive director of the Community Foundation. “We are so proud that Grand Forks rose to the top of the list of international submissions.”
The Longest Table welcomes residents for a free dinner in a welcoming environment with people they may not have known, to foster stronger connections, exchange stories, and share ideas about their community. Following the event, residents are invited to apply for micro-grants to get their ideas off the table and into action. More information about the Longest Table is available at longesttablegf.com.
“This innovative project received the IDA Pinnacle Award for setting the new standard for improving cities worldwide,” said David Downey, IDA President and CEO. “The Longest Table has made an impact on its city and the people who live, work and play in the community, and demonstrates the continued commitment to champion livable, vital and thriving urban centers.”
Washington, DC-based IDA is the premier organization for urban place professionals who are shaping and activating dynamic city center districts.
IDA will convene virtually this October for a three-day conference themed Forward Together to discuss topics facing downtowns and city centers. Kathryn Kester, executive director of Greater Grand Forks Young Professionals will present about their award-winning project during [session title] at the 66th Annual Conference & Marketplace, October 6-8, 2020. For more information about the session and conference, please visit the event webpage.
“I’m so proud of this award, but even more proud of the many people and partners who came together to make The Longest Table happen. This is our community, and we all deserve a voice in shaping it,” said Kester.
The 2020 Downtown Achievement Awards are sponsored by Grow with Google. Additional information on the Pinnacle award winners can be found online at downtown.org in early October.
IDA’s Annual Conference & Marketplace is the premier gathering for professional placemakers and urban champions creating vibrant and healthy cities around the world. The conference features educational sessions, Master Talks (short keynotes from industry leaders), marketplace exhibitors and online opportunities for members from around the world to network. Additional conference information is available here.
IDA is the premier organization for urban place professionals who are shaping and activating dynamic city center districts. Our members are city builders and downtown champions who bring urban centers to life, bridging the gap between the public and private sectors. We represent an industry of more than 2,500 place management organizations, employing 100,000 people throughout North America and growing rapidly around the world. Founded in 1954, IDA is a resource center for ideas and innovative best practices in urban place management. For more information, visit www.downtown.org.
$100,000 GE FOUNDATION GRANT TO COMMUNITY FOUNDATION HELPS GF SCHOOL DISTRICT OFFER SAFE LEARNING OPTIONS
GE Foundation today announced a $100,000 COVID-19 Community Response Grant to the Community Foundation of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Region, which will support the Grand Forks Public Schools “Smart Restart” initiative. The grant will help the district offer students the opportunity to choose face-to-face or remote learning options for the 2020/2021 academic year.
The grant will allow 18 schools in the community to retrofit their spaces to better meet COVID-19 safety standards such as providing access to personal protective equipment (PPE), protective barriers, and sanitizing supplies. The grant will also provide funds to help students access distance learning classes and support professional development for educators as they shift to more online teaching.
“The greatest gift we can give our country is educating our future,” said Dr. Terry Brenner, Superintendent, Grand Forks Public Schools. “Within the COVID-19 pandemic framework, we have been faced with enormous financial challenges beyond our budget’s capacity. Through the generosity of the GE Foundation, specifically to the sum of $100,000, we will be financially better positioned to absorb the extraordinary costs of personal protection equipment for students and staff, thereby continuing to focus general fund dollars on teaching and learning. In public education, there is no such thing as a 'windfall' of revenue. The GE Foundation just changed that. This surprise announcement is exhilarating and will benefit 7,500 students and 1,500 colleagues in the Grand Forks Public School District. On behalf of all district stakeholders and the entire community of Grand Forks, we are grateful.”
“The Foundation has worked tirelessly to support the people of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks and the surrounding region. We have partnered with many community leaders to determine our greatest needs and where we could make a significant impact to overcome the many challenges associated with COVID-19,” said Becca Baumbach, Executive Director, Community Foundation of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Region. “We learned that preparing for a safe return to school is a top priority for our community, and we're delighted to have the compassion, connection, and support of the GE Foundation. Through this collective effort, we know we will overcome many of the immediate challenges facing our schools and neighbors, and we fully believe in the strength and resolve of the students, their teachers, and the school staff across our region.”
"The entire GE family has come together to support COVID-19 response efforts around the globe," said Linda Boff, President, GE Foundation, and Vice President for GE. "We’re proud to be part of the Grand Forks community and are pleased to provide these critical funds to ensure the safe reopening of public schools for students and staff."
LM Wind Power Grand Forks Plant Director Tom Leighton-Haggy said, “LM Wind Power has worked to be a good corporate citizen during our twenty years as a major employer in the Grand Forks community. On behalf of our employees, we are proud to partner with the Grand Forks Community Foundation to support this important initiative as part of a community-wide effort to address the impact of this global pandemic.”
GE and GE Foundation are supporting the fight against COVID-19 worldwide. For example, GE Foundation pledged financial support to the World Health Organization's COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and Boston Resiliency Fund and contributed to disaster-relief organization Americares to deliver 1.4 million protective masks to healthcare workers across the U.S. Learn more at www.ge.com/about-us/covid-19.
About Community Foundation of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Region
The Community Foundation of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Region is a nonprofit, community foundation created by and for the people of the region to encourage a spirit of philanthropy. Working in partnership with individuals, families, businesses, and trusted advisers, the Community Foundation manages charitable funds and provides grants to qualified nonprofit organizations and causes. The Foundation has over $12 million in assets and has granted over $7 million to create stronger, more vibrant communities within the region. Learn more at www.gofoundation.org.
About GE Foundation
GE Foundation, the philanthropic organization of GE, is committed to transforming our communities and shaping the diverse workforce of tomorrow by leveraging the power of GE. GE Foundation is developing skills by bringing innovative learning in community health globally and STEM education, scaling what works, and building sustainable solutions. GE Foundation is inspiring others to act by connecting GE people with communities through matching gifts, leading on emerging issues such as the opiate crisis, and convening community leaders to maximize our impact. Learn more at www.gefoundation.com or follow the us on Twitter at @GE_Foundation.
About LM Wind Power
LM Wind Power, a GE Renewable Energy business, is a world leading designer and manufacturer of rotor blades for wind turbines, with a global manufacturing footprint that includes blade factories in Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, France, India, Poland, Spain, Turkey and the United States, as well as technology centers in Denmark, The Netherlands, India, the US and UK. The company has produced more than 228,000 blades since 1978, corresponding to more than 113 GW installed capacity and global savings of 242 million metric tons of CO2 annually. In 2018, LM Wind Power became the first carbon neutral business in the wind industry. Follow us at www.lmwindpower.com, on www.linkedin.com/company/lm-wind-power, or on www.twitter.com/LMWindPower.
Welcome to our team, Amelia Richelle Indvik! Amelia will be joining the Community Foundation as our incoming Operations Coordinator on Monday, May 18, and we couldn't be more excited - or lucky - to have her!
Grace Hertzler, our current Operations Coordinator, will remain on staff through June 11 for training and transition before moving to California with her husband for a new adventure.
ABOUT AMELIA INDVIK
Originally from Moorhead, MN, Amelia has called the Greater Grand Forks community home since 2012. She and her husband, Mark, have 3 beautiful children (MyKenna, Brayden, and Jaxson) and enjoy camping, fishing, gardening, biking, and board games.
Amelia is currently attending the University of North Dakota for Political Science. She serves on the board for The Arc, Upper Valley and is the Chair for The Chamber - Grand Forks/East Grand Forks Ambassador's group.
The Community Foundation's Board of Directors is pleased to announce its two newest members, Sheila Bruhn and Becca Cruger.
"Sheila and Becca are strong advocates for the charitable causes of our region, both in word and deed," said Becca Baumbach, Executive Director. "The philanthropic work of the Community Foundation will surely be enhanced by their experience and contributions."
Both members have accepted initial three-year terms on the Board of Directors.
ABOUT SHEILA BRUHN
A native of Minnesota, Sheila and her husband, Val, live in East Grand Forks. She grew up in New Brighton, MN, with summers spent at her family’s lake home near Vergas, MN.
For the past three years, Sheila was employed at the Community Foundation of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Region as Director of Special Projects. In this capacity she assisted with grant-making processes for nonprofit organizations, day-to-day operations, strengthening the capacity of the foundation through relationship building, and the monitoring of the Foundation’s accreditation and strategic planning processes. Previously, Sheila served as the Executive Director of the Community Foundation from 2004 to 2008.
She holds an Associate of Arts degree from St. Cloud State University, and an Information Management degree from the University of North Dakota – College of Business and Public Administration.
Prior to the Community Foundation, Sheila was Executive Director of the Northland Community and Technical College (NCTC) Foundation and Coordinator for the Base Realignment Impact Committee (BRIC).
Sheila has served in leadership roles for the Greater Grand Forks Convention and Visitors Bureau, The Chamber of Commerce GF/EGF, East Grand Forks Civil Service Commission, Planning and Zoning Commission for East Grand Forks, and United Day Nursery Board of Directors.
Currently, her volunteer opportunities include Augustana Lutheran Church, the Grand Forks Optimist Club, Grand Forks Senior Center, and SCORE. Sheila is also an Honorary Commander Alum for the Grand Forks Air Force Base.
Sheila and Val have three grown children and four grandsons.
ABOUT BECCA CRUGER
By day Becca Cruger serves as the Workforce Development Manager for the Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corporation, by night Becca serves as a crisis line advocate for the Community Violence Intervention Center, and all the time she works to build a community she is proud to call home.
Becca is the Chairperson of the Women’s Fund Advisory Committee, a component fund of the Community Foundation, and serves on the board of Evolve Grand Forks. She also serves as an Honorary Commander at the Grand Forks Air Force Base.
Becca is a mixed media artist and has been awarded the 2019 Emerging Artist Award from Red Wing Arts Council and the 2016 Emerging Artist award from Grand Forks Public Arts Council. Most recently, she was awarded a Bush Foundation Change Network Fellowship and will spend the next year working with women who’ve experienced trauma and helping them connect back to their community through art.
This week, the Minnesota Council on Foundations and the St. Paul and Minnesota Foundation awarded $2 million in grant funding to place-based community foundations and intermediaries from the Minnesota Disaster Recovery Fund for coronavirus. Of that, the Community Foundation of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Region received $40,000 dedicated to relief and recovery efforts specifically in Polk County, MN.
These dollars will surely go to quick use as families, businesses, and nonprofits battle the COVID-19 crisis, compounded with growing issues surrounding agriculture and flooding in the region.
This newest gift brings total contributions to the Nonprofit Relief Fund (NRF) to over $270,000 for short-term relief and long-term recovery efforts in Grand Forks, Walsh, and Polk Counties. To date, the Community Foundation has awarded $72,500 across 16 nonprofit organizations.
The NRF is continuing to awarding grants to 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) nonprofit organizations and public entities, such as schools, city governments, and libraries.
Week 3 applications are due Thursday at midnight with determinations made within 5-7 business days.
We will continue to review grant applications weekly as additional funding become available. Only one application per organization will be accepted. If an application is not initially awarded funding, it will be kept in the queue for review in the future.
NEW ABOVE-THE-LINE CHARITABLE DEDUCTION
Included in the CARES Act is a $300 above-the-line charitable tax deduction for certain qualified charitable contributions. This will allow taxpayers who do not itemize to receive a tax benefit for a qualified gift to charity up to $300.
Under the CARES Act, “eligible individuals” who do not itemize are allowed to take the above-the-line deduction, so it is not possible to itemize and also take advantage of this deduction. Additionally, it appears that the $300 maximum deduction is applicable per tax return so that a couple filing a joint return is limited to a $300 deduction, but this is somewhat unclear at this time. These amendments apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2019, and there is no provision for this to sunset. Finally, there is nothing in the bill that requires charitable gifts eligible for this above-the-line deduction to be paid only to charities working directly with coronavirus relief, so donors may give to a wide variety of charities.
INCREASED PERCENTAGE LIMITATIONS FOR CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTIONS
The CARES Act temporarily modifies certain percentage limitations on charitable contributions made during 2020.
A qualified contribution is a cash gift made during calendar year 2020. This provision of the CARES Act excludes gifts to donor advised funds and supporting organizations. The 30% limitation applicable to private non-operating foundations was not changed. In addition, the 15% limitation for contributions of food would be increased to 25% for any charitable contributions of food during 2020.
Source: Council on Foundations
This content is provided for informational purposes only. For questions or guidance, please talk to your financial or tax advisor.
The City of Grand Forks Arts Regrant Program provides funding to nonprofit arts- and/or culture-based organizations in the City of Grand Forks that facilitate the creation of art for the benefit of the public. Funds are provided by the City of Grand Forks and administered by the Community Foundation through a competitive grant cycle held in February and March of each year.
2020 IMPACT AWARDS
A new opportunity for 2020, the Impact Award is presented to one or more organizations that have gone above and beyond in capacity-building, accelerating partnerships, supporting local artists, and/or employing new or innovative methods within the field. No applications were accepted for the award. Recipients were chosen from among the 2020 Arts Regrant applicants.
With the disruptive nature of the current COVID-19 situation, the 2020 Impact Award highlights two nonprofits that are responding and adapting in new and experimental ways to engage residents of our community.
$1,000 - Northern Valley Youth Orchestra for "Music in Bloom": The program was selected as it employed a unique and innovative way to connect young musicians and music enthusiasts in a virtual environment during the uncertain and isolating experiences that our community is now facing.
$500 - North Dakota Museum of Art for "Art in Isolation": The program was selected as it is engaging patrons through art and creativity while practicing social distancing.
The Community Foundation of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Region recently activated its Nonprofit Relief Fund to address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic in Grand Forks, Walsh, and Polk Counties.
The Knight Foundation initially funded the Nonprofit Relief Fund with $200,000 for organizations specifically in the City of Grand Forks – one of 26 national Knight Communities.
This past week, the Community Foundation's Board of Directors committed $25,000 to expand that reach across all three counties. These dollars are being redirected from the annual Community Opportunity Grant Program, typically held in August of each year.
Additionally, a number of donors and fund holders at the Community Foundation have directed funding to the relief efforts, bringing the fund's total to over $230,000.
Grants from the Nonprofit Relief Fund will go to qualified nonprofits organizations affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The application is now open and available at gofoundation.org/grants. Applications will be reviewed on a weekly basis as long as funding remains available.
ABOUT OUR REGIONAL NONPROFIT RELIEF FUND
The Community Foundation of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks and Region is focused on helping our community and area nonprofits during the COVID-19 crisis. We acknowledge a rising public concern in these unprecedented times, but our faith in philanthropy has not wavered.
To enhance our regional response to this pandemic, the Foundation has created the Nonprofit Relief Fund to provide immediate support for nonprofits impacted by the COVID-19 disaster in Grand Forks and Walsh Counties in ND and Polk County in MN.
Donations to the fund are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. There will be no administrative fees, allowing 100% of the funds to assist charitable organizations impacted by the coronavirus crisis. For online donations, standard credit card fees will apply.
To make an online gift, visit gofoundation.org/relief. Alternatively, checks may be written to the Community Foundation with “Nonprofit Relief Fund” written in the memo line.
Donations can also be made to any of the Foundation’s four Impact Endowments: Arts & Culture, Community & Human Services, Environmental Sustainability, and Human Rights. These unrestricted endowments ensure long-term charitable support while allowing the Foundation to be responsive and flexible as community needs change over time. Donors who give to these funds may also benefit from the 40% Endowment Tax Credit. Learn more at gofoundation.org/give-fund.
The current global circumstance highlights just how essential compassion and generosity are to our region’s wellbeing, and we extend our sincere gratitude to who have already given to ensure that others may face fewer hardships, both now and in the months to come.
A MESSAGE FROM THE KNIGHT FOUNDATION
During this extraordinary and unprecedented situation, we are writing to explain what we’re doing at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to support grantees and assist with the emergency relief underway in the 26 American communities where Knight operates, including yours. There is much we still don’t know about how COVID-19 will affect the communities where we live, although we know at this point the impact will be profound and that we at Knight will respond by continuing to support informed and engaged communities.
In the 26 American communities where Knight functions, we will join others providing immediate relief. In Grand Forks, we will contribute $200,000 to support the Community Foundation of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Region’s Nonprofit Relief Fund. Since we believe it’s critical that communities stay informed, we will also consider ideas to help residents stay informed and connected.
For proposals or questions about support, visit the Community Foundation of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Region’s website.
For any other questions about Knight’s efforts in Grand Forks, please email Lilly Weinberg, Knight’s community foundation program director.