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.