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Bill Long Foundation 2017 Annual Membership Meeting and Grant Awards

posted Apr 25, 2017, 6:46 AM by Bill Long Foundation   [ updated Apr 25, 2017, 7:05 AM ]

The Bill Long Foundation's annual membership meeting was held April 12th, 2017, in the Heiser Auditorium, Kendal at Oberlin. Members attending this meeting heard 20 grant requests from 18 local organizations. This is a unique event as the membership hears and debates proposal applications and then votes as a body the level of funding that is awarded. This year $28,050 was awarded by the Foundation and members attending the meeting contributed an additional $7,210 to further fund several requests. This means a total of $35,260 was distributed to local organizations to fund Oberlin community projects and reflects an remarkable increase of over $10,000 from last year's grant distributions.

The Bill Long Foundation (BLF) has a rich history. The Oberlin Consumers Cooperative (OCC) was founded in 1940 when students and professors of Oberlin College decided there was a need for a buying club for basic amenities. By the early 1970's, OCC had grown, bought businesses, sold businesses and consolidated its operations as the Co-op Bookstore. Under the guidance of manager Bill Long, OCC decided that rather than dispersing patronage funds, they would handle profits in a unique fashion. This approach created The Causes Fund (TCF), which was the precursor to the BLF. TCF members proposed causes and presented them at a meeting. The vote of the members decided the matter. When Long retired in the mid-eighties, there was much discussion about how to honor his contribution to the organization. Some of the Board felt that TCF was one of the things that most characterized Long's commitment to the community. A public foundation, named the Bill Long Foundation, was approved by the members in 1989.

BLF is committed to being a resource to community members in Oberlin. All grants funded must meet basic tenets of the BLF mission statement: “The Bill Long Foundation is a membership-powered community foundation that gives grants to support projects and activities in Oberlin that address basic human needs or enrich cultural life. Membership in the foundation is open to all. Members elect volunteer trustees who manage all operations and award grants based on the vote of members attending the annual meeting.”

Applications for grants are submitted in February with determination of funding at the annual membership meeting in April. Information about the Bill Long Foundation, photographs from this year's meeting, and the grant process for next year can be found on their website:

Grants funded this year include (Organization - Total amount received at the meeting - Fund use):

Bonner Center for Service and Learning - $1,000 - Five or more local community student-initiated projects involving Oberlin College students

DuBois Project of Oberlin - $1,600 - Send 10 children to DuBois Math Soccer Camp

Family Promise of Lorain County - $1,000 - Marketing materials to advertise program

Friends of Westwood Cemetery - $1,300 - Installation of Tranquility Garden

Get with the Program, Inc - $3,200 - Replenish and add to STEM supplies

La Leche League of Oberlin - $460 - Operating expenses - group/leader dues, liability insurance, etc.

Ninde Scholars Program - $800 - College application and ACT fees, summer program snacks

Northern Ohio Youth Orchestra - $850 - Summer Symphony sheet music, coaching fees, activity materials

Oberlin African American Genealogy Group - $2,750 - Recording and transcription of 15 oral history interviews

Oberlin Community Services
June Picnic - $500 - 2017 Juneteenth Community Picnic
Shelving - $1,700 - Shelving for refrigeration system
Operational - $3,500 - Emergency assistance services: rent, food, prescriptions, etc.

Oberlin Community Youth Scholarship Fund - $2,000 - Scholarship support for higher-ed Oberlin students

Oberlin Weekday Community Meals - $3,700 - Operating expenses - personnel and food costs

OberlinKids Collaborative - $2,700 - Literacy materials for 200 children ($25/child)

Providing Oberlin With Efficiency Responsibly - $1,350 - Materials and labor for home repairs to make them more efficient

Road to Hope House - $1,650 - Materials to finish additional room

Senior Enrichment Services of Oberlin - $2,500 - General use

Slowik Music Institute (Credo Music) - $900 - Scholarship assistance for high quality student

Zion Community Development Corporation - $1,800 - Property Maintenance and Weatherization Program

For more information please contact:
John Memmott, President, Bill Long Foundation Board of Trustees