by Charles Hewgley, Chair, Golden Cross Foundation
After the Golden Cross Foundation (GCF) was created in 2013, the board of directors developed criteria for awarding grant funds to local churches. The primary purpose of the grants was to enable churches to develop and support intentional, innovative, and creative ministries by, with, and for older adults. Rev. Jim Robinson, then chairman of the GCF Grants Committee, tirelessly refined the details and mechanics of how foundation members reviewed and evaluate local church requests for grant funding.
That process has provided an excellent path for foundation members to award more than $500,000 to local churches and United Methodist organizations. Generally, the funds are awarded as 50 percent matching grants. This means almost $1 million has been placed in local communities by the foundation for outreach and programs that benefit older adults.
During these uncertain times — especially for older adults — the board searched for additional ways to offer support and assistance to communities seeking to serve the needs of their older citizens. In May 2020, board members unanimously approved the Strategic Initiatives Grant which offers funding for ministry and other initiatives serving basic needs of older adults in the areas of nutrition, housing, transportation, and healthcare.
Currently board members are creating specific guidelines for awarding these grants. One option is to seek partner organizations or individuals that can add to the funds GCF provides to support a larger project such as launching a new feeding ministry or creating housing opportunities. Other options might include partnering with a corporate donor in a program offering basic health screenings for older adults in rural communities or providing older adults new opportunities for interpersonal communication in a distanced society.
This new grant will include flexible criteria that allow GCF to expand its boundaries for offering assistance. A total of $150,000 over three years has been reserved for the Strategic Initiative Grant. This grant does not compete with the existing budget for local church grants; it is in addition to those grants.
With an additional $50,000 a year available to focus on new and different opportunities to help older adults, the board welcomes your input and comment. Please contact GCF Executive Director Kent McNish at email@example.com with your ideas and suggestions.
If you, your family, or your organization are interested in discussing new opportunities to endow or support a targeted grant category or project, contact Kent McNish at firstname.lastname@example.org.