Posts

Still committed to arts programming

By Barry Rochford, strategic communication officer

We recently notified educators and arts organizations about our decision to end our Art Dekko proactive grantmaking initiative. I wanted to take this opportunity to explain a little more about how we came to that decision while also affirming our continued commitment to investing in arts experiences for young people.

First, it should be said that we as a foundation love the arts. Our board and our staff love the arts for their ability to spark creativity, growth and change in young people. That’s why for more than 15 years the Dekko Foundation has invested more than $1.5 million in our grantmaking areas in Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota and Alabama through Art Dekko. On top of that, we’ve invested in other arts-related programs through our responsive grantmaking.

For those who might be unfamiliar with Art Dekko, each year in January we issued a request for proposals to invest in arts-related programming. If you’ve kept tabs on our Facebook page, you’ve seen some of the results of those Art Dekko investments.

As an organization, we, too, should grow, change and get better over time. Our founder, Mr. Chester E. Dekko, would certainly expect us to. So that’s why as we’ve thought about Art Dekko in recent months, we wondered if we could be making an even greater impact through our investments in arts programming. We believe the answer is yes.

What does that look like? When will that happen? To be honest, we’re still working on it. But we’re excited about what the future will bring, and we certainly welcome any feedback you might have.

In the meantime: We still want to invest in arts programming. We continue to welcome arts-related proposals through our responsive grantmaking process. We accept proposals daily, but since our responsive grantmaking is different from our Art Dekko initiative, we hope you’ll keep in mind the following:

  • You will need to complete an application online at dekkofoundation.org/apply-now. Our staff is always available by phone to answer any questions. Once your proposal has been received, someone will come out and meet with you to learn more.
  • Please allow 90 days prior to needing the funds for our staff to learn more about your proposal.
  • Please be prepared to talk about how your proposal will build the skills, knowledge and character young people need to live economically free lives.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 260-347-1278, or email me at brochford@dekkofoundation.org or Kim Davidson at kdavidson@dekkofoundation.org.

Working together to promote youth philanthropy

By Barry Rochford, strategic communication officer

The National Center for Family Philanthropy (ncfp.org) published a great article about our partnerships with community foundations in our grantmaking areas to encourage young people to get involved in philanthropy.

Our Kimberly Schroeder was among those interviewed for the article, which also featured the Community Foundation of Noble County’s Jenna Ott and the Community Foundation of Whitley County’s September McConnell. In the article, Kimberly explained the importance of getting young people engaged with philanthropy.

“The grantmaking is some of the most important work they do,” she said. “We give them the power to affect their community and they take that responsibility seriously.”

You can read the full story here.

You give us hope!

By Sharon Smith, Program Director

One of my most memorable days at the Dekko Foundation—and I’ve had lots of memorable days—happened one summer about ten years ago.  One of our grantees from Lamoni, Iowa named Benita Booth, was driving through Indiana on her way to the east coast. She wanted to stop in to see our office, say hello and meet our president.

Since we go out to visit our grantseekers, we don’t have that many office visitors—especially not people from out of state. We welcomed Mrs. Booth and sat in our president’s office for some polite small talk.  That’s when she dropped a thought so profound that I think about it to this day.

“You know,” she said, “the money you give us is really important.  But what you really do is give us hope.”

What an amazing way to synthesize the impact of grantmaking.  Giving hope to schools and nonprofits that want offer their young people the very best learning experiences.  Giving hope to communities that their young people will be ready for rewarding careers and independent lives.

When Mr. Dekko started our foundation in 1981, he left us with this mission:  To foster economic freedom through education. He believed that education offered all people hope that they might lead lives of economic freedom.

Thanks, Mrs. Booth, for giving us a new and memorable way of looking at things.

To learn more about grants from our foundation:

http://www.dekkofoundation.org/grantseeker-support/

Feel free to call and discuss an idea for a grant proposal:

260-347-1278