The Columbia Association (CA) works to enhance the quality of life for people who live, work and play in Columbia through its many facilities, programs and services. While the majority of CA’s charitable community contributions come in the form of in-kind services, CA does occasionally provide grants to support other organizations. Through the City-Wide Grants Program, CA awarded $246,000 in FY12 (May 2011-April 2012) to help meet important community needs through partnerships with nonprofit organizations.
CA has developed strong partnerships with organizations that provide popular events serving the whole community. CA is a major supporter of the Columbia Festival of the Arts and contributed $95,000 in 2011. CA also supported the annual 4th of July Celebration, organized by the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks, with a $6,500 grant. In addition to financial support, CA also provides the venue and significant in-kind support for both events.
Through a proactive grant process, CA is able to use its funds to form strategic alliances with organizations that benefit the social welfare of Columbia’s residents. The Columbia Foundation was granted $75,000 in support of its mission to inspire lifelong giving and connect people, places and organizations to worthy causes across Howard County. A $15,000 grant to the Howard County Economic Development Authority will support its goals to market Columbia to businesses. Neighbor Ride was granted $6,000 to aid in its efforts to provide supplemental transportation for seniors. And $30,000 was granted to the Howard County Department of Citizen Services’ Office on Aging to provide home repair and modifications to lower-income residents.
Projects that may seem small often make a big impact. In FY12, CA gave $1,000 to help fund the Bicycling Advocates of Howard County’s project to supply 50 bike helmets to students at the Cradlerock School in support of their “Bike to School Day.”
CA also awarded, through its Maggie J. Brown Spirit of Columbia Scholarship program, six $2,500 scholarships to Howard County seniors who exhibited exceptional efforts in providing community service to Columbia area residents. (See the article on this page to learn more about the scholarship program.)
Lastly, in honor of the recently deceased Patty Rouse, wife of Columbia founder the late James Rouse, CA contributed $2,500 to the Patty Rouse Fund at Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.
Nonprofits interested in applying for a grant should contact CA Director of Community Services Michelle Miller at 410-715-3170.
— Written by Kelly Cooper