Recently, the Scioto Foundation launched a community initiative, aimed at getting the community involved in positive changes called Scioto 365.
According to information from the Scioto Foundation, “Scioto 365 is a new, dynamic community leadership initiative of the Scioto Foundation. At the heart of Scioto 365 is impact grant-making focused upon creating and sustaining vibrant, healthy and safe neighborhoods (community and economic development). With support from the staff of the Scioto Foundation, community leaders develop annual grant parameters, give donations and determine which nonprofit grants to award! Scioto 365 gives donors a voice that might not typically have: the power to leverage funds to make a collective impact upon the community.”
According to the Scioto Foundation, one of the architects of the initiative was Southern Ohio Port Authority Executive Director Jason Kester.
Kester spoke to the Daily Times about the potential impact the initiative could have on the community.
“The Scioto 365 plan came from the America’s Best Communities strategic planning. (Through the initiative they hope to) identify some needs in the community,” Kester said. “We’ve talked a lot about needing (natural) gas, water, sewage, electric and fiber-optics, the keys to economic development. The other (economic) driver is to have a cool place to live.”
He said by having a cool place to live, people from outside the community will be attracted to the area.
“People are looking to move back into urban areas, they are looking to move back into areas where there are parks, arts and entertainment,” Kester said.
He said the question the community has to ask itself is, how do we capitalize on some of the natural resources and the beauty of the area?
“We want to have a cool place to live where people want to come, where doctors and executives want to live or millennials want to work,” Kester said. “This is likely the biggest driver of economic development, right now.”
According to the Scioto Foundation, there are five ways people can participate in the initiative,
Become a member
By making an annual contribution of $365, your dollar a day will make your community a better place. With a one-time gift of $3,650, you can become a lifetime member. You may even decide to take on a leadership role. The Scioto Foundation will award 50 percent of the dollars raised each year. The other 50 percent will be placed into the Scioto 365 Endowment Fund for future awards!
Learn about community
Through a series of brown bag lunch and learn sessions, the Scioto Foundation will ask local non-profit organizations, schools or emerging community groups to chat with Scioto 365 members about current community needs and possible solutions.
Suggest themes or areas in which you believe community nonprofit grants are most needed to address local problems. Then attend our annual meeting to learn which theme or are is selected to receive community grants.
Choose grants that you feel will make a difference in our community. The Scioto Foundation will send emails to all Scioto 365 members with pertinent grant application information. You choose the grant or grants that make the biggest community impact.
Attend our annual reception in November to learn which grants were chosen for award.
When asked about the potential impact Scioto 365 could have on the community Kester said, “everybody wants to make a difference. No matter your income, everyone wants to help, I think this is a program that will allow that to happen.”
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101 ext. 1933 or @WayneallenPDT on Twitter