Walmart Foundation application period opens for Illinois charities

On Monday, the Walmart Foundation will open a five-day application period for its State Giving Program in Illinois, which supports organizations that create opportunities for people to live better. The deadline to submit grant requests is 11:59 p.m. CST on Friday, Sept. 2.

The funding opportunity — which provides grants to 501(c)(3) organizations ranging from $25,000 to $200,000, depending on the type of program — is open to Illinois nonprofits with efforts that focus on hunger relief, career opportunities, education programs, health care access and other human-service programs designed to meet the needs of underserved, low-income populations.

Over the last fiscal year, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation gave $44.1 million to hundreds of nonprofit groups throughout Illinois. The company said in a statement that it seeks out organizations and initiatives that have a long-lasting, positive impact on communities nationwide.

Phil Newton, founder of Perennial Partners, a Peoria-based consulting firm that caters to nonprofits, as well as small businesses, said private funding amid the state’s budget impasse is not only welcome, but also vital for many of Illinois’ community-focused operations.

“When a company of Walmart’s caliber says it’s going to invest some extra dollars, that helps immensely,” Newton said. “To their great credit, they make a lot of small gifts. They’re not just giving to the larger, more well-known charities, but they’re giving to the local organizations…the baseball teams and the Cub Scout troops.”

At this point, Newton said the best survival strategy for community organizations is to “get diversified right now. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, don’t rely entirely on the state. Write grants, do a special event, get involved with what’s called ‘planned giving,’ work on corporate solicitation. That way, you can better weather the times when the State of illinois is not paying its bills.”

To be considered for grant support, prospective grantee organizations must submit online applications through the Walmart Foundation State Giving Program website. Applicants must have a current 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status to meet the program’s minimum eligibility criteria.

–Illinois News Network

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