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Generous grant will aid member recruitment

TRAIL will get much-needed help in recruiting new members from among the area’s older adult population, thanks to a generous grant received through the Community Foundation of Johnson County and two of its funding partners.

As part of the foundation’s Community Recovery and Nonprofit Support Grants, announced during a virtual awards celebration on October 30, 2020, TRAIL received a grant totaling $9,217 for use in bolstering its member-recruitment efforts. Of the total grant, $5,000 came from the Iowa City Noon Rotary Club and $4,217 from the Coldren Endowment Fund for the Elderly, administered through the Community Foundation of Johnson County.

“Prior to COVID-19, most of our outreach and recruitment efforts among older adults in Johnson County were conducted in people’s homes or in public spaces, such as public libraries,” explains TRAIL board chair Susan Shullaw. “The pandemic has made such in-person gatherings impossible, particularly for this vulnerable population.

“The CFJC grant will help us make us of alternate ways of reaching older adults in our area, from video programming to more traditional methods, such as direct mail,” Shullaw says. “We’re extremely grateful for these additional resources at a time when social isolation and lack of access to services are worsening the pandemic for our older adult population.”

In mid-2020, the community foundation replaced its general grants cycle with Community Recovery and Nonprofit Support Grants, focused on providing operating and program support as well as recovery and relief for COVID-19 impacts to Johnson County’s nonprofit organizations. TRAIL’s successful grant request to the foundation sought to build financial stability by restoring member recruitment.

“This has been a challenging year, and the Iowa City Noon Rotary felt that we needed to do something to support nonprofit organizations in our community,” says Barb Thomas, Iowa City Noon Rotary president. “We chose to provide grants to the community by becoming a supplemental funder with the Community Foundation of Johnson County. They shared proposals with us from their most recent granting period, and our club’s grants committee elected to support the good work of 12 organizations, including TRAIL of Johnson County.”