The success of countless outreach organizations hinges upon its ability to attain private dollars typically gleaned from corporations, private donors and philanthropic endeavors.
In the community of Scottsdale, a group of civic leaders known as the Scottsdale Charros offer a helping hand to both tenderfoot and established outreach organizations that have committed to themselves to making their community a better place through conscientious service.
“One of our Foundation’s major goal is to support youth charities in Scottsdale,” said Jason Heetland, Scottsdale Charros Charitable Contributions Committee chairman.
“The reason why we provide is to ensure a healthy and prosperous community by supporting youth charities and public education. What we want to do is provide funding for what we deem underfunded programs in our local nonprofit organizations that focus on youth.”
Over the last decade, The Charro Foundation has donated more than $8 million back into the community through grants and donations to local nonprofits and schools in the Scottsdale Unified School District.
Until July 1, 2016 Scottsdale nonprofits are encouraged to apply for a grant through The Charro Foundation — the funding arm of the Scottsdale Charros — whereas all funds given are to be used exclusively for the program listed in the grant application.
Grants are generally between $2,500 and $25,000.
“As far as actual applications go, we were asked for just shy of $1 million in funding last year but we were only able to award a quarter of million dollars,” Mr. Heetland said pointing out the amount of need in local nonprofits is in no short supply.
“We want to grow that exponentially — we are trying to grow responsibly so our reach in the community is more sustainable and reliable. What we want to do is standardize the grant program so that local charities can rely on us. We are trying to establish our foundation for granting dollars and keep it in place for the future.”
For 55 years the Scottsdale Charros have been in constant pursuit of improving the lives of Scottsdale residents while preserving the community’s ties to its western heritage.
Spring Training baseball is the premier annual fundraising event for the Charros who welcome more than 150,000 people to Scottsdale Stadium each year.
Proceeds from Spring Training are donated by the Charros, though The Charro Foundation, back to the community making the Charros one of Scottsdale’s largest philanthropic contributors.
Mr. Heetland contends a solid community foundation is a major catalyst for economic development.
“A healthy community builds a prosperous business climate,” he pointed out.
“Nonprofit organizations are bettering Scottsdale neighborhoods, families, and they are creating a healthy business environment by investing in areas of need. Businesses want to collaborate and invest in good communities.”
Mr. Heetland says his perspective — and many of his fellow Charros’ perspectives — is one that he learned from the previous generation. Mr. Heetland is a second generation Charro.
I think what we probably have in common is that someone has showed us why it is important,” he said of the importance of the community service.
“My father was a Charro before me and he was involved in his community. It is important for us to show our friends, our children and other people in the community that they can commit to something greater than themselves.”
The Charro Foundation grant application can be found at www.charros.com/annual-grants.
North Valley News Editor Terrance Thornton can be contacted at 623-445-2774 or at firstname.lastname@example.org