MUSKOGEE -- Monday, the City of Muskogee Foundation distributed nearly $4 million to local non-profit and municipal organizations.
It's a gift that has been bestowed among the community for the past five years. In, 2008, the foundation was established through the sale of the Muskogee Regional Medical Center.
"The foundation is able to grant out funds every year to the City of Muskogee to different organizations – non-profit organizations, city organizations – to the betterment of the community, to create a better Muskogee to live, work and play," said DJ Thompson, City of Muskogee Foundation grants manager. "The sale of the hospital created a roughly about $100 million trust so from that each year we are able to grant out about 4 percent, depending on how well the investments do annually."
This year, the foundation was able to grant $3.8 million to about 35 applicants. Grant applications start pouring in to the City of Muskogee Foundation in the spring. Applicants must be either a municipal or non-profit organization.
Letters of inquiry are reviewed by one of gran committees. The foundation's board of directors is the last level of approval. This year, Thompson said the board saw about 45 applicants.
"We, unfortunately, receive more grant applications than we can fund, but we try to fund as many as we can, but there is never enough money to go around, so we have to turn a few down," Thompson said.
This year's recipients included the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, which received a three-year grant, City of Muskogee Parks and Recreation, Muskogee Little Theater and The Nonprofit Resource Center.
"The Muskogee Center for Nonprofits … does capacity building, training for other non-profit organizations and help with fundraising," Thompson said. "So they are doing work for the organizations within the community."
Others to receive grants include The American Red Cross, Muskogee Public School, Neighbors Building Neighborhoods and Girl Scouts of Eastern Oklahoma.
"It's very exciting. A lot of cities do not have the benefit of having a foundation like this and it is just such a great opportunity for Muskogee. It's a very exciting time for Muskogee."