Cherokee Strip Community Foundation

OVERVIEW: Cherokee Strip Community Foundation supports a very broad range of causes in Enid, Oklahoma, and the surrounding Northwest Oklahoma communities. Grantseekers can apply for unrestricted funds to be used locally.

FUNDING AREAS: Health, arts and culture, youth, education, equipment, historical preservation, poverty, hunger, people with disabilities

IP TAKE: Prevention is big with this funder, so pitch a youth or health idea that aims to stop health and other issues before they start.

PROFILE: The Cherokee Strip Community Foundation (CSCF) is based in Enid, Oklahoma, and serves the needs of the Cherokee Strip region. It was established in 2000 as the Enid Community Foundation with a $1.8 million challenge match from the Sisters of Mercy. The trustees decided to change the name in 2009 to better reflect the foundation's Northwest Oklahoma focus. At the time this profile was written, CSCF had 27 trustees and staff, 203 funds, 50 nonprofits served, and approximately $18 million in assets.

Letters of intent from grantseekers are typically due by August 1st of the year and should be no more than two pages. You can submit these any time of the year and expect to hear back from the grant distribution committee within about six weeks. Then, grant proposals are typically due by September 15.

Grantmaking is restricted to the town of Enid and elsewhere in Northwestern Oklahoma. Most of CSCF’s grants are between $1,000 and $10,000, however, larger grants are occasionally made too. The bulk of foundation grants goes towards special projects, innovative programs, and equipment purchases and upgrades. As a general rule, the foundation does not support operating expenses, research, fundraisers, religious purposes, political projects, or travel.

Once per year, the community foundation awards grants from its unrestricted endowments. A list of recent grantees can be viewed here. In the past, grants have gone to Hope Outreach, the Regional Food Bank Foundation of Oklahoma, Enid Symphony Orchestra Association, Hedges Rational Speech and Hearing Center, and the Oklahoma Dental Foundation. With this funder, the geographic location and the impact of a proposed project are more important than the specific field of interest. Recent areas of funding include health, arts and culture, youth, education, equipment, historical preservation, poverty, hunger, and people with disabilities.

In addition to the unrestricted endowments, a list of funds at CSCF can be found here. These were the funds added in a recent year:

  • Lavonn McKnight Memorial Endowment Fund FBO RSVP Enid
  • Atwood Family Fund FBO Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center
  • David S. Russell, M.D. Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center Endowment
  • Security National Bank Fund FBO Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center
  • Milfred L. Baker Fund for Community Needs
  • Pioneer Pleasant-Vale Academic Foundation Inc. Fund
  • Rotary Club of Enid Educational Endowment

General questions can be directed to executive director Mary Stallings at mary@cherokeestripcf.com or 580-234-3988. There is only one other staff member, Katie Albright, who serves as executive assistant. You can keep up with this funder's interests at its news section.

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