The Rockingham County Community Foundation (RCCF) has been presented with a $250,000 gift from Duke Energy, according to an announcement made by the RCCF board of advisors. The gift is one of several contributions recently announced by Duke Energy from its Water Resources Fund and is intended for the protection and revitalization of the Dan River area.

RCCF will be accepting grant applications beginning Oct. 31, when an online grants application will be available here. The grants cycle will close at noon on Dec. 1, with awards announced early in 2015.

Organizations eligible to apply are local 501c3 nonprofits and local government entities, including municipalities and schools. All programs must serve the Dan River area. Grant requests for up to $25,000 will be accepted in two categories: 1) Economic development enhancing community beautification and maintenance with a measurable impact on increasing tourism, business and population growth in Rockingham County; and 2) Environmental education supporting projects that have a visible impact on the local community, such as outdoor classrooms or environmental signage along trails, walkways along or near the river. Funding will support one-time projects that begin soon and will be finalized within a year.          

The RCCF is an affiliate of the North Carolina Community Foundation (NCCF), which also administers several other grants programs for Duke Energy, including the Water Resources Fund in all states and its Community College Grant program. NCCF CEO and President Jennifer Tolle Whiteside said the foundation was pleased to also help administer the program in Rockingham County, where local board members with knowledge of the area would help to ensure that funds will be distributed to best meet local environmental and economic development needs.

For further information, grantseekers should email Mary Anne Howard, NCCF regional associate, at mhoward@nccommunityfoundation.org or call her at 919-256-6924.

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