Last year, four Ohio non-profit organizations were awarded $100,000 in grant funding from the State Farm Neighborhood Assist program, with the insurer noting that the Buckeye State had the second highest number of grant submissions nationwide.
Hillsboro State Farm agent Amatha Farrens told The Times-Gazette the State Farm Neighborhood Assist program is back at a time when non-profits and the communities they serve need it most.
“They’ll be awarding $25,000 grants and only accepting 2,000 applicants,” Farrens said. “For the past several years, our Highland County Homeless Shelter has been a finalist in the Top 200 causes countrywide.”
State Farm said that the program, now in its ninth year, will continue to award $25,000 grants to 40 nonprofit organizations to help fund neighborhood improvement projects.
“They are making it easier to apply this year by eliminating the categories,” she said. “Before, it was broken down into education, safety or community development. Due to the nature of 2020, we have just opened it up to submitting for your cause.”
According to a recent State Farm research study, one-quarter of respondents said that they were “extremely” or “very” involved in trying to improve their neighborhood, with 60 percent saying they were trying to improve their neighborhood in some capacity.
State Farm’s Neighborhood Assist program consists of four phases:
• The Submission Phase starts Wednesday, July 15 and ends when 2,000 submissions are reached. Individuals can submit their cause at www.neighborhoodassist.com starting July 15 by going to the website and downloading the submission guide. The company will accept the first 2,000 submissions. The State Farm Review Committee will then narrow the field to the Top 200 finalists using a scoring rubric, which allows the company to evaluate the criteria of the entries.
• The Notification Phase is the week of Sept. 14, when the company notifies the Top 200 causes that they’ve made the cut.
• The Voting Phase runs from Wednesday, Sept. 23 through Friday, Oct. 2, and is open to the public. State Farm said that voters will ultimately decide which community improvement projects will win. The public can vote 10 times a day, every day for 10 days during the Sept. 23 to Oct. 2 time period, for their favorite causes from the list of finalists. Voting will take place at www.neighborhoodassist.com.
• The Grant Awarding Phase will take place Wednesday, Nov. 4, with the 40 causes that received the most votes each winning a $25,000 grant. The company said that the winners would also be announced at www.neighborhoodassist.com.
In last year’s voting, State Farm reported that 163,000 people cast 4.4 million votes in support of their favorite causes, with winners coming from both small towns and big cities.
In Ohio, the four organizations that each received a grant were the Autism Society of Mahoning Valley Adult Career & Life Skills Program in Youngstown, the Helping Hands Program of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio in Columbus, the Well Community Development Corporation of Akron, and Jeremy Cares, Inc. of Cuyahoga and Loraine counties.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.