One of Victory Electric’s most unique and exciting community programs is the CoBank Sharing Success program, a matching grant opportunity, capped at $15,000, open to local nonprofit organizations. Aimed at supporting local communities and people, the grant is made possible by Victory Electric’s governing board of trustees, in partnership with CoBank – a national nonprofit cooperative bank owned by the rural American cooperatives it services.
“Rural communities and cooperatives like Victory Electric are lucky to have the generous support of CoBank and we are thankful for the contributions enabling us to help make our communities a better place to live and work,” said Jerri Whitley, Victory Electric vice president of communications. “In the last seven years, Victory Electric awarded $70k in Sharing Success grants and we are excited to offer the program again this year.”
CoBank’s $4 million Sharing Success fund matches charitable contributions made by its cooperative members to local nonprofits in their individual communities. The matching grant program is designed to celebrate the vital role that cooperatives play in individual communities across the country. CoBank states that collaborating with their customers to support worthy causes they care about is a great way for them to make a positive difference and fulfill its mission of service to rural America. Since its inception in 2012, the program has generated more than $36 million in total charitable donations, primarily in rural areas across the country. In early 2019, CoBank announced the board of directors increased the size of the bank’s annual Sharing Success charitable giving program from $3 million to $4 million per year and raised the maximum matching amount from $5,000 ($10,000 total grant) to $7,500 ($15,000 total grant).
“Thanks to the generosity of Victory Electric’s board of trustees and CoBank, the Sharing Success Grant enables us to give back to the communities we serve,” said Shane Laws, CEO of Victory Electric. “We urge all eligible nonprofits to take advantage of Sharing Success and together we can make a meaningful impact in rural Kansas.”
2020 will be the ninth year for Victory Electric to award a Sharing Success grant. The Bucklin Library received a $10,000 grant in 2012 to help fund the construction of their new library building. In 2013, the Mission of Mercy dental clinic in Dodge City was awarded $10,000. The grant funded the Stauth Memorial Museum in Montezuma for the 2014 “Suits in Space” Smithsonian exhibit. In 2015, local shelter and food bank, the Manna House, was awarded the grant to repair and improve their facilities. The Depot Theater upgraded their theater sound system in 2016. In 2017, the Ford Country Historical Society made repairs to preserve the history in the Home of Stone - Mueller Schmidt House. In 2018 the Ford County Sheriff’s Office received $10,000 for security upgrades.
Any organization interested in applying for the 2020 CoBank Sharing Success grant must be a federally recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The 2020 application is available to download and is due to Victory Electric’s office no later than 5 p.m. on July 24.