Grantmaking Overview

Mr. Martin wanted his gift to help generations of residents of Muhlenberg County, addressing the civic, cultural and educational needs of the County.  For this reason, the Foundation focuses its charitable giving on philanthropy, focusing on long term solutions and community development, not short term symptoms.  Each year, the Foundation anticipates distributing just over $2 million to benefit Muhlenberg County, supporting programs where work over the long term can create change in underlying conditions.

In response to a Needs Assessment Study which was conducted in 2008, the Foundation's Board of Directors has focused on two primary areas of grantmaking:  Youth Services (including Education) and Economic Development (including Community Development).  These two grantmaking areas show significant overlap and many of the programs initiated and supported by the Foundation are making significant impact in both areas.

As of June 30, 2016, the Foundation has awarded over $23 million in grants to benefit Muhlenberg County.

Grantmaking Programs 

The Foundation realizes that achieving transformational change in Muhlenberg County requires people working together to set priorities about what needs to be done, and figuring out the best way to do it. A Task Force of local representatives was appointed to advise the Felix E. Martin Jr. Foundation Board of Directors on how best to address the key areas of need. The Task Force is charged with assisting the Board of Directors in identifying projects that will make a significant long-term impact in these areas. The Task Force’s job is to develop and explore ideas, then set priorities for the Foundation’s Board of Directors to consider when making grantmaking decisions. 

In the past, the Task Force has identified areas of needs which have led to significant grants and the creation of programs including the Greater Muhlenberg Parks & Recreation System, the Muhlenberg Alliance for Progress, The Felix E. Martin Jr. Hall for the Creative & Performing Arts, SOAR’s Early Childhood Education Program, the Muhlenberg Achieves Program and several Adult Education Initiatives. 

However, the Foundation also recognizes that there are many local programs which are currently doing important work in our key areas of need. In December 2008, the Foundation created the Community Grants Program to respond with support for these community programs. Annually, the Foundation sets aside funds for this competitive grants program designed to meet community needs in Muhlenberg County. Nonprofit organizations, churches and government entities are invited to submit applications for new or expanded projects that address the educational, civic and cultural needs of the county. For more information or to apply for the community grants program, please refer to the Applying for a Community Grant Page .