1. What is the difference between the Fund and the Foundation?
The Vermont Children's Trust Fund was established in 1986 by an act of the Vermont Legislature. The Fund is a pool of money that was originally made up of a State allocation and Federal Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Formula Grants. Both continue to be awarded annually to the Trust Fund. The state allocation has been approximately $100,000 for the past several years. Federal funds have ranged from $170,000 to $250,000.
From the Trust Fund, grants are awarded annually to prevention programs throughout Vermont. Requests for funding for grants have exceeded funds available by as much as 7:1 in the past but has averaged 2:1 in recent years.
To help bridge the gap, in 1991 the Vermont Children's Trust Foundation was established as a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization to raise funds from the private and corporate sectors to add to the Trust Fund. All donations to VCTF are tax deductible. The Foundation makes an annual contribution to the Vermont Children's Trust Fund for grants.
Additionally, the state legislature passed a bill in 1996 putting the Vermont Children's Trust Fund on the state income tax returns, Line 29 B. Annual donation income from the tax check-off averages $65,000.
2. Who manages the Trust Fund?
The Children and Family Council for Prevention Programs (CFCPP), a 21 member state advisory group appointed by the Governor for their expertise in childhood issues, oversees the Fund. Employees of the Agency of Human Services serve on the Council. The Agency of Human Services, with the guidance of the CFCPP members, approves grant awards. Members of the CFCPP established VCTF and originally served on the Foundation board.
At the request of the State of Vermont, VCTF entered into an agreement in 2009 to manage the Children’s Trust Fund on behalf of the State.
3. What are prevention programs?
Examples of prevention programs include: preschools, after-school programs, teen centers, parenting education classes, home visits and support groups for parents, as well as mentoring, literacy, arts, theater and music programs.
Prevention programs have been proven to help reduce the likelihood of child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, juvenile delinquency, truancy, school drop- outs, teenage pregnancy, and other high- risk behaviors. They help prevent problems from occurring.
Prevention programs funded by VCTF are open to the general public (not aimed at high risk populations), have voluntary participation, promote health and self-reliance, and positively influence the community.
4. Besides preventing problems what does the VCT Fund hope to accomplish?
The Vermont Children’s Trust Fund looks for programs with potential to bring about the following positive outcomes established by the Agency of Human Services:
5. What is the grant cycle?
Applications are due in March and awards are made in June. The grant year is September 1 - August 31.
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6 . Who is eligible to receive grants?
Non-profit organizations, as well as schools and municipalities are eligible. Individuals and for-profit organizations are not eligible for VCTF grants.
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7. What is the average grant award?
Grants generally range from $1,000 to $15,000. In FY15 the average grant award was $7,500.
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8. Does the VCT Foundation have an endowment fund?
The Vermont Children’s Trust Foundation has an endowment fund that it is currently building.
9. What is the Trust Foundation's relationship with the Turrell Fund?
The Foundation assists the Turrell Fund in the planning and execution of the Turrell Fund Day for Children, an annual event that celebrates supporters of children and families in Vermont. In addition to managing the event, VCTF helps the Turrell Fund with the selection process for Turrell’s Landon Awards. These annual awards are granted to a Vermont program that provides exemplary service to children, birth to 6. There is a $25,000 unrestricted gift and two runners-up awards of $2,500/each.
Photos: Jess Ackerman