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 The Fund is a pool of money that was originally made up of a State allocation and Federal Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Formula Grants.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. For the past few years, the Foundation has contributed the following amounts to the Vermont Children's Trust Fund for grants.
2012 - $115,400
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 $75,000.
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 are parenting education classes, home visits and support groups for parents, after-school programs, teen community service, and mentoring 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 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 July 1 - June 30.
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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 $500 to $15,000. In FY11 the average grant award was $7,500.
In 2011, $610,651 was awarded to 81 programs. More than $763,000 was requested by over 98 organizations.
In 2010, a total of $423,740 was awarded to 70 programs. More than $790,000 was requested by over 107 organizations.
In 2009, a total of $495,425 was awarded to 79 programs. More than $700,000 was requested by over 93 organizations.
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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.
1996 - Champlain Valley Kids on the Block, Burlington
1997 - Growing up OK, Addison NE Supervisory Union
1998 - The Children's Room, Waterbury Center
1999 - Windham County Reads Bookmobile
2000 - Sara Holbrook Center, Burlington
2001 - Unlimited Fathering Opportunities, Bennington
2002 - Girls on the Run of Vermont, Statewide
2003 - VerShare, Vershire
2004 - Hinesburg Friends of Families
2005 - VNA Family Room
2006 - Winooski Family Center
2007 - Stepping Stones Preschool
2008 - Bright Smiles, Washington County
2009 - Vermont Campaign To End Childhood Hunger
2010 - The Lamoille Valley Community Justice Program
2011 - The Health Hub
2012 - Addison County Parent Child Center
2013 - Burlington Children's Space & Rutland County Parent Child Center -$15,000 each
Photos: Jess Ackerman