Oklahoma City Community Foundation Marks 50th Year with $1 million in Grants

Photo cutline: Representing the six recipient organizations of The Great Idea Challenge are Mark Barth, Goodwill Industries of Central Oklahoma; Kim Schlittler, Best Friends of Pets; Ranya Forgotson, Homeless Alliance/The Curbside Chronicle; Deborah McAuliffe Senner, Allied Arts; Steve Petty, INTEGRIS and David Castillo, Greater OKC Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

After reviewing nearly 100 proposals submitted in the $1 million Great Idea Challenge, the Oklahoma City Community Foundation has selected to fund six projects in areas ranging from the arts, small business and community health to animal welfare and employment for the homeless.

“The winning proposals will benefit a broad array of stakeholder groups with diverse services designed to enhance quality of life for central Oklahoma residents,” said Community Foundation Chairman Steve Agee. “We are very excited about the ideas selected for funding and the collaborative momentum generated by The Great Idea Challenge. These projects will further strengthen and enhance our community throughout the next 50 years.”

The following organizations and projects will receive a total of $1 million from The Great Idea Challenge:

  • Allied Arts: Great Art for a Great City
  • Best Friends of Pets: Pets for Life
  • Greater OKC Hispanic Chamber of Commerce: OKC HUB (Helping Urban Business) Thrive
  • Goodwill Industries of Central Oklahoma: Employment and Training Alliance of Central Oklahoma
  • Homeless Alliance: Curbside Chronicle Center for Social Enterprise
  • INTEGRIS Foundation: INTEGRIS Mobile Wellness Clinic

The Community Foundation launched The Great Idea Challenge last spring in recognition of the organization’s 50th anniversary in 2019. Nonprofits, community organizations and even individuals and businesses collaborating with nonprofits were invited to propose programs that would connect resources, plant seeds, leverage assets and launch new ventures for central Oklahoma.

“We have seen a multitude of innovative proposals that could make an enormous impact on our community,” said Community Foundation President Nancy Anthony. “We faced the difficult task of selecting only six. While we can’t fund them all, we are excited to share three runner-up proposals with the community to encourage support from other sources.”

In recognition of Community Foundation Founder John E. Kirkpatrick, the organization will award the six winning programs with a share of the million dollars in funding, as well as awards for three runner-up projects. In the spirit of Kirkpatrick’s ingenuity and vision for Oklahoma City, the Great Idea Challenge is intended to launch new, bold initiatives that will carry Oklahoma City and Central Oklahoma into the next 50 years.

Learn more about the winning projects.