Facebook opens 2015 grant cycle

Alyssa Mulliger/Daily Courier Past recipients of Facebook's annual Community Action Grants pose together during Forest City's Christmas lighting ceremony on Thanksgiving evening.

Facebook's Forest City Data Center is now accepting applications for its 2015 Community Action Grant cycle and intends to award $80,000 to non-profit entities and certain public organizations in Rutherford, Cleveland, McDowell and Polk counties.

Facebook will present the funds for projects that address critical community needs by putting the power of technology to use for community benefit, connecting people, improving education and spurring local economic development. The maximum grant amount per recipient will be $10,000.

"We're excited to see how these grants will be at work in our community," said Keven McCammon, site manager at Facebook's Forest City Data Center.

More than 70 organizations and groups submitted applications for the 2014 grant cycle and 14 were selected for community grants totaling $125,000.

The recipients, including educators, town officials, firefighters and emergency personnel, were officially recognized and presented with checks during Forest City's Christmas lighting ceremony on Thanksgiving evening.

Recipients of Community Action Grants last year were Sunshine Elementary School, Rutherford Early College High School, Chase Middle School, Mount Vernon-Ruth Elementary School, Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy, Nebo Elementary School, Isothermal Community College, Polk County Schools, the Town of Forest City, Rutherford Town Revitalization, WNCW, Tryon Little Theater, Sandy Mush Volunteer Fire Department and Hickory Nut Gorge EMS & Rescue.

“When we made our home in western North Carolina, we made a commitment to support and invest in our neighbors. One way we do that is through our local grants program,” McCammon said during last year's grant ceremony. “We’re proud to work with these worthy organizations to help make a difference in the community and meet real, critical needs.”

To be eligible for a grant, organizations must have a Facebook page. This requirement does not extend to personal Facebook pages.

Organizations ineligible for a Community Action Grant include those whose mission or activities include proselytizing on behalf of any religion, that make hiring choices based on race, gender, faith, national origin, sexual orientation or disability and/or that promote or support specific political ideologies, doctrines, candidates or issues.

The deadline for applications is Friday, Sept. 11 at 11:59 p.m. Applications will be reviewed by a committee of Facebook employees led by McCammon and awarded based on their merit and adherence to the grant guidelines.

For a complete list of guidelines and to apply, visit https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/147514218776554?_rdr=p.

To read about past award recipients, visit https://www.facebook.com/ForestCityDataCenter/notes.