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Boone County Community Foundation

Connecting Our Community

Boone County Community Foundation

The Boone County Community Foundation exists to improve the quality of life in Boone County for today, tomorrow and the future by building a culture of giving in our community and by connecting donors. 

We are a tax exempt, non-profit, philanthropic organization with the long-term goal of building permanent, named funds for the broad-based charitable benefit of the residents in Boone County and to strengthen our community through philanthropy. We offer the best tax advantages for charitable donations operating as a 501©(3) organization of the internal revenue code. 

We help raise the level of local giving and help keep charitable dollars in the local community. The Boone County Community Foundation will help to ensure that charitable endowment gifts given to help our community will remain effective and relevant over long periods of time.


2023 Distinguished Organization Award

The Boone County Community Foundation was selected and awarded the Distinguished Organization award for special services performed in our community by the Belvidere Area Chamber of Commerce.  



Donate to make a difference in Boone County

In these unprecedented times, we come together and depend on each other and our community. We look for ways to support and help one another. For those who have inquired and want to donate to the Boone County Disaster Fund you may do so here.

What is Forward Boone County?

Boone County officials, businesses and organizatons are working together to aide county businesses, employees and residents as we transition to the states five reopening phases. With support from the Boone County Health Department, Forward Boone County has developed a local resource website, where the public can view guidance and practices put forth by credible, vetted sources.


Latest News


Congratulations to the class of 2024!

The Boone County Community Foundation extends a heartfelt congratulations to the class of 2024!  We would also like to recognize and thank our generous donors who provide such amazing opportunities for our local area students!  If you are interested in setting up a scholarship fund with us, please contact Melissa Erickson at 815-544-7231.

*New* James and Joretta Chambers Scholarship

Available to graduating seniors from Belvidere and Belvidere North High Schools with a declared major or pursuing a degree in engineering and attending a college or university in the state of Illinois.  Please visit our scholarship page for more details and eligibility criteria.

2024 Scholarship Ad_website

The Boone County Community Foundation (BCCF) hosted their annual community grant breakfast, on November 14, 2023. The Foundation highlighted, celebrated, and awarded grants to organizations that provide services to and help meet the needs of Boone County. The 2023 grants are part of the Community Grant Program which consists of awards from the Melvin & Mildred Banks Funds, the Wilbur & William Cummings Fund, and individual donor advised funds. Over $56,000.00 in community grants were awarded to 22 Boone County organizations.

We are pleased to announce the 2023 Community Grant Recipients:

Grant Recipients/ Grant Amount/ Purpose

Belvidere Family YMCA:  $5,000 -Y on the Fly Program at General Mills Park

Belvidere High School Music & Performing Arts Booster: $3,715- Collaborative with Rockford Symphony Orchestra

Blackhawk Area Boy Scouts of America:  $750– Membership & Program Assistance

Boone County Arts Council:  $3,000– 5th grade arts festival

Boone County CASA: $1,600 -Volunteer Recruitment and Retention Program

Boone County Council on Aging:  $1,000 –Outreach to isolated seniors

Boone County Fair Association & 4H:  $8,000– Upgrade to 4-H and Grange Stands

Boone County Museum of History:  $7,500– Updates to Duxstad Pioneer Cabin/Native American Exhibits

BraveHearts Therapeutic Riding & Educational Center: $1,000 Equine-assisted services to Veterans

Farmworker and Landscaper Advocacy Project: $1,000 -Outreach, Education, Financial Assistance

First Step Day Care:  $3,000– Sheds for outside equipment and moveable bins

Friends of the Ida Public Library: $2,000 – Laptop program and Ozobot Evo Coding Kits

Girl Scouts of America:  $750- First Aid/CPR training, Recruitment kits and event materials, translation

Habitat for Humanity of Boone County:  $2,000- Home Construction Costs

Northern Illinois Food Bank:  $5,000-Take 50 for four Boone County Member Agencies

Parks & Conservation Foundation: $2500 – Rec Mobile

Regional Access & Mobilization Project:  $1,000- Youth Education & Advocacy Services

Remedies Renewing Lives: $1,500 – Create a teen Space and enhancements to current children’s space

Rockford Sexual Assault Counseling $1,000 -Free services for sexual assault/abuse survivors in Boone County

Sister Cities Association of Belvidere: $2000 – Summer exchange program

The ARC of Winnebago, Boone, & Ogle Counties:  $2,000- Two future planning seminars in Boone County

Zion Lutheran Church:  $1,000-Food Distribution


New Scholarship Opportunity for College Students 

JoAnne & Warren Emry Scholarship is a new scholarship that will be offered to individuals who have graduated from Belvidere or Belvidere North and are currently considered a junior in college or who have completed a minimum of 60 hours at an accredited college or university and are pursuing a degree in finance, education, law, pharmacy, nursing, environmental studies, or related fields. The Boone County Community Foundation is honored to be chosen by the Emry family to manage this scholarship, and help carry out their intent to help others from Boone County continue their education. Please visit our scholarship page for more details.

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James and Joretta Chambers Scholarship

James and Joretta Chambers believe in the power of education.  Both graduated from the University of Illinois.  James graduated with a degree in engineering and Joretta graduated with a degree in home economics.  They believe that the knowledge and skills gained from their education set them up for success in their life and community.  They have established this scholarship to help support and provide students with similar opportunities.


JoAnne & Warren Emry Scholarship

JoAnne & Warren Emry Scholarship is offered to individuals who have graduated from Belvidere or Belvidere North High School and are currently considered a junior in college or who have completed a minimum of 60 hours at an accredited college or university and are pursuing a degree in finance, education, law, pharmacy, nursing, environmental studies, or related fields.  The Boone County Community Foundation is honored to be chosen by the Emry family to manage this scholarship and help carry out their intent to help others from Boone County continue their education.  You may apply for this scholarship on our portal website found on the scholarship page.  


Owen M. & Marjorie Carroll Johson Scholarships

The Owen M. Family Foundation has entrusted the Boone County Community Foundation to manage and allocate scholarships to eligible students from North Boone, Belvidere, and Belvidere North High Schools.  The Marjorie Carroll Johnson Scholarships were established in 1987 to recognize a student who excelled in public speaking or performance. Two, $2,500 scholarships will be awarded in Marjorie’s remembrance.  In 1989, they added the Owen M. Johnson Scholarships to recognize a student who excelled in academics and all-around good citizenship.  Two, $2,500 scholarships will be awarded in Owen’s remembrance.  For more information, please go to our scholarship page.  You will apply for these scholarships through your high school guidance department.


Poplar Grove Lions Club Scholarships

Founded in 1961, the Poplar Grove Lions is one of the oldest chapters in Illinois.  The Poplar Grove Lions partner with local organizations, local government, and neighbors to enhance the quality of life in Boone County.  They continue that mission by providing scholarships to North Boone and Belvidere North graduating seniors.  One academic scholarship will be awarded to a Belvidere North  student, one academic scholarsip to a North Boone student and one “community service” focused scholarship will be awarded to a North Boone student.  


Dave Graham Memorial Education Scholarship

Dave Graham was a history teacher, librarian and golf coach in District 100.  As a lifelong learner and proponent of the value of education Dave’s legacy is to help future educators fulfill their dreams.  Two recipients will be chosen from Boone County.  Eligible graduating seniors from North Boone, Belvidere North, and Belvidere High Schools may apply.  For details and timelines please speak with your school’s counselor.


Hugh K. and Alice Iles Funderburg Scholarship Fund

The generosity of Hugh K. and Alice Iles Funderburg will live on as the descendants of R. Robert and Sally D. Funderburg have set up this scholarship in their memory. By endowing this scholarship program, the donors intend to continue to help the Boone County Community and its residents succeed and to promote entrepreneurship at the Belvidere and Belvidere North High Schools. Two eligible applicants will be awarded the amount of $10,000 each. Students must meet certain requirements, obtain all information needed, and complete the application process through their high school’s guidance office. 


Margery Hinrichs Scholarship Fund

Margery was a long time librarian at Belvidere High School and wished to recognize students who are both active in sports and good academic students at Belvidere High School with this scholarship fund created at the time of her death. This scholarship is given to senior athletes at Belvidere High School who demonstrate athletic skills, academic skills, good character, and are pursuing a post high school education at an accredited college or university upon graduation.  Coaches at Belvidere High School make the selection for this scholarship.  There are up to four possible scholarships available ranging from a minimum of $1,000 up to $2,500. 


NBFPD #3 Firemen’s Association Jake Schoepski Memorial Scholarship

Jake Schoepski was a dedicated firefighter for the North Boone Fire Protection District #3 for 48 years and also served as a trustee for 25 years.  In his memory, the NBFPD#3 Firemen’s Association is awarding a two $500.00 scholarships.   One to a graduating senior at North Boone High School and one scholarship to a graduating senior at Belvidere North High School.  The scholarship is for students pursuing a career in firefighting, EMS, police, medical, or other first responder-type profession.   


Wilbur and William Cummings Memorial Educational Scholarship

Wilbur and William Cummings were twin brothers and lifelong residents of Caledonia, IL.  They were active members in the Caledonia Congregational Church, the North Boone Fire Department, the Belvidere Moose Lodge, and both worked at the Belford Theater for 27 years.  After Wilbur lost his arm in a farming accident in 1953, he was treated by a doctor in nearby Caledonia.  Both brothers attributed having a physician close by to saving Wilbur’s life.  The incident had an incredible impact on Wilbur and William.  They valued and saw the importance of education and wanted to provide scholarship opportunities for young men and women interested in furthering their education.  As a reflection of their lifelong interest in and support of Community District 100, Wilbur and William Cummings established a scholarship to assist Belvidere and Belvidere North graduates who intend to enter the field of public education


Grant Programs

Melvin & Mildred Banks Grant Program

The Banks farmed and ran numerous businesses in Boone County.  Melvin was a farmer, business owner, and active community member.  He was a founding member of the Boone County Conservation District.  Mildred was an award winning and published photographer, who loved traveling and giving presentations of those travels and photos to church groups, club meetings, camera clubs, retirement homes, and schools.  They have graciously endowed an unrestricted fund for Boone County non-profit organizations, and established the Boone County Conservation District Fund.

Wilbur and William Cummings Grant Program

Wilbur and William Cummings were lifelong residents of Boone County.  Pursuant to their interests, a grant program was established that enhances the Boone County community.  The majority of the proceeds are available for the Boone County Fair Association and the Boone County Historical Society.  The balance is reserved for at-large community purposes.


Making Donations

Thank you for your interest in donating to the Boone County Community Foundation. With your donations we are able to help Boone County become a better place to live and work.

Online Donations
You may make an online donation using our PayPal Account by using the Donate Now button. If you have a Special Interest Area, Know the Name of the Fund, or in your gift is in Memory or Honor of Someone, please indicate that in the “How shall Boone County Community Foundation direct your donation?” area of the PayPal page or in the memo area of your check. 

Boone County Disaster Fund

Boone County has been a known area to be hit by tornadoes and other disasters. Everyone can remember or has heard about the tornado devastation from the 1967 disaster.  It changed the lives of everyone forever.  This fund managed by the Boone County Community Foundation and accepts monetary tax-deductible donations that will be used to support the mid- to long-term recovery of declared disasters in Boone County. > More

Boone County Council on Aging Endowment

The Boone County Council on Aging is a group of dedicated professionals working to provide programs, services and supports aimed at improving the lives of mature individuals, their families and caregivers in Boone and surrounding counties. > More

Boone County Historical Society

The Boone County Historical Museum was established in 1968 in the heart of historic downtown Belvidere. BCHM is open Tuesday through Saturday every week for visitors, guided school group tours,  special event rentals, and community events. > More

Regional Access & Mobilization Project, Inc. (RAMP)

RAMP empowers individuals with disabilities (all disabilities, all ages) through services and advocacy to live an independent life.  This is accomplished by partnering with them to make changes in their own lives, seek peer support and remove barriers. RAMP also advocates for  the implementation of current laws, promotion of needed legislation and improvement of existing systems for people with disabilities while working to diminish negative attitudes that threaten to impede equal access. > More

Boone County Conservation District Fund

The Boone County Conservation District is a locally governed agency whose mission is to “Preserve and manage natural areas and open spaces for ecological, educational, and recreational benefits of present and future generations.” The Boone County Conservation District (BCCD) currently owns and manages 3,500 acres of conservation lands. > More

Boone County Community Foundation

600 South State Street
Belvidere, IL 61008
(p) 815-544-7231
(f) 815-544-7221

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