Supporting Local Groups Through Matching Grants

  • Jan 28, 2016
  • Lessa Scherrer and Joanne Soper, Trustees

WHAT DO A TRAMPOLINE park, an art auction and a Challenge Box have in common? Besides the fun factor, these are just some of the wonderful activities being organized by Mensa Gifted Youth Coordinators. There is nothing hungry young minds like better than learning, and, unfortunately, many gifted children remain unchallenged in their school setting. That’s where Mensa’s gifted youth activities come in.

Most are informal — a park day, a Challenge Box and pizza party, a free program at the local library — but occasionally a bigger educational activity presents itself. Mensa kids in New York learned about kinetic and potential energy and how weak the force of gravity really is — at a trampoline park! Young Mensans in Dallas toured an art museum, and then, with a pretend price list and budget, played museum curator by choosing which paintings they would like to “buy” for their own museum. Families in Minnesota met to talk about games of skill and chance while they played and voted on their favorite Mensa Mind Games winners.

Your Mensa Foundation supported these gifted youth activities, and more, with matching grants to local groups. Each local group can apply for up to $200 per year to pay for things like planetarium shows, museum admissions and even behind-the-scenes visits to local theme parks. All that is asked in return is for the local group to share the costs, that Foundation monies are not used to pay for food or transportation (the local group can pay for those things as their match), that the GYC report back on how the event went and, that, whatever the activity, it must have an educational aspect to it. It really is quite amazing what Mensa’s volunteers are accomplishing with these matching grants from your Foundation.

New this year are Young Mensan Regional Gathering matching grants. The idea of a family-oriented gathering has been discussed for a long time. These new gatherings give young Mensans more opportunities to create those wonderful bonds of affinity and friendship that adult Ms so enjoy about the organization, while experiencing enhanced learning opportunities together.

Hosting a Gathering like this, however, requires funding. That is why your Foundation has expanded our grant program to include $500 grants specifically for events that serve more than one local group. Want to add a speaker of interest to families at your Regional Gathering? Need supplies for multiple educational activities or admission tickets for off-site field trips? Let your Foundation help. Only three $500 grants have been budgeted for 2016. For more information, or to apply for a matching RG grant, please contact our Foundation Director. Your Foundation needs your help to expand these types of programs, as well as all of the other programs you can be proud of as a Mensa member.

These grants — and all of the services the Foundation provides — are possible only as a result of your kind donations and volunteer hours. Please consider supporting the Foundation today.