HomePublicationsNewsletter ArchiveNewslettersVolume 20Issue 24Pokagon Fund Announces Operational Changes

On Tuesday, August 5, 2014, the Pokagon Fund (“Fund”) announced changes to its operations and funding allocation process at its annual Grantee Appreciation Event. The changes come amidst declining funding commitments in an effort to ensure that the Fund is well positioned to provide future allocations.

The Fund is a non-profit organization established in 2000 through an agreement between the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians (“Tribe”) and the City of New Buffalo, which has a 99-year term. It’s service area includes Chikaming Township, Three Oaks township, and New Buffalo Township. The Fund is separate and apart from the Local Revenue Sharing Board established to distribute revenue payments from the Tribe to local units of government and receives contributions from the net win received from electronic games of chance at the Tribe’s Four Winds Casino Resort according to a graduated payment schedule.

The decline in revenue is attributed to the agreement’s funding schedule, which phases in a decrease in the percentage of net win to be allocated to fund each year. The initial two years of payment, made in 2007 and 2008, were set at 2 percent of the net win, followed by 1 percent of net win from 2009-2011, and 0.75% of net win from 2012 through the remainder of the agreement’s term. However, according to presentation materials from the event, the annual total for grants provided by the Fund have increased each year, from a total annual awards of approximately $2.6 million in 2010/2011 to over $4.2 million in 2013/2014.

Accordingly, the presentation’s analysis notes that it is anticipated that the Fund would run out of discretionary income in June of 2015 if changes in the funding process did not occur. The proposed changes include reviewing grants on a quarterly basis (opposed to monthly), revised grant application forms to account for a more competitive review of grant requests and a $10,000 limit per grant request. The grant application changes will be reflected in the Fund’s operations beginning in January 2015.

The Fund’s 2013 Annual Report notes the numerous awards and initiatives that are undertaken by the Fund. These include numerous grants to local schools, museums, and public services, scholarships for high school students and adults, grants to addiction centers and charitable organizations, as well as other initiatives that benefit the Fund’s service area. For more information on the Pokagon Fund, please visit the Fund’s website at: http://www.pokagonfund.org/  


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