Last year our foundation officially launched and was granted 501(c)(3) accreditation. Since then, we have been working to build the important structures needed and setting out the criteria for our grant approval processes. Recently our founder, Aquatrols President and CEO Matthew Foster was featured in an interview with Turf Matters to discuss these milestones as well as give an update on what is coming up for The FairWays Foundation.
Watch the full video or read the transcribed interview below:
TurfMatters: “Well this time last year one of the highlights of the show was the launch of the Aquatrols foundation which drew a big audience lot of appreciation. Now I’m back with Matt Foster, the CEO and President of Aquatrols 12 months on and how have those 12 months been Matt, since the announcement of the launch of the foundation?”
Matthew Foster: “They’ve been fantastic. There’s been a lot of excitement around it. We officially received 501C3 certification from the Internal Revenue Service – that was established toward the end of 2019. We’ve already had our first board meeting for 2020. We’re very excited to start getting some grant submissions so we’re going to have a window to receive grant applications this April, so just coming up here in a few short weeks, and that window will be for the entire month. We’ll take applications ranging from $1,000 to $25,000 requests and we’ve got about $180,000 to give away this year.”
TurfMatters: “Wow that’s fantastic! So if I was a course manager or a golf club what sort of project would I think, ‘hang on I’ve got a chance of getting some money here’, what would I have to do and what boxes would I have to tick to please you guys in the foundation?”
Matthew Foster: “Absolutely. The most important thing is that it is really needs to be a locally based endeavor. We’re looking for projects that are concerned with conservation and stewardship and biodiversity and education, but we really want to make sure that they’re local to the communities. We’re not looking to pay for somebody’s capital improvement of course, but any of those projects would be available and it’s really again more for industry use as opposed to academic use.”
TurfMatters: “So over the last 12 months, other than getting your certification from the IRS, what other background work have you been carrying out to get to the point where you are today?”
Matthew Foster: “Unfortunately it’s incredibly boring. It’s a tremendous amount of administrative work, also establishing the board. So we have Christine Kane who is president of Audubon International also sitting on our board and so establishing the board of directors and then really establishing what the framework of the organization is going to be and understanding what kind of funding we’re going to have, what are the timelines going to be for distributing them, and all that fun stuff.”
TurfMatters: “Just to go back, can you just reiterate again the motivation and vision that you had for the foundation?”
Matthew Foster: “It’s probably my favorite question and it really comes in two parts – number one it’s really inspired by the people in the industry…the men and women that are out there doing good deeds and good work locally in their community today. The other piece is really around… you know there’s a narrative today in the society where it feels like people would rather argue about the environment than maybe do something about it and I’ve got to be honest with you, at Aquatrols we’re tired of listening to the arguing so we decided to do something about it… so we established The Fairways Foundation.”
TurfMatters: “As you say it’s lovely to see anyone doing something positive and constructive rather than just looking at what’s not gone right in the past. So listen, thank you again for launching it last year and wish you all the luck. Come April when the applications start pouring in…..and good luck with the whole project, we at Turf matters are here to support in whatever way we can.”
Matthew Foster: “Thank you very much and if anybody wants to get more information, they can actually go to thefairwaysfoundation.com which is all one word the fairways foundation dot com or talk to an Aquatrols teammate that can tell them all about it.”
Turf Matters: “Brilliant! Thanks very much, good luck, thank you.”
For more information about The FairWays Foundation or to learn more about how to apply for a grant, contact [email protected].