Blog

Blog

3 Steps to Prepare for a Successful Federal Grant Season

  Spring tends to be a busy time to apply for federal grant opportunities. There are several reasons why this time of year is so busy, but the main reason is based around the start of the federal fiscal year. The majority of available and new competitive grants are from discretionary federal funds that are annually approved and appropriated. The federal fiscal year begins October 1st (of course, assuming that Congress passes appropriations and there is not a government shutdown!). As a result, the federal government is working against a fall start date to issue the federal awards. The timeline typically looks something like this: Spring (March – May): Federal agencies release requests for funds (RFP) and/or notice of funding

READ MORE

Early Education Matching Grant Program Grantees Announced

  The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) named 30 organizations from 15 different Indiana counties as recipients of the Early Childhood Education Matching Grant, which will help provide quality early education for low-income children in Indiana. As we discussed in a previous blog article, the Early Education Matching Grant (EEMG) Program was created by the Indiana General Assembly during the last legislative session IC12-17.2-3.7.  This competitive grant will increase the enrollment of eligible low-income four year olds in high quality PreK programs. The grant program allows high-quality, early care and education programs to apply for matching funds to serve 4-year-old children from families whose incomes are below federal poverty guidelines.  It is separate and distinct from the pre-K

READ MORE

Small Business Facade Grants Available

Indianapolis’ Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) will be accepting applications for the Small Business Façade Improvement Program. The program is a product of the Fostering Commercial Urban Strategies program and awards grant money to retail and commercial property for the purpose of renovating street-front exteriors of space and building. Since 1992, LISC Indianapolis has been empowering residents to develop their communities into safe, attractive, and healthy neighborhoods. LISC’s mission reaches into a variety of initiatives, including initiatives in education, economic development, family, and health.  Through the Small Business Façade Improvement Program, LISC Indianapolis hopes to empower small businesses of Marion County to succeed economically and lead their neighborhoods towards community improvement. Eligible projects include renovations of building surface materials, signage,

READ MORE

Professional Development Opportunity: Youth Justice Leadership Institute

  The National Juvenile Justice Network’s Youth Justice Leadership Institute is seeking professionals to participate in their dynamic year-long fellowship program.  Each year, the NJJN chooses a class of ten fellows to learn about leadership within the juvenile justice system.  They have a particular focus on cultivating and supporting leaders of color, youth and family members who have a commitment to juvenile justice system reform and the skills to be emerging leaders in the field. This year-long fellowship pairs participants with mentors in the field and will participate in a combination of in-person and distance learning activities. Fellow’s main focus of study and development will be in three areas: leadership fundamentals, the juvenile justice system, and advocacy skill development. Rukia Lumumba,

READ MORE

3 Ways for Nonprofits to Refresh Their Annual Report

  Annual reports are a good thing and an opportunity for organizations to communicate important information to stakeholders.  The challenge is making annual reports compelling enough for your donors and stakeholders to read, so that they see the value of their investment in your organization! At Transform Consulting Group, we have helped several organizations with their annual report and are in the process of working on one right now.  Over the years, we have seen some pretty exciting changes and trends in how nonprofits are choosing to highlight their annual success and communicate their story to stakeholders.  Here are three ways to refresh your annual report: 1. Be Brief The label “annual report” is misleading as this does not need

READ MORE

STEM Summer Camp Opportunity at CDC

  In the United States, there is an increasing demand for skilled workers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).  However, we have an insufficient supply of skilled workers and students pursuing degrees in this field.  According to the U.S. Department of Labor, only 5% of U.S. workers are employed in fields related to science and engineering, yet they are responsible for more than 50% of our sustained economic expansion. “To succeed in this new information-based and highly technological society, students need to develop their capabilities in STEM to levels much beyond what was considered acceptable in the past.” (National Science Foundation) A significant gap remains for young people to pursue STEM careers.  As a result, significant funding is being

READ MORE

Who is Responsible for Fundraising at Nonprofits?

  The answer is simple – everyone!  The Executive Director, the Board of Directors, the staff, and even the volunteers all play a critical role in generating revenue (aka, fundraising) for the nonprofit organization.  Often, the above stakeholders involved in nonprofits spend too much time pointing fingers at who else is responsible instead of getting to work and raising money. The issues and causes that stakeholders support and are passionate about are too important to waste time pointing fingers.  Instead, here is a quick overview of the critical role that each stakeholder can play in growing and diversifying funds for your cause: Executive Director The majority of an Executive Director’s time should be spent fundraising.  As the leader, the Executive

READ MORE

Are You Ready for College Goal Sunday?

  Secretary of Education Arne Duncan just announced that we have made history in America with a new graduation rate of 80%.  While it is a time to celebrate that four out of five American students complete high school, we still have a long way to go to help all students achieve in high school and thrive in their future. As more students are graduating from high school, they are making plans to continue their education beyond high school.  College Goal Sunday is a community-wide effort to help college-bound students and their families complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  To be considered for available funding for college financial assistance, it’s imperative that students file their FAFSA by March

READ MORE

White House to Announce 15 More Promise Zones in the Next 3 Years

  Last month, the White House announced the first five Promise Zones: San Antonio, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Southeastern Kentucky, and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.  Fifteen more Promise Zones will be designated throughout the country in the next three years.  Based on the idea that your ZIP code should not determine your destiny, the Promise Zones initiative will provide local leaders with access to the federal agencies, tools and resources to help communities create jobs, increase access to quality, affordable housing, reduce crime and expand educational opportunities. Though the Promise Zones initiative does not provide cities with a financial award, designated Zones will work in close partnership with federal representatives and will have preferential access to existing grant programs.  Urban,

READ MORE

$10,000 Award for Summer Learning Programs

  The National Summer Learning Association, in partnership with the New York Life Foundation, is awarding a $10,000 prize to three high quality summer learning programs that are making a difference.  The New York Life Excellence in Summer Learning Award recognizes outstanding summer programs that demonstrate excellence in accelerating academic achievement and promoting healthy development for young people between kindergarten and twelfth grade. To be eligible for the award, applicants must: Become an Association member at www.summerlearning.org. (Joining the Association as a “Friend of Summer Learning” is a free service that will connect you to the latest news and updates.) If you are already an existing member, go straight to the New York Life Excellence Award Application page. Be a public

READ MORE