Category Archives: Fundraising Strategies

Why More Funders Should Collaborate

“Partner” and “collaborate” are the buzzwords in the non-profit sector.  The idea of partnership is not limited to the individual organizations administering programming and services, but also applies to the funders awarding grants and funding. AfiStock-588266018ter years of funders encouraging grantees to partner, they are taking their own advice and working collaboratively.

Funding in the non-profit world can be siloed, with organizations often competing for limited funding for similar programs or services. At the same time many funders focus on similar issues and have a common desire to make a difference.  An after-school youth tutoring program can easily apply to a dozen funders seeking resources for their program, because all of those funders have some interest in youth development and education. This means that after-school program is completing twelve separate grant applications that all request somewhat similar information in a slightly different package.  Some funders are taking note of this trend and working collaboratively to support common causes.

The idea that funders can make a bigger impact with their resources by working together rather than independently is enticing.  In Central Indiana, this is exactly what has happened through the launching of the  Summer Youth Program Fund. The Summer Youth Program Fund (SYPF) is a collaborative effort among funders who support organizations that provide summer programming for Marion County youth.  The funding effort is made up of 11 funding partners (public and private) who support over 200 summer youth programs in Marion County. These individual funders have come together all with a common interest to support programs working with youth over the summer.  

The benefits of this type of funding partnership include the following:

  • Efficiency for the grantees.  There is one application that the grantees complete to be considered for all funding opportunities.  The grantees can spend more time on their programming and staff development and less time writing applications.
  • Collective impact.  Through a unified application, the funders have an opportunity to clarify and unite the intended focus, goals, and outcomes, which could lead to greater impact in the community.
  • Improved programming.  By working together, the funders could share capacity building resources made available to the grantees, such as combined professional development and technology.
  • Accountability and monitoring.  With a unified grant application and clear focus for the services, the evaluation, monitoring, and reporting is transparent and upfront. Common assessments and evaluation tools could be shared with grantees to implement.Blog infographic

Collaborative funding certainly has several benefits for the organizations receiving funding and the funders.  If a funder is interested in a collaborative, there are some lessons learned to consider:

  1. Define your goals
  2. Establish operational procedures (e.g., application process, grantmaking, contracts)
  3. Identify affinity funders to potentially join the collaboration and share common interest
  4. Keep the focus on the grantees and adding value to the grantmaking process

GrantCraft, a service of the Foundation Centers, has created a Guide on Funder Collaboratives: Why and How Funders Work Together.  There are some great strategies and resources to help guide the process.   
We have worked with funders to develop and manage their grantmaking process.  If you would like to talk about enhancing your current grantmaking program or exploring a funder collaborative, give us a call or send us an email!  We would love to help you think through the process and see how we can improve your impact.

Share this article:Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on LinkedIn

Federal Grant Opportunity: YouthBuild

Nationally, there are more than 2.3 million low-income 16-24 year-olds who are not pursuing education, employment or training. In communities across the country, there are less young people who are educated, high skilled, and actively employed contributing citizens. This means communities are limiting their growth potential, and young people are limiting their possibility.

Screen Shot 2017-03-17 at 10.50.01 AMThis is where the national program, YouthBuild, can be a solution. Through YouthBuild programs, young people earn their education, learn construction skills and gain skills needed for future, long-term employment. The youth work with partners to build affordable housing in their neighborhoods as well as other community assets like schools, playgrounds, and community centers. As a result, the YouthBuild program has a ripple effect in communities by not just helping the youth, but the individuals and families getting access to affordable housing and the communities gaining important infrastructure as well as a skilled workforce.

YouthBuild formed a partnership with AmeriCorps, so many of the YouthBuild program sites are able to obtain valuable education awards for postsecondary education. In addition, the AmeriCorps program helps young people develop an identity as a community leader and active citizen in giving back to their communities.

Research on the program has shown positive outcomes for the youth participate in the program. YouthBuild programs lower recidivism rates by 40 percent. For every dollar invested in YouthBuild produces a return on investment of $7.80 up to $43.90.

YouthBuild Sites
YouthBuild Sites

For the past twenty years, YouthBuild has become a model program funded by the U.S. Department of Labor through a competitive grant process. The US Department of Labor just released the grant application for the next round of funding for YouthBuild grants and below is more information to know about the grant.

Some Key Facts to Know about this Federal Grant:

  • Grant applications are due May 9, 2017.
  • Eligible applicants are public or private non-profit agencies.
  • Individual grants will range from $700,000 to $1.1 million and require a 25 percent match from applicants, using sources other than federal funding.
  • For a more complete list of eligibility requirements and application details, download the Grant Opportunity Package here.

Transform Consulting Group has helped organizations apply for and receive federal grants. We use our program development and research and analysis services to help write a compelling grant proposal for our clients. If you are interested in moving forward on this grant or other grant initiatives, contact us today for a free consultation.

Share this article:Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on LinkedIn

Grant Opportunity: American Honda Foundation

AHF-LOGO-American-Honda-FoundationThe American Honda Foundation was established in 1984 by the American Honda Motor Company to celebrate it’s 25th anniversary of operation. Since it’s inception, the American Honda Foundation has given over $32 million to organizations across the United States. Eligible organizations must help to meet the needs of Americans in the areas of scientific and youth education.

The American Honda Foundation places a strong emphasis on youth education, and organizations wishing to apply should have a focus in at least one of the following seven fields of youth education:

  1. Science
  2. Technology
  3. Engineering
  4. Mathematics
  5. Environment
  6. Job Training
  7. Literacy

501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, public school districts and elementary schools are eligible to apply for American Honda Foundation grants. However, any organization must have at least two years of audited financial statements available. Interested applicants can apply online by first completing an eligibility quiz. Grants are accepted throughout the year in different quarters, for a schedule of due dates and reviews, visit the website.

Grants range from $20,000 to $75,000 over a one-year period, and can only be applied for one time within a twelve-month period. Any applicants that request less than $20,000 will not be considered for funding. Over the past five years, the American Honda Foundation has distributed approximately 27 grants per year.

Transform Consulting Group has helped organizations across the state of Indiana apply for local and nationwide grants. For help with your latest grant-writing project, contact us today for a free consultation!

Share this article:Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on LinkedIn

Federal Program Spotlight: AmeriCorps

acThis post is part of Transform Consulting Group’s blog series highlighting federal programs that provide education opportunities and/or youth development services in communities.

AmeriCorps is an initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) that leverages community service to tackle critical community issues such as poverty, education, public safety, health, and the environment. AmeriCorps programs are located in nonprofits, schools, public agencies, community centers, and faith-based groups across the country.

AmeriCorps was created under President Bill Clinton through the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993, incorporating Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) and the National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC). AmeriCorps just celebrated its 20th Anniversary, with over 900,000 Americans contributing to over 1 billion service hours. AmeriCorps VISTA also celebrated a recent anniversary, highlighting 50 years of volunteers serving to fight poverty across America.

AmeriCorps VISTA aims to combat poverty in local communities through capacity building. VISTA members commit to serving an agency for one year, working full-time on a specific project aimed at improving their organizational, financial, or administrative reach. Some examples include grant management, volunteer coordination, and food program design.

AmeriCorps VISTA differs from AmeriCorps State and NCCC service programs because VISTA members do not provide direct service. NCCC programs are available to citizens between the ages of 18 and 24, whereas AmeriCorps and VISTA only have a minimum age of 18 to serve.

AmeriCorps programs benefit nonprofits by providing service members that design, implement, and evaluate an organization’s programs to expand its impact. In addition, AmeriCorps programs provide citizens an opportunity to learn valuable work skills, earn money for education, and develop a greater appreciation for service. It is clear that AmeriCorps programs benefit organizations and service members alike.

Organizations may apply for a grant directly from the Corporation for National and Community Service if they are:

  • A national nonprofit organization that operates in two or more states
  • An Indian tribe
  • A consortia formed across two or more states, consisting of institutions of higher education or other nonprofits, including labor, faith-based, and other community organizations
  • A state or territory without a State Service Commission

Organizations may apply for a grant through the State Service Commission (i.e. Serve Indiana) if program activities take place in a single state and the organization is a:

  • State and local nonprofit organization
  • Community and faith-based organization
  • State, local, and higher education institution
  • State and local government
  • U.S. territory

Transform Consulting Group can help you plan and strategize how to use AmeriCorps resources to meet your organization’s goals, as well as help you write your next AmeriCorps grant application. Transform Consulting Group has successfully helped other organizations like the United Way of Central Indiana and Early Learning Indiana receive AmeriCorps funding. Contact us today for a free consultation!

Share this article:Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on LinkedIn

New Federal Grant: American Apprenticeship Grant Program

UntitledThe U.S. Department of Labor has recently announced the winners of a new grant program that awarded $175 million to 46 public-private business partnerships in September of 2015. The American Apprenticeship Grant Program was created with the intent of increasing the development of apprenticeship programs across the United States.

Grant-winners have pledged to hire over 34,000 apprentices in leading-edge industries such as healthcare, IT, and advanced manufacturing. The 34,000 apprentices must be hired and trained within five years. To make this happen, the American Apprenticeship Grant Program aims to achieve the following goals:

  • Launch apprenticeship models in new, high-growth fields to equip workers with advanced skills like data analysis, mechatronics, and behavioral health assessment.
  • Align apprenticeships to pathways for further learning and career advancement such as embedding industry-recognized skill certifications or rewarding workplace learning with college credit.
  • Scale apprenticeship models that work to create more access to apprenticeships in more areas of the country, to more diverse populations.

The American Apprenticeship Grant Program will create more opportunities for hard-working Americans to acquire the skills they need to succeed in good jobs that are available now. Click here for a list of programs underway in cities and states across the country.

Transform Consulting Group applauds this initiative to strengthen the American workforce through on-the-job learning. Transform Consulting Group has experience helping organizations submit successful college and career-readiness program grant applications. Let Transform Consulting Group help your organization fund with federal dollars today!

Share this article:Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on LinkedIn

Grant Opportunity with KaBOOM! Playground

kaboom -playground-5-8-10 webChildhood obesity rates have tripled since 1980 and stayed the same for the past ten years. The average child spends nearly 75 hours a week immersed in various forms of media. With fewer children playing outside and a rise of childhood obesity, many organizations are taking steps to change this trajectory.

KaBOOM! is working to partner with communities to make active play space available for youth across the country. Through the development of playgrounds, KABOOM! is working to bring the importance of play to the forefront. KaBOOM! offers a number of grant opportunities for organizations wishing to begin or modify a playground project. KABOOM has three grant categories:

  1. Build it with KaBOOM! Grants: Provides planning grants to design your playground and funding to then transform the space. The grantee will be provided with a Project Manager, funds, resources and tools to assist community officials in designing and building a playground that is unique to the community.
  2. Build it Yourself Grants: Offers $15,000 grants to help community organizations purchase playground equipment and complete the assembling process on their own with remote assistance from KaBOOM!.
  3. Creative Play Grants: Enhances existing play spaces through creativity, communication and collaboration in play.

Each KaBOOM! grant has a set of requirements that must be met before the applicant can apply. For further information on grant requirements, review the grant application guide. For information on additional playground grants, check out these resources that KaBOOM! highlights on their website.

Transform Consulting Group assists organizations with assessing their current funding and identifying new revenue opportunities. To learn more, contact us today for a free consultation!

Share this article:Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on LinkedIn

Grant Funding Opportunity with David and Lucile Packard Foundation

thumbnail-early-learning

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation focuses on “improving the lives of children, enabling the creative pursuit of science, advancing reproductive health, and conserving and restoring the earth’s natural systems.” Since 1964 the Foundation has helped programs and people across the nation through four program areas:

  1. Conservation and Science
  2. Population and Reproductive Health
  3. Children, Families and Community
  4. Local Grant-making

One of the programs, the Children, Families and Community Program awards grants to organizations that support the following three causes:

  1. Early Learning Provides support to adults caring for children through investing in training for caregivers and educators and providing resources to parents and families.
  2. Children’s Health: Funds state-based child advocacy programs, national organizations and, at times, local organizations that demonstrate best practices in improving child and parent health outcomes.
  3. After-school and Summer Enrichment:Supports high-quality after-school and summer enrichment programs.

It is the goal of the Children, Families and Community Program to improve outcomes for children across the United States and ensure that every child gets a strong start in life.

Organizations eligible to apply for grants supported by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation vary but must meet one of the three cause areas. Applications are accepted at different time periods throughout the year. Visit their grants database to get an idea of previous recipients who have been funded. Available grants range from $15,000-$200,000+ in award amounts.

Transform Consulting Group assists organizations to both increase and diversify their funding to support their mission. To learn more, contact us today for a free consultation!

Share this article:Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on LinkedIn

Federal Program Spotlight: Farm to School

This blog is part of a series highlighting federal programs that support children, families and communities.

Just-for-Kids Veggie-Garden-Box gardeningThe United States Department of Agriculture’s Farm to School Grant Program was created with the purpose of assisting eligible programs in creating a farm to school program to improve access to fresh, local food in schools. Managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service, the Farm to School Grant Program not only promotes the use of farm fresh foods, but also provides education and awareness about healthy eating for children and educators.

There are four grant categories for which an organization can apply:

  1. Support Service Grants: Intended for local and state agencies, agricultural producers, Indian tribal organizations and other non-profit entities (aka, the “intermediaries”) to further develop and provide support for the Farm to School programs.
  2. Implementation Grants: For schools to help further develop existing Farm to School programs.
  3. Planning Grants: For schools who are getting started to develop and structure their Farm to School Program.
  4. Training Grants: Intended for local and state agencies, agricultural producers, Indiana tribal organizations and other non-profit entities to help in training individuals in technical assistance and the strengthening of local food systems.

Implementation and support service awards range from $65,000 – $100,000; Planning awards range from $20,000 – $45,000; and training awards range from $15,000 – $50,000. Matching funds of 25% are required for all four grant types.

The Farm to School program has already reported success. In the 2011-2012 school year, the Farm to School program helped approximately 40,328 schools, totaling 23,513,237 children across the nation. In Indiana, 655 schools (representing 402,732 children) participated in the Farm to School program in the 2011-2012 school year.

Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation reported positive reactions from children, stating that: “A local farmer comes during Farm to School Month in October for a meet your farmer day. The kids were so excited about his visit we double our vegetables sales those days and the days that follow!”

While the FY 2016 grant application deadline has already passed, information about the next grant round can be found on their website or by signing up for the Farm to School Newsletter.

Transform Consulting Group applauds programs encouraging healthy and positive child development as well as school-community partnership. For more information about our program development and grant writing services, contact us today!

Share this article:Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on LinkedIn

New Pre-K Family Engagement Program with AmeriCorps

Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 4.49.36 PMEarly Learning Indiana is working to engage parents in their child’s education and development and help parents support their child’s learning at home. Through a newly awarded AmeriCorps grant provided by Serve Indiana, Early Learning Indiana will be able to build the capacity of Indiana pre-k programs to engage parents.

A growing body of research suggests that meaningful engagement of families in their children’s early learning supports school readiness and later academic success. As a means to supporting family engagement and children’s learning, it is crucial that programs implement strategies for developing partnerships with families.

The good news is that parents of all income-levels desire and want to be more engaged in their child’s early education. A 2014 nationally representative poll commissioned by the Kellogg Foundation found that 42% of U.S. parents believe that involvement in their child’s education is most critical between birth and through preschool.

The addition of the AmeriCorps grant will provide approximately 15 AmeriCorps members who will work with high-quality pre-k programs in three of the five counties (Allen, Marion and Vanderburgh) participating in the state of Indiana’s On My Way Pre-K pilot program. The AmeriCorps members will train and support providers’ capacity to engage families and develop on-going partnerships with parents and community based organizations.

Transform Consulting Group applauds Early Learning Indiana’s leadership in applying the latest research on family engagement while addressing a critical gap in Indiana’s pre-k programs. Transform Consulting Group was hired by Early Learning Indiana to help them strategize a partnership with AmeriCorps to support the engagement of families in high quality pre-k programs and assist them in completing the AmeriCorps grant application.

Need help updating a program design or applying for a grant? Transform Consulting Group stays current with the latest research. We can use this experience to align your program and organization to “what’s working”. Contact us today, no matter whether the project is large or small!

Share this article:Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on LinkedIn

Transformational Organization Spotlight: Wabash County Promise

wabashThe Wabash County YMCA is “planting seeds of hope,” in its youth through a new initiative: Wabash County Promise. Wabash County Promise is a community-wide initiative to promote college and career readiness in students in grades K-12.

The initiative includes four key college and career ready components:

  1. Educational Savings: At school registration, families enroll in a CollegeChoice529 college savings account and may receive help in doing so. Students with a college savings account are more likely to enroll in and complete college.
  2. College & Career Discovery: All students participate in college and career discovery in the classroom throughout the month of September. In the younger grades this includes lessons such as: “What do I want to be when I grow up,” and “Who are the champions in my life who will help support me along the way?”
  3. Walk into My Future: “College Go Week” in September provides college visits for students in Grades K-3 to Manchester University to participate in hands-on activities, experience a college campus and participate in a mall walk that symbolizes walking into the future.
  4. Engaging Champions: Students are encouraged to identify champions in their life who will encourage them and contribute financially to their college savings account. Students in grades K-4 who raise at least $25 receive a matching gift of $75 for their college accounts.

In the first year of the Wabash County Promise:

  • Over 1,600 youth visited the campus of Manchester University for the “Walk into My Future Event.”
  • 9 out of 10 teachers observed increases in students’ hope for their futures.
  • Parental awareness of 529 plans increased from 41% to 82%.
  • Students with 529 accounts in grades K-3 increased from 6% to over 72%.

Transform Consulting Group applauds the community of Wabash County to work together in facilitating college and career readiness in all of its youth. Transform Consulting Group supports college and career readiness programs in having clear outcomes and tracking progress on the attainment of their post-secondary education goals. Contact us or visit our website to learn more!

Share this article:Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on LinkedIn