Grant Writing Advice and Tips: The Grant Helpers Blog

Supporting Criminal Justice Professionals

Posted by Stephanie Heiland on Tue, Jan 15, 2019 @ 11:01 AM

justice-2574945_1920Criminal justice professionals play an integral role in building safer and stronger communities – as lawyers, law enforcement officers, forensic scientists, and more. In addition to the number of grant programs funded by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to provide criminal justice services in our communities, support of this career path is also critical.

Criminal justice experts keep our justice system running smoothly while spearheading efforts to reform its broken parts.  This work is crucial to reducing and preventing crime.

 Entering the criminal justice field with an earned degree better prepares these professionals to protect both our communities and individual rights, as well as advocate for much-needed criminal justice reform. Learn more about earning an online degree in Criminal Justice:  Associate  Bachelor’s  Master’s  Doctorate
Additionally, state-specific certification requirements and a directory of in-state schools with criminal justice programs can be found here.

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Resources provided by CriminalJustice.com

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Our services are completely customizable to your needs. Contact us today and our grant expert will walk you through the process. And remember, the first consultation is always free. 

Topics: resources for criminal justice professionals, DOJ grants

Unique Grants To Benefit Seniors

Posted by Vickie Garton-Gundling on Mon, Jan 7, 2019 @ 09:01 AM

senior menWhen most people hear “grants for seniors,” they immediately think of grants to start a new senior center or grants to improve activities in senior homes. Such grants abound, and there’s no doubt that offering varied activities in senior homes benefits residents. However, there are also many others ways to enhance the lives of seniors. Here are a few grant opportunities that benefit seniors in unique ways.

Help Seniors Learn: A New Definition for “Senior in College”
The Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation has provided over $2.6 million to colleges and universities that help women over 25 finish their Bachelor’s degrees. Any four-year college or university may apply for funding.  For information on the application process and deadlines, contact the foundation by phone (609-924-7022) or email (info@newcombefoundation.org).

Help Seniors Remember the Good Times
According to The Alzheimer's Association, “one in 10 people age 65 and older has Alzheimer's dementia.” Since 1982, the Alzheimer Association’s International Research Grant Program has provided $435 million dollars in grants to institutions whose research projects help the global community learn more about this disease and improve treatment and care options for afflicted individuals. The application guidelines and deadlines vary, so please visit the Association’s grant page to learn more about the research grants to which you’d like to apply.

Help Seniors Feel Like a Child Again
Over the last several years, many new and innovative initiatives have been trending to help provide more companionship for elderly people living in senior homes. The Intergenerational Learning Center in Seattle’s Mount Saint Vincent Care Center for seniors is just one example of a trend to help connect the youngest and oldest members of society by placing a daycare within a senior center. Senior homes can therefore partner with existing or aspiring daycares and preschools to apply for educational grants, such as the Lego Community Fund grant.

Help Stop Senior Hunger at Home
Senior citizens are particularly vulnerable to hunger issues. Financial constraints, physical ailments, and lack of transportation are just a few of the issues common among older adults that lead to food insecurity. To support these groups in need, many community organizations around the country provide home-delivered meal service to senior citizens and/or people who are homebound. While there are some governmental grant programs to help fund meal delivery initiatives, many businesses have also stepped up to provide grants in this area. Ameriprise and Walmart are two such examples.  

 

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The Grant Helpers assists schools, non-profit and local governments develop strategies for identifying and applying for grant funds to achieve their goals. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn how we can help.

Topics: grants for the elderly, senior citizens, looking for grants, finding funding, women's economic empowerment, educational opportunities, grants, aging, elderly, older Americans, grants for senior citizens, education funds, food program grants, food grants, education grant

Professional Development Grants for Math and Science Teachers

Posted by Vickie Garton-Gundling on Tue, Dec 4, 2018 @ 10:12 AM

beakersIt is well known the United States ranks much lower in science and math education outcomes than many other countries (Pew Research Center, 2017). As a result, government entities, national organizations, businesses, and private foundations are investing funding for teacher professional development so today’s educators can better train tomorrow’s innovators in the fields of science and math. Below is just a sampling of the myriad of grants available for professional development for science and math teachers.

General STEM Professional Development Grants

The National Education Association (NEA) Foundation: Learning and Leadership Grants

Though the NEA Learning and Leadership Grants are offered to teachers in any field, at present the NEA states it will give preference to teachers who seek funds to travel to professional development events for STEM fields or “global competence” improvement. Applicants must be current NEA members working at a public institution, and either groups or individuals may apply. In additional to educational groups and teachers, other educational professionals—such as bus drivers, custodial staff, and food service staff—are also encouraged to apply. Awards are for either $2,000 or $5,000, and there are three deadlines each year: February 1st, June 1st, and October 15th.

U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science: Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship

This grant / fellowship provides funding for K-12 teachers to gain real-world professional development by working at a Federal agency or Congressional office for eleven months. Participants have the opportunity to affect national education policies while learning valuable information about the latest innovations in their educational fields. To be eligible, teachers must be U.S. citizens who are currently employed as a STEM educator at a U.S. public or private school. Additionally, all applicants must have at least five full years of STEM teaching experience. For the full eligibility requirements, see the Eligibility section of the FAQs.  The application period is typically mid-August to mid-November, and this year’s deadline for the 2019-2020 term is November 15th, 2018.

Science Professional Development Grants

The National Weather Association Foundation (NWAF): Sol Hirsch Education Fund Grants

 This grant supports K-12 educators who seek professional development to improve their knowledge and their school’s programming specifically related to meteorology. Funds may be used toward coursework, workshops, conference, or other professional development events that can help educators improve their teaching activities in the field of meteorology. Awards are in the amount of $750. The application period will open in Spring 2019. 

The American Chemical Society (ACS): Hach High School Chemistry Classroom Grant
 
The ACS provides grants for anything that will enhance student learning and leadership in the field of chemistry. As the ACS recognizes that knowledgeable teachers are an essential first step to productive classroom learning, professional development is one of the areas this grant funds. Grants are for $1,500,
and the application period will open again on February 1st, 2019. 

The National Science Teacher Association: Science Education Awards

The NSTA offers two different Science Education Awards: the Distinguished Informal Science Education Award and the Distinguished Service to Science Education Award. The Informal award is available to non-classroom science educators, such as those who teach at museums or community centers. The Service to Science award is available to those who have shown long-term, formal contributions to science education; this award is geared toward classroom teachers and other formal science community leaders. All applicants for either grant must be NSTA members. The award is attendance at the NSTA National Conference, including $500 toward general expenses and three night’s worth of lodging. Applications for the Informal award are due December 18th, 2018. Applications for the Distinguished Service award are due December 1st of each year.


Math Professional Development Grants

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Grants

The NCTM offers more than 20 professional development grant programs annually for math teachers. There are grants available for teachers at all levels of math education, though this organization primarily offers funding to K-12 math teachers. Whether your school needs money for professional development in-service activities, innovative math education curriculum development, research, continuing teacher education, or conference funding, the NCTM has something for you.

Please review the eligibility requirements for the particular grant(s) to which you want to apply. All NCTM grant applications are due either at the start of November or the start of May each year.  

 

The Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE): Elementary Mathematics Specialist ProgramThe

AMTE program offers elementary educators currently teaching in non-math fields funding for professional development activities, such as college coursework or other learning opportunities, toward earning a credential in elementary mathematics. Applications must be credentialed teachers, teacher leaders, or coaches who have a formal elementary school certification or credential and who have taught at an elementary school for three or more full years. Awards are for $2,000, and applications are typically due June 15th of each year.

 

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Pew Research Center, “U.S. Students’ Academic Achievement Still Lags That Of Their Peers in Many Other Countries,” 2017.

Topics: grants for teacher development, teacher development grants, steam education grants, stem education grants, grants for steam, steam, grants for teachers, grant, grants for stem, government grants, federal education grants

Strategic Decisions Regarding Letters of Introduction

Posted by Carol Timms on Tue, Oct 30, 2018 @ 10:10 AM

decisionsMany grantmaking organizations—especially small, private foundations—do not accept proposals for initial funding requests. Instead, they require grantseekers to submit a letter of introduction (LOI), also known as a letter of interest, letter of inquiry, letter of intent, or letter of request (LOR). Often, LOIs are requested by foundations as a tool to determine which projects they will be invited to submit a full proposal. While each grantmaking organization’s requirements for these letters may vary, most funders want LOIs of no more than one to three pages that describe the project for which you’re requesting funding and indicate the amount of funding for which you’re asking.

But is writing LOIs (as opposed to grant proposals) really worth doing? There are two main strategic approaches to consider: sending many LOIs – vs- fewer full proposals. To determine the best strategy for your organization, consider some of the general pros and cons of LOI writing when seeking grant funding.

Pros

-- LOIs are brief and quick to write.

Most full grant proposals require multiple pages of specific information regarding your funding request, including a project description, timeline, itemized budget, and measurable goals and outcomes. Therefore, planning your project and then writing a good proposal can take days, weeks, or even months. Because LOIs require much less verbiage and rely on more general information, an experienced writer can prepare a persuasive LOI quickly. If you have a collection of documents and text from other proposals and LOIs, the task can be even easier.


-- LOIs require less specific information than proposals, LOIs can be written and submitted early in the project-planning phase.

As noted above, the specific information most grant proposals require means your organization will need to have a thoroughly planned project before you can write persuasive proposals likely to receive funding. Since most LOIs require only a project description, a short statement of need, and the amount of money you’re requesting, you can submit LOIs and gain interest in your project during the brainstorming phase of project planning.

-- LOIs are more easily reusable.

Not only are LOIs a time-saver because they are brief and thus quick to write, but the more general nature of the content in LOIs means you can write a single LOI and send it to multiple funding organizations with only minor changes (such as the name of the grantmaking organization).

Cons


-- LOIs set brevity limits thereby limiting the ability to convey your story. 

The brevity of LOIs can be both a blessing and a curse. Though a brief letter is quick to write, LOIs can also be very challenging to write because it can be hard to fit all the most persuasive aspects of your proposed project into such a short medium. Therefore, writers must be familiar with how to prioritize the most persuasive information.

--Receiving funding from writing an LOI is less likely than receiving funding from a proposal.

Many organizations that accept LOIs rather than proposals are small, private foundations. Such organizations often lack formalized grant request review procedures and have limited funding available. Conversely, many organizations that accept proposals have more formalized procedures so that you can be sure your proposal request will be reviewed. Larger organizations with formal proposal procedures also tend to have more funding to give.

One potential exception to this general trend is local foundations. Many times, if you apply to a small, private foundation in your immediate area, you stand a higher chance of getting funding than if you submit an LOI (or even a proposal) to a regional or national entity. In such instances, though, it is still important to network with the local foundation, if possible, to increase your chances of funding.

--Receiving meaningful feedback on an LOI is unlikely.

One potential  Funding organizations use LOIs as a quick-sort mechanism. Since the goal is speed, the organizations are not inclined to provide any feedback about why your project fell outside their funding priorities.

Optimal Strategy

As you determine what’s best for your organization, realize you won’t have a choice about the type of application a granting organization accepts. Rather, your choice in each instance is to determine if the LOI or complete grant is a good fit for the granting organization and, therefore, the best use of your time. Consider the Pros and Cons presented here to help make that decision.

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Still not sure whether to make LOI-writing part of your organization’s grantseeking strategy? The Grant Helpers can assist you with developing your grant strategy or help your organization write persuasive LOIs. Contact us today!

Topics: securing grants, grant project development, grant strategies, grant proposal, grant, grant funding, applying for grants, grant planning, grants writing, Grant Writing and Planning, letter proposal, letter of intent, LOI, grants, Grant Writing Tips, grant tips

Rebuilding After A Disaster

Posted by Carol Timms on Tue, Oct 23, 2018 @ 16:10 PM

Immediately after a disaster, governmental agencies, volunteers and non-profits respond en masse to the affected area. rebuildThese entities provide essential health and human services. In turn, granting organizations support these first responders by offering grants for general expenses and specific special interests.

The Grant Helpers appreciates the efforts of the first responders. To say Thank You, we'd like to offer you a half-price Opportunity Search in January to replenish your budget. The cost for an Opportunity Search is usually $250 but for organizations assisting our neighbors affected by Hurricane Florence, Hurricane Michael or the wildfires in the Western US we are offering it for $125. The Opportunity Search will identify potential funders to whom you can apply for grant funds. It is our job to sift through many possible funding sources as listed in the databases to which we subscribe. After reviewing thousands of possible funding sources, we will provide you information on 3 who would be an excellent fit for your organization. We know you’re busy now serving the public so contact us in early January to receive this special price.

 The following are some of the organizations offering grants to support those who help:

 Support for Non-Profits

The Astellas USA Foundation will provide immediate response when needed. 

Both Walgreen’s Charitable Donations Program and Wells Fargo Charitable Contributions Program will support disaster relief programs across the nation.

Animals

Both Banfield and PetSmart Charities will support programs designed to aid animals during natural disasters. 

Schools and Libraries

Dollar General’s Beyond Words Program and the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries provide funds to help school and public libraries rebuild and restock after a disaster.

School Football Programs

USA Football, in conjunction with the NFL Foundation, provides equipment donations to youth and high school football organizations that have been affected by floods, earthquakes, fire, other natural disasters, and theft. 

Farmers

Farm Aid supports family farmers in crisis. Contact them through their hotline at 1-800-Farm-Aid or visit their website.  

Craft Artists

Craft artists in areas affected by natural disasters can benefit from grants, zero-interest loans and other services from the Craft Emergency Relief Fund

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The Grant Helpers assists schools, non-profit and local governments develop strategies for identifying and applying for grant funds to achieve their goals. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn how we can help.

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When Disaster Strikes

Posted by Carol Timms on Tue, Oct 16, 2018 @ 14:10 PM

Every day we hear news of natural disasters. Across the country and around the world we hear reports of hurricanes,hurricane widespread fires, earthquakes, typhoons, volcanoes, and tsunamis. One of our readers, Bradley D., suggested we share some useful articles and advice to prepare for and react to a natural disaster.

Plan Ahead

Before there’s even a whisper of a disaster, take inventory of your belongings. This can be as simple as walking through your home taking photos to upload to the cloud. This will make filing claims easier.

Also, develop a plan of action if there is a disaster. Disasters that happen with little or no warning such as fires, tornadoes and earthquakes require a different plan than predicted disasters such as hurricanes. Know where to take cover. Planning in advance can mitigate loss. Consider maintaining extra supplies such as food, water, canned goods, and medicine. If you have warning, prepare an evacuation bag for each member of the household – including your pets.

Document Everything

In the event of a disaster, document your losses and expenses. Take pictures of the damage and meet with the insurance adjuster in person if possible. If possible, don’t dispose of anything until you have a chance to meet with the insurance adjuster. Then, keep a list of what you’ve had to throw away including spoiled food.

Keep all receipts related to being displaced including housing, food, etc. Kiplinger offers this article sharing 8 steps to getting your insurance claim paid quickly. 

Angie’s List offers several articles regarding rebuilding and choosing the best contractors.

Government Help

State, local and federal governmental agencies work with non-profits and utilities to offer a variety of necessary services during a disaster. Information on services can be found at DisasterAssistance.gov and on FEMA’s website. FEMA lists disaster recovery centers and establishes a specific page for significant disasters like Hurricane Michael. These pages offer information about services available to help those affected. 

 

We hope you stay safe. Thank you Bradley for offering these practical resources to share with our readers. Our next blog post will identify grant opportunities to assist in rebuilding.

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The Grant Helpers assists school, non-profit and local governments develop strategies for identifying and applying for grant funds to achieve their goals. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn how we can help.

 

 

Topics: disaster, public safety, emergency management services, EMS, FEMA, disaster preparedness, natural disaster

Two Ways To Stretch Your Construction Funds

Posted by Carol Timms on Thu, Oct 4, 2018 @ 15:10 PM

ConstructionConstruction and renovation projects often result in unexpected expenses. When those projects involve energy improvements, schools, local governments and non-profits can employ a variety of funding sources to stretch project budgets. In addition to grants, it is useful to include utility incentives and performance contracting. 

 

Utility Incentives

Utilities often offer a variety of incentives for the installation of energy efficient equipment and lighting.  These incentives often apply to renovation and new construction projects. Contact your local utility to determine what incentives are available. 

Performance Contracting

Performance contracting is considered a budget neutral solution. Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) first conduct energy audits to determine projected energy and maintenance savings resulting from the elements of the project. They then offer a guaranteed projection of savings. Project costs are not paid up front but, rather, are treated as installment contracts or leases. The client pays in installments using energy and maintenance savings. If the guaranteed savings are not achieved in any given period, the client doesn’t pay for that period. 

In addition to the benefits of paying with savings, performance contracting also offers the following benefits:

  • Single Contract – Accredited ESCOs manage the construction process
  • Fixed Price – The contracts specifically state there will be no change orders
  • Guarantees – If energy savings aren’t as predicted, the client doesn’t pay for that time period
  • Energy Savings Continue After Contract Ends
  • Clients Benefit From a Relationship With a Trusted Energy Advisor 

Some ESCOs also provide customer service after the sale including grant writing services.

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When planning a construction project, contact The Grant Helpers to assist you in developing your funding portfolio.  Contact us today for a free consultation to get started.

Topics: grant budget, grant strategies, grant funding, finance grants, resources, budget, areas of funding, energy funding, non-profit, find matching funds, find matching funds for grants, municipal development funds, city development funds, nonprofit, finding funding, funding sources, nonprofit funding, municipality funding, grants for energy reduction, grant sources, grants for green projects, green grants, municipal grant, educational grants, educational funding, more grant dollars

Grants for Art and Music Education

Posted by Lauren Albright on Thu, Sep 27, 2018 @ 12:09 PM

Grants for Art and Music Education
Arts Education
“Where words fail, music speaks.”
–Hans Christian Andersen

“A work of art is above all an adventure of the mind.”
-Eugene Ionesco

It is well established that art and music education help students develop and excel in many important physical, mental, and social learning aspects.
Yet these education programs are often the first on the chopping block when federal, state, and school organizations struggle with dwindling education budgets. For those schools and teachers struggling to maintain crucial art and music programs due to financial constraints, grants are one of many great resources for support.

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The National Endowment for the Arts

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) funds new and existing projects that promote the arts. NEA grants are available to non-profit organizations, state or local government agencies, school districts, and federally-recognized tribal communities or tribes; all applicant entities must have at least a three-year prior history of arts programming.

Two of the NEA’s four annual grants are currently open for the 2018 cycle: 

  • Art Works Grant: This grant funds projects that explore how art relates to and enriches various cultures and their beliefs and values. Award amounts are typically between $10,000 and $100,000, and grant awardees must cost share/match the award amount. This grant typically has two deadlines annually: one in late February and one in late July.
  • Challenge America Grant: This grant supports projects that make the arts more available to underprivileged individuals and areas. Award amounts are for up to $10,000, and grant awardees must cost share / match the award amount. The deadline for this grant usually in late April.

The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation

In the spirit of its namesake 1995 movie about the inspiring effects of high school music education programs, The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation offers instrument grants to low-income or otherwise underprivileged schools. Grants are typically provided either to minimize or eliminate instrument sharing or to replace aging, ineffective instruments. Applications are by invitation only. Please review the Foundation’s website for more information on school eligibility requirements and to contact the Foundation for further information about becoming an invited grant applicant.

Lily Sarah Grace

This organization’s Stepping Stone Grant provides funding to K-5 educators who want to integrate the arts into their existing classroom curricula. All program proposals must follow Lily Sarah Grace’s distinctive “Arts-infused, inquiry-based learning” model (AIIBL), which focuses on five critical aspects or outcomes of art-integration in the classroom: community, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and communication. All K-5, Title I schools / educators are eligible to apply for these small grants of up to $450.  The application deadline is typically at the end of April each year. For more information on the Stepping Stone Grant’s unique requirements, including the grant proposal rubric, please visit the website link above.

The Crewe Foundation

The Crew Foundation provides monetary support for initiatives that help underprivileged children identify and develop their artistic and musical talents. Only non-profit organizations in the state of Maine that have existing, devoted fine arts or music programs may apply. Applications are due December 31st of each year, decisions are made by April 30th of the following year, and funds are subsequently dispersed between June 30th and September 30th.

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Need money, supplies, or other resources to help keep the arts and music alive in your school? The Grant Helpers can assist you in your grant search and application process.  Contact us today for a free consultation to get started.

Photo Credit: Pawel Loj


 

Topics: performing arts, grants for children, steam education grants, steam, grant, grant proposal, grants for youth, grants for at risk youth, music education grants, art grants, disadvantaged youth grants, disadvantaged youth, youth grants, at risk youth, arts, youth education, schol grants, grants for new music instruments, grants for music education, music grants, art instruction, grants for the arts, grants for art education, art education grant, funding sources, school grant, 501(c)(3), arts grants, art grant, educational grants

Grants to Help the Homeless

Posted by Vickie Garton-Gundling on Wed, Aug 29, 2018 @ 13:08 PM

Grants to Help the Homeless

Homeless from ClipArt
While many people experience America as a “land of plenty,” with opportunities and creature comforts abounding, sadly nearly 554,000 people in our country do not have a home (U.S. News, 2017). Many different factors can lead to homelessness, including economic factors, mental health, and situational issues. Therefore, organizations that seek to combat homelessness must use a variety of techniques and offer diverse services to tackle this multifaceted problem. Whether your non-profit agency seeks funding for programs to support immediate basic needs for those who are homeless or to create long-term housing and solutions, a number of different grants are available to help finance this important work to assist some of our nation’s most vulnerable residents.

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Bank of America Economic Mobility Grants

For 2018, Bank of America is offering two different economic mobility-focused grant programs to organizations that assist vulnerable populations, including the homeless:

The first grant program supports non-profit agencies that assist homeless individuals and families. This grant funds a variety of initiatives that directly help the homeless, such as programs that provide the basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter or job-training programs.  Applications for the Economic Mobility Grant are typically due in February of each year.

The second grant program focuses on broader community and social programs, including larger-scale programs whose trickle-down effect will ultimately help reduce homelessness rates. For instance, organizations that seek to build transitional or long-term housing specifically for vulnerable populations, including the homeless, are eligible for this grant opportunity. The application period for this second grant type is usually in the month of June each year.

The Mary Kay Foundation Shelter Grant

Each year, the Mary Kay Foundation offers grants to support operating expenses for non-profit, emergency shelters that provide housing for women and children who become homeless as a result of leaving domestic violence situations. The foundation usually awards grants across all 50 states and to approximately 150 shelters annually. Grant award amounts are typically $20,000. The deadline for this grant is typically at the end of April each year.  

Department of Health and Human Services

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) offers a wealth of grant programs geared toward reducing homelessness and the health and wellness issues that plague those who are or have been homeless. Our September 2017 blog post on Homeless Shelter Grants highlighted the Grants for the Benefit of Homeless Individuals and the Services in Supportive Housing grant offered through HHS. Additionally, there are many grant programs designed to help reduce homelessness among specific populations, such as youth, seniors, and those who are homeless primarily due to struggles with substance abuse. For instance, the Street Outreach Program, administered through the HHS’s Family and Youth Services Bureau, offers support to organizations that help reduce adolescent homelessness and thereby protect young people from the various forms of abuse common for homeless youths.

Open Your Heart - Hunger and Homeless Grant

This grant is available to non-profit organizations in Minnesota that provide temporary housing for homeless people, including those who are homeless due to domestic violence situations and homeless students.  This grant primarily funds facility upgrades and expansions to improve the spaces that direct serve and support the homeless but does not support direct operational costs. See the grant website for specific examples of previously funded projects and a complete list of what the grant will typically not fund.  Award amounts are typically around $7,000 on average. Annual due dates for this grant are on the first of March, May, July, September, and November.

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Need funding to expand your efforts to help the homeless? The Grant Helpers can assist you in your grant search and application process.  Contact us today for a free consultation to get started.

U.S. News: https://www.usnews.com/news/us/articles/2017-12-06/us-homeless-count-rises-pushed-by-crisis-on-the-west-coast


Topics: unemployment assistance, unemployment grants, grants to end homelessness, grants for homelessness, homeless veterans grants, grants for homeless veterans, substance abuse treatment grants, grants for drug abuse, grants for mental health, mental health grants, grant, grant proposal, grant funding, grants for homeless shelters, grants for homlessness, grants for law enforcement, youth grants, at risk youth grants, at risk youth, grants for substance abuse, grants for poverty assistance, grants for Underprivileged, Underprivileged, finding funding, homelessness, critical needs, homeless shelter grants, homelessness grants, grants for human services, human services grants

Five Ways To Visualize Success

Posted by Carol Timms on Wed, Aug 15, 2018 @ 11:08 AM

 

stack of reportsLet’s be realistic. Your grant request will likely be one of many received by your prospective funder. After reading many grant applications before yours, reviewers are likely to become distracted or tired. Make your application stand out and be easier to read by using visual cues. Here are five suggestions.

 

 

Extra! Extra! Read All About It

Just as in a magazine, creative and descriptive headlines and subheadlines will help readers focus their attention by organizing content into sections. Their purpose is to capture the essence of the content and prompt further reading. The best headlines and subheadlines are useful, unique, specific and/or urgent. They should be short and in bold to easily catch the reader’s attention. 

               Weak Example:                 Background

               Stronger Example:           Millions Go Hungry Every Day 

 

Lists Are Lovely

Bulleted lists are easy to scan, thus increasing the likelihood of the content being read. Be sure to include the most important information in the lists. The more compelling the information, the more likely the reader will be to read the accompanying paragraphs. 

 

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Include photographs to show how your program benefits others. Bring your images to life by describing the story behind the photo.   

Without knowing whether the reviewer is predominantly swayed by data or stories, combine the two. For example, if you’ve included a photograph of students reading to shelter dogs, include data in the caption mentioning the increased likelihood of those dogs being adopted. An example follows

 reading to dog

After Katy’s third visit reading to Bailey, he went from cowering in the back of his cage to eagerly laying at the front of his cage, tail wagging. Bailey was adopted after just 3 weeks while the average stay before adoption was weeks.

 

 

 Bailey relaxes while his new owner reads to him.

 

Make Data Visual

Anytime you can present data in a chart, table or infographic you are more likely to get the attention of the readers. Incorporate a pleasing palette of colors that matches your message. If you are applying for funds for an elementary education program, consider primary colors. If you are requesting funding for an environmental program, use colors from nature. If there is a particular number or data point you want to highlight, be sure it stands out.

 

Pull It Out

Just as with the number or data point you want to highlight, there may be powerful statements that are essential to your message. These can be placed in a text box, written in bold, or written in color. Don’t over do these, but rather, choose one or two statements.

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The Grant Helpers can help you develop an effective proposal with strong visual elements. Contact us today—you can even start with a free consultation.

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