We often encourage our clients to explore a wide variety of grants when trying to find money. Thinking outside the box and not focusing on one single aspect of what you would like to have funded is important. Finding money for a recreation center is a great example to demonstrate several different ways to justify a grant application. Below are just three examples of possible funding categories.
||Insider Tip: Any benefit your organization provides is a potential basis for funding.
Recreation centers are often hubs for fitness and exercise. Focusing on that aspect could be an angle for grant money. For example, The Children’s Obesity Fund offers grants to non-profits that support the goal of ending childhood obesity. If your recreation center offers programs that keep kids healthy, this grant could be a great fit. This organization has a simple online application, and a determination about grant awards is usually made in a week. Grant sizes vary on need, value of a program, and amount requested. An elementary school received money to hold a Stay Fit, Have Fun event, which featured healthy eating and exercise demonstrations as well as an appearance by a pro skateboarder.
The Aetna Foundation also supports healthier living initiatives through its grant program. A recreation center that features exercise programs, nutrition classes, or health lectures could receive grant money from this category. Non-profit entities that encourage healthy communities are eligible to apply. Mercy Housing Northwest received a grant from Aetna to help adults and children learn about healthy meals and encourage exercise like yoga and dance. Last year the grant application was due in April. No deadlines have been announced for 2017 yet. If you sign up for the foundation’s newsletter you can be kept abreast of grant announcements.
Ranging from youth sports to adult leagues to pick up games of basketball, recreation centers often feature a lot of sporting activities. Applying for a grant that supports sports needs like equipment, uniforms, or infrastructure would be another place to look for money for your center. The Lids Foundation supports non-profit organizations that engage youth in sports-related activities. This foundation supports both programming costs as well as scholarships to help ensure all children have an opportunity to play. Organizations with volunteer opportunities are favored. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. Baseball for All is a past recipient of a grant award from The Lids Foundation. It’s goal is to foster, encourage, and provide opportunities for girls to play baseball.
General Community Improvement
Community officials know that people choose to move or stay in their communities because of schools and recreation opportunities. A recreation center is a vital community facility that can be a boon for new families. The Corning Incorporated Foundation, in its community priority, supports needs and priorities of local communities, funding programs that make a social or economic impact. Past recipients have included YMCAs, hospitals, hospices, community foundations, and more. Projects or programs that feature several partners are favored. Grants are accepted year-round and are available only to non-profit organizations.
If you are interested in any of these grant opportunities, or want to find out if there are more grants that can help your organization, please contact us today. The first consultation with one of our expert Grant Helpers is always free!
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We at TheGrantHelpers.com have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving: our clients, jobs we enjoy, our friends, and most importantly our families. Organizations throughout the country that have received grants also have a lot to be grateful for. We thought we would dedicate this space this week to highlight some grant recipients and how they used their money to make a difference in this world.
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at TheGrantHelpers.com.
Thankful for Helping People Have a Roof Over Their Head
Last week we highlighted grants for food pantries. One of those grant-makers featured was the Cisco Foundation. This foundation awards community grants that help with basic human needs. LifeMoves, a nonprofit organization that provides housing and services for homeless families and individuals in San Mateo County, was a recipient of a grant from the Cisco Foundation. In San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, the cost of living is nearly 50% higher than the national average. Many of the people living in the LifeMoves service area are earning minimum wage and live on the brink of homelessness. LifeMoves programs combat homelessness today and tomorrow by teaching comprehensive life skills that help their clients achieve long-term self-sufficiency and effectively break the cycle of homelessness.
Thankful for Healthy and Happy Youth
The Finish Line Foundation recently announced its second quarter grants for 2016. The 17 grants totaled $144,093 and were awarded to organizations in 12 different states. These grants helped with healthy lifestyles for kids, youth development, and those with special needs. One of the recipients thankful this holiday season is the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit. It received a $73,500 for the Finish Line for Youth Riding Stables barn renovation at Camp Ohiyesa. This project will serve 3,000 youth. Another recipient of this grant program was U Make A Difference Foundation in Indiana. It received $5,000 for its leadership and anti-bullying summit impacting 3,000 youth.
Thankful for Healthy Food
Twenty schools and youth programs are all appreciative this holiday season after receiving grants from KidsGardening.org. 19 programs received a grant package valued at $500, which included curriculum books, a $350 Gardener’s Supply gift certificate, and $100 cash to be used to purchase soil amendments and fruit and vegetable plantings. One grand prize winner received a package valued at $750, which included curriculum books, a $450 Gardeners Supply gift certificate, and $250 cash. The grand prize winner was Joseph Zito Elementary in Phoenix, Arizona. A few of the other winners were Barbara Bush Elementary School, Hillcrest Middle School, and Sandra Day O’Connor High School.
This busy holiday season leave the grant to do list to us. We can help with you a wide range of grant services, and many can be customized to fit your needs.Contact us today to set up a free consultation with one of our expert Grant Helpers.
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We consistently receive requests for help finding grants for food banks and food pantries. Dedicated individuals are working to make sure no one goes to bed hungry, and we want to make sure funding sources are readily accessible. Thus, we have compiled some possible grant opportunities below.
One of the three focal points of the Ameriprise Foundation is meeting basic needs, including hunger. Non-profit organizations like food banks and daily meal programs are eligible. Also eligible are those entities that run hunger-relief programs for special groups like children, veterans, or ethnic populations. Non-profit groups where hunger is not the sole focus, like a meal program at The Boys and Girls Club or a backpack program ran by a YWCA, are also eligible for this grant. Nutrition education, gardens, and cooking instruction programs are not eligible. Annual deadlines are Jan. 15 and May 15. A previous grant recipient was Three Square, Southern Nevada’s only food bank, that works with a service network of approximately 1,300 community partners. In 2015, 56 grants in the meeting basic needs category were awarded.
Essential human needs, like food, are also a priority in Cisco Foundation’s critical human needs grant program. Eligible organizations must have a 501(c)(3) designation. Organizations to be funded must also serve an audience greater than 65% economically underserved relative to the average standards of the target geography. The maximum request amount for first-time grant recipients is $75,000. In addition to cash grants, Cisco also offers equipment grants. Equipment grants consist of networking technology that will help organizations in productivity, scalability, and cost-efficiency. Applications for both programs are accepted year-round.
Bank of America
The Bank of America Foundation focuses on revitalizing low-income communities with a specific emphasis on education and basic needs, like hunger. Projects like food banks, soup kitchens, school and after-school children feeding programs, and food access programs are eligible for funding. Non-profit entities are eligible to apply. A Seattle food bank as well as the Greater Chicago Food Depository have both been grant recipients of this grant program. In 2016, applications for the hunger grant program were accepted from July through August.
Robert R. McCormick Foundation
The hunger grant program from this foundation supports food banks and other large scale programs that implement and track the impact of hunger alleviation strategies targeting specific geographic areas where severe gaps for nutritional services exist, or that address the nutritional needs of specific groups. Non-profit single organizations, like food banks, or multi agency collaborations are eligible to apply. Applications are accepted throughout the year.
Whether you already have projects planned or are simply seeking information on what projects are fundable by grants, we are here to help. 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.
Photo Credit: Salvation Army USA West
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In our home state of Illinois, “Go Cubs Go” is being sung across the land. The Chicago Cubs have won the World Series for the first time since 1908. In honor of this historic accomplishment we have decided to highlight grants that can help get baseball fields and equipment to children across the country.
Baseball Tomorrow Fund
Major League Baseball awards grants to non-profit organizations involved in the operation of youth baseball or softball programs or facilities. Money from these grants is intended for programming and facilities, not for daily operating expenses. The funds may be used to finance a new program, expand or improve an existing program, undertake a new collaborative effort, or obtain facilities or equipment necessary for youth baseball or softball programs. Grants are reviewed on a quarterly basis with the most upcoming deadline of Jan. 1. Other deadlines are April 1, July 1 and Oct. 1. To date, an average of 400 requests are received annually; approximately 10 percent are awarded grants. In the most recent round of grants, World Baseball Academy in Indiana was awarded a grant to install new lighting equipment on three baseball fields.
Baseball and softball programs can apply for funding from the Finish Line Foundation. This foundation has three different categories of funding. A programmatic funding grant is up to $5,000 for organizations that establish youth athletic programs. Special consideration is given to those programs that are focused on disadvantaged or disabled children. A legacy grant is for new facilities improvement and/or renovations to existing grounds, buildings, and property. These grants total between $10,000-$75,000. The last grant category, founder’s grant, is for emergency needs that would keep the entity from providing current services. These grants range from $5,000-$25,000. Applications are accepted on a quarterly basis with the next deadline being Dec. 31. Other deadlines are March 31, June 30, and Sept. 30.
If you need equipment for your ball team, then the Good Sports grant program is worth considering. Eligible organizations are those that serve economically disadvantaged children aged 3-18. Both schools and non-profit organizations are eligible. Funds cannot be used for sports camps or tournaments. Winners of this equipment grant will gain access to the catalog of available inventory, which displays the equipment, apparel, and footwear that is available for donation. Winners will receive six donation requests over a two-year period.
We can’t write this blog without mentioning the good the World Series Champions Chicago Cubs organization does in its hometown of Chicago. Cubs Care, a fund of the McCormick Foundation, has granted more than $20 million to Chicago non-profit organizations since 1991. Cubs Care grants are awarded to 501(c)(3) designated organizations. The program has several funding priorities. Organizations that support Child/Youth Education are eligible. This funding area supports agencies with established academic intervention program strategies in one of four transition stages that serve academically underperforming children and youth. Health and wellness initiatives are also funded. Priority in this category is given to community health centers, K-12 school-based health centers, and childhood obesity prevention and/or treatment programs.
Let us help you hit it out of the ballpark with our full complement of services. Contact us today to start your journey towards grant awards. Remember, the first consultation is always free.
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Grant applications with multiple collaborators and supporters tend to fare better than solitary applications. Funders like agencies that leverage, rather than duplicate, existing resources. Funders also like groups that are aware enough to understand the local support ecosystem and can operate efficiently with others in their space. Furthermore, funders respond favorably knowing their dollars are stretched further by assistance from other partners.
Strong partners will not only appeal to the funder, but they can also participate in developing the proposal. Often they can provide additional data to support need and potential impact. They’ll frequently review proposal drafts and provide useful suggestions and criticisms to strengthen the content.
Attracting another party to work with you has many of the same elements as attracting money from a funding organization. Typically, your contact will want an abstract of the proposal to present to his or her board for approval. Whether you provide such a document or work with them verbally, key points to make would be these:
- Motivate and Align. Show how the project serves their mission, and how involvement in the project furthers their goals.
- Clarify Benefits. Using numbers where possible, describe what benefits they could realize by working with you on the project. Receiving some of the funding is an obvious example, if the proposal approach supports that.
- Spell Out Commitments. Don’t hide any of the costs or obligations that the partner will incur. Make sure all those involved understand their roles, their activities, and the resources involved.
Insider Tip: A partner’s role in a proposal most often requires some negotiation and joint brainstorming. Since boards and executive directors tend to prefer simple choices laid out for them, find a contact in the partnering organization you can bounce ideas off of. Develop a strong working plan before writing up any agreements.
How to Present Partners in the Proposal
You needn’t present the entire details of a working arrangement in a proposal, but summarize the main points: their rationale for participating; their role and activities; and what they bring to the resulting project. You will also need to provide a description of the partner, especially their scope and impact. If, for example, you are operating a youth sports program and partnering with a local Boys & Girls Club, it’s helpful to mention how many boys and girls they already reach.
Most importantly, you need to communicate their commitment to the project. In a short letter of interest, you might insert a statement quoting their executive director or board chair. In a longer proposal, you might include a letter of commitment. In either case, demonstrate commitment, not just interest and support. Funders want material participants, not cheerleaders. In a future blog, I will say more about constructing letters of support and commitment.
When working with you on a proposal, we can also support your work with multiple partners on a proposal. You can contact us at no charge to discuss ways to involve partners, or any other aspect of the funding process.
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I have been lucky enough to have many mentors in different stages of my life. From teachers to coaches to work colleagues there has always been someone to support me. Not everyone is lucky enough to have the advantages of mentors. Mentoring has been shown to improve self-esteem, academic achievement, and peer relationships, as well as reducing drug use, aggression, depressive symptoms, and delinquent acts. There are many funding agencies that support mentoring programs. This blog describes a few of them.
The Global Fund for Children
Letters of Inquiry are accepted year-round for grant money from the Global Fund for Children. Funds from this organization support non-profit programs that provide sustainable improvement in the lives of vulnerable children and youth. This group wants to support smaller organizations, so a prospective grantee partner’s annual budget should not exceed $200,000. In most cases, new grantee partners have budgets in the $25,000 to $75,000 range. Prospective grantees must also work directly with children and youth; organizations that do research or advocacy exclusively are not eligible. Additionally, organizations that are led by individuals who live and work in the community are given special consideration.
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)
The OJJDP funds a Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiatives grant program. There are three different categories in this program: National Mentoring Programs, Multistate Mentoring Programs, and Collaborative Mentoring Programs. In 2016, OJJDP made $90 million available for this program. Eligible applicants must provide mentoring services to children 17 years or younger. Reviewing the winners from this year's awards, which have already been handed out, will help you plan for a submittal next year, expected to be in the March-May timeframe.
In the national program, five programs like the Boys and Girls National Mentoring Program ($25 million) and the National 4-H Council ($7 million) received funding. In the multistate program, 13 programs received funding. Two of those were: Southwest Key Programs Multi-State Youth Mentoring Program (YM) ($1.9 million) and Girls Inc. Bold Futures Mentoring Program ($2 million). Winners in the collaborative mentoring programs in 2016 included four entities, including My Brother''s Keeper Mentoring in the Alamo City ($1.25 million).
This private foundation supports seven different categories, one of which is youth opportunity and learning. Mentioned under this category is next generation leadership and pathways for youth success, so a mentoring program would certainly be eligible for grant funding. The foundation supports both institutions and individuals. Recently the Ford Foundation decided to make some changes to its grant program. The foundation will now make more multi-year, general support grants, and the program will allow 20% overhead funding in every project grant. Additionally, from 2016 to 2020, the foundation is giving $200 million of the grant-making budget each year toward institutional strengthening efforts. Grant applications are accepted throughout the year.
Our team of experts can help you find funds for all your pressing needs from school security to municipality projects to non-profit programs in general. The first consultation with a Grant Helper with expertise in your specific area of need is always free. Don’t delay and contact us today.
Photo Credit: Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland
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We often share information on grants available throughout the country. The Target Field Trip grant is an example. However, if you missed the deadline, as did more than one of our readers who emailed us asking about an extension, what are your options? In two words: keep looking. There are three ways to approach this: Geography, Topic, and Timing.
A number of foundations respond to requests only from specific locations. Sometimes this is based on where the parent company does business or has a significant presence. Other times, the foundation has sentimental ties to specific communities or locations. Your local Community Foundation is a great place to start. Community foundations manage grants specific to your area. Other examples include:
The Dwight Stuart Youth Fund offers grants for field trips to schools in Los Angeles County
The Windermere Foundationoffers grants for field trips to schools in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming. This geographic spread is based on the area served by the Windermere Real Estate Company.
The Meemic Foundation for the Future of Education offers grants for field trips to schools in Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan.
The subject matter addressed by your field trip choice can also influence your funding options. These are, most often, geographically specific as well. Two examples are:
Maine Initiatives’ Flannel Shirt Fund connects farms to schools and children to gardens. They specifically offer funds to schools in Maine for field trips to local farms.
The Save the Redwoods League offers grants to engage students in firsthand experiences with redwood forests. These experiences specifically include field trips.
Most funding organizations accept proposals on an annual, semi-annual, or even quarterly basis. Some accept proposals on a rolling basis without a specific deadline. Once you identify potential funding organizations, note the next open date. Prepare your proposal ahead of time and be ready to submit well ahead of the deadline. The Target Field Trip grants will roll around again next year, sooner than you expect. Mark your calendar for Aug. 1, when they start accepting applications.
If you are looking for field trip funds, we can help. The Grant Helpers has expertise in searching and applying for a wide variety of grants. Contact us today for a free telephone consultation with one of our grant experts.
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Hurricane Matthew was an unwanted guest along the east coast and in several islands over the weekend. Matthew hit Florida, Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. More than 20 people in the U.S. died. Now, North Carolina is dealing with massive flooding that’s left about 1,500 stranded. And more than 1,000 people in Haiti died when the hurricane hit the country last week.
This is the perfect time to bring awareness to grants that both help prepare for natural disasters before they occur and assist people after disasters strike. See a sampling of these grants below, and don’t hesitate to contact us for more questions.
Lions Club International Foundation
This service organization, normally associated with helping with vision concerns, actually has four different grant programs dedicated to preparing for or helping with disasters. In the last 10 years, the foundation has awarded more than $100 million in these types of grants. Applications for these grants must be submitted to the local Lions Club where the disaster has occurred, so building a relationship with your local club is vital. See details on the all four of the grants below.
- Disaster Preparedness Grants- These grants help prepare for future disasters. The aim is to bring volunteers from the Lions Club together with emergency personnel and community organizations, in order to have plans in place before a disaster strikes. These grants range from $5,000 to $10,000. Local funds must account for 10% of the grant request. Priority will be given to districts susceptible to regular and repeated natural disasters.
- Emergency Grants- Grants of up to $10,000 are available for communities hit by a natural disaster that has affected at least 100 people. Grants in this category should help with an urgent need for water, food, clothing, medical supplies, blankets, and cleaning supplies not available from other agencies. When a tornado struck Joplin, Missouri, this grant was used to fund 120 meals a day for an emergency shelter that housed people who lost their homes.
- Community Recovery Grants- This set of grants is aimed to help with short-term clean up and repair efforts where immediate needs have already been addressed. These grants total $20,000 and are for current disasters only where at least 100 people have been affected. Construction projects are not eligible. Eligible projects include equipment for debris removal, coordination of blood drives, equipment and supplies for minor repairs of public institutions, and temporary eye clinics for replacement of eyeglasses.
- Major Catastrophe Grants- These grants cannot be applied for by organizations and instead are directed by the foundation’s board of trustees. These grants are awarded for long-term reconstruction projects like those after Hurricane Katrina in the U.S or the Nepal earthquake.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gives grants in several different areas, one being emergency relief. They support three different types of emergencies: rapid-onset emergencies, complex emergencies, and slow-onset emergencies. The largest portion of emergency relief grant money goes to rapid-onset emergencies. These types of emergencies are high-impact emergencies such as typhoons or disease outbreaks. This funding aims to help with immediate needs including food, shelter, water, and more. The Gates Foundation also funds complex emergencies, which often include violent elements and disruption of national systems. This money will also fund immediate basic human needs. The last category of funding is slow-onset emergencies. These are classified as events along the lines of drought and famine, whose negative consequences build over time. Grant money in this program must support programs that help build stability in communities. Requests for Proposals are published on the foundation’s website.
Disabled American Veterans
For organizations aiming to assist veterans during emergencies, a great place to start is the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) grant program. This grant program supports veterans that have been the victim of isolated or specific disasters. These grants may be issued for the purpose of providing financial aid, food, clothing and temporary shelter. DAV supply kits – which include backpacks, blankets and hygiene kits – are also provided. Individual veterans and their family members are also eligible to supply directly for this grant program.
When disaster strikes, or if you are looking to fund something else, consider TheGrantHelpers.com. Contact TheGrantHelpers.com to see how we can find the grant you need and work with you to create an application that attracts those funds.
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We have received several requests lately for anti-bullying campaigns in schools and communities. We decided to put a few of these grant possibilities in one place to help locate one that may fund an anti-bullying program.
The Sprint Foundation
The Sprint Foundation supports character education initiatives such as bullying programs. Since 1989 it has provided millions of dollars for projects around the country. Programs must be in K-12 schools located in the United States. Schools located in the greater Kansas City, Kansas area will receive a special consideration since Sprint has its headquarters there. Applications are accepted nearly year round from Jan. 1 to the third Thursday in November. Proposals for funding are only available online.
Charles Lafitte Foundation
This foundation believes children need confidence and knowledge from a very young age. Its focus on children’s advocacy and education help to meet those goals. According to the website, the foundation often focuses on smaller organizations that are not in the spotlight but are doing good work, and prefers projects that may be modest in size but have high impact. They look for programs that promote diversity and inclusion, and counter discrimination and exclusiveness. Bullying programs would be a great fit for this foundation’s grants. Eligible organizations must be non-profit. Grants are accepted on an ongoing basis with the foundation’s board awarding grants several times annually. Last year, a total of 343 grants were awarded and ranged from $1,000 to $1 million.
The United Against Bullying grant program awards for 2016 were just announced. Over $55,000 was awarded to 26 different school districts, school transportation departments, and non-profit organizations. Winning programs were those that presented the best strategies to stop bullying and inspire kindness in the world. New anti-bullying programs, efforts to expand already-established programs, positive behavior programs, character building programs, school bus driving training, and school bus equipment purchases to reduce bullying incidents were all funded this year. Now is the time to start getting your plans together to apply for this grant program next year. We can help you get prepared before the application deadline is even announced.
Contact us for more grant opportunities for anti-bullying campaigns in your school or community. We have a vast amount of resources to help find grants as well as experts on staff to help you personally. Schedule a free appointment today.
Photo Credit: Thomas Ricker
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It may seem like a strange time to start looking for grants for a school garden since the days are getting shorter. Most school garden grant deadlines are in the fall, however, so there is time for planning and execution of the grant money before the actual planting of gardens need to occur in the spring. Below we have collected a few grant opportunities to help you in your funding.
If you need assistance pitching your garden idea to a principal or school board here are a few benefits of a school garden. You may want to mention one or more of these in your grant application:
- Teaches children about the environment, environmental stewardship.
- Teaches concepts of nutrition, healthy eating.
- Improves language arts through garden journaling.
- Garden design and layout can teach visual arts.
- Math concepts taught through space planning, water needs.
- Develops understanding of related science topics such as photosynthesis and insect impacts.
- Allows for hands-on learning, a new way to engage students outside the classroom.
Safer Brand is offering $500 school garden grants. You can apply for the Safer School Garden Grant by sending an email to email@example.com with the subject line “School Garden Grant." Information that needs to be included in the email can be found on the website. Send your submission in between Sept. 1 to Dec. 1. Schools must be located in the United States.
2017 Youth Garden Grant
KidsGardening.org has been sponsoring an annual youth garden grant since 1982. This program can help establish a new school garden or maintain/update an existing program. The request for applications is usually issued each fall with awards made early the following year, in time for building and planting in the spring. Look for the 2017 Youth Garden Grant application in October. In 2016, 20 youth garden programs were selected to win a package valued at over $500.
Gardening Know How
Gardening Know How is sponsoring a school and community garden sponsorship program. This year they will be awarding 10 sponsorships to 10 selected gardens. Each sponsorship will be for $1,000. Applications are accepted until Sept. 30. While this deadline is coming quickly the application is only sending an email which can be accomplished quickly and easily. Simply tell Gardening Know How why your school or community garden would be the best choice by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Annie’s Grants for Gardens
This grant program has funded more than 350 gardens since 2008. Grant money can be used to begin a school garden program or to expand/update an ongoing project. This year’s grant winners have already been announced, but applications for next year’s program will reopen in November. Check the site then for details on how to apply and how much you can request. Bluffton High School in South Carolina was a 2016 Annie’s Grants for Gardens award winner. The recipients used the money to assist their Sustainable Outdoor Inquiry Learning Project (SOIL). This is a small garden in which science students, special needs students, and the Environmental Club members compost, collect rainwater, and garden in raised beds built from recycled materials.
We aim to put together timely grant resources all in one place in our blog. In every aspect of our job we attempt to work hand-in-hand with you and your organization to customize our services to your needs. Start out with a free phone consultation with one of our expert Grant Helpers, and let us help you find the grant money you need.
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