Grant Writing Advice and Tips: The Grant Helpers Blog

Grants for Domestic Violence Assistance

Posted by Michelle Hansen on Thu, Jan 18, 2018 @ 09:01 AM

According to the Mary Kay Foundation, 1 in 4 women will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime. Organizations across the country are working together to reduce that statistic. Following are some grants that can help such organizations.5645164344_1d072fab2f_m.jpg

U.S. Department of Justice

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women has several grant solicitations currently open for grants to assist with domestic violence needs. Application deadlines vary, with most due in February and one due in March. Also located on the website linked above is a schedule of the Office on Violence Against Women’s proposed grant solicitation dates for 2018. This calendar would be a helpful tool to plan for upcoming applications.

One of the grants available now is the Consolidated Grant Program to Address Children and Youth Experiencing Domestic and Sexual Assault and Engage Men and Boys as Allies. This grant is a two-pronged grant opportunity. The first portion of this grant funds comprehensive projects that serve children and youth who are victims of or are exposed to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sex trafficking. These grants are available to non-profit and governmental entities. The second part of this grant supports projects to engage men and boys. Non-profits or municipalities that create effective public education campaigns to encourage men to work as allies with women and girls are eligible to apply. These campaigns should help prevent sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sex trafficking. The deadline for this grant is Feb. 15.

Domestic Violence Shelter Grant

The Mary Kay Foundation provides funding for the creation and support of domestic violence shelters across the country. In 2017, the Foundation awarded $3 million in grants to more than 150 women’s shelters. A grant is awarded yearly to at least one shelter in every state that applies. Remaining funds are distributed based on each state’s population. Applications are available now until April 30.

Purple Purse

Finances often play an important role when victims of domestic violence are considering leaving their abusive relationship. This organization’s Moving Ahead Grant Programs help non-profits assist survivors in building financial independence by addressing their unique financial needs. This grant awards money to state domestic violence coalitions to provide financial empowerment programs for domestic abuse survivors. The program funds four project areas: financial literacy, microloans, job readiness and job training, and microenterprise. In 2016, the Foundation awarded more than $1 million to state domestic violence coalitions through grants ranging from $45,000 to $75,000. The request for applications will be released in July, with applications due in August.


We are a full-service grant company with a wide array of services. Contact us today to find out how we can help your organization become grant ready. The first consultation is always free.

 

Photo Credit: Marc Falardeau

Topics: domestic violence, domestic violence grant, domestic violence programs, support for domestic violence, domestic violence grants, grants for domestic violence, domestic violence grant program, funding for domestic violence, grant opportunity, domestic violence funding

Grants for Outdoor Education

Posted by Vickie Garton-Gundling on Wed, Jan 10, 2018 @ 16:01 PM

One of the latest and greatest trends in experiential learning,
outdoor education inOutdoor Ed.jpgcludes any education that takes place in and teaches about the natural world. Whether your school or non-profit seeks to fund an outdoor conservation education program, a wilderness survival curriculum, or an outdoor art education initiative, there are many grants available to fund such outdoor education projects.


National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF)

Each year, the National Environmental Education Foundation offers a variety of grants in many outdoor fields, including environmental and conservation education, outdoor volunteering initiatives, and outdoor recreation programs. The NEEF grants funds to a variety of organizations, especially educational institutions and other non-profit organizations. Grant award amounts typically range from $1,000 - $20,000.

Youth Outside

Youth Outside funds non-profit organization programs that connect youth with the outdoors. This program prioritizes culturally-relevant programs for underrepresented youth and also focuses largely on conservation education programs. Youth Outside awards approximately 30 grants each year of between $15,000 and $20,000 each.

Cabela's Outdoor Fund

Cabela’s Outdoor Fund grants funds to non-profit organizations that focus on outdoors advocacy, education, conservation, and philanthropy. Cabela’s prioritizes funding for hands-on outdoor learning and self-led outdoor education, with particular emphasis on outdoor education in the following three areas: camping, fishing, and hunting and shooting. Cabela’s Outdoor Fund accepts funding requests on a quarterly basis. This Fund has donated over 10 million dollars to support outdoors-related projects. 

The Kate Svitek Memorial Foundation  

This fund provides support to varied organizations—including individuals, schools, non-profits, and religious organizations—that provide “education and adventure through activities in the outdoors.” This organization primarily funds smaller institutions rather than large schools and companies. Since the Foundation was established in 2002, it has awarded grants to 53 different recipients.


Ready to get started finding, applying for, or managing a grant? We are here to help no matter where you are on your grant journey. Contact us today for a free consultation to get started.
 
Photo Credit: Luigi Mengato

Topics: environmental education, environmental grants, outdoor education grants, conservation education grants, experiential learning grants, conservation grants, wilderness survival grants, adventure education grants

Three Things to Know about Grants in 2018

Posted by Michelle Hansen on Thu, Jan 4, 2018 @ 09:01 AM
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Happy New Year from all of us at TheGrantHelpers.com. We want to help you start off the new year with some important updates and tips about the grant world.

But before discussing more general areas, here is one specific opportunity that just opened. Lowes Toolbox for Education has announced its spring cycle. K-12 public and private schools, as well as parent-teacher groups, are eligible to apply. Projects should fall into one of the following categories: technology upgrades, tools for STEM programs, facility renovations, and safety improvements. The deadline for submitting applications for this grant cycle is Feb. 9.  However, if 1,500 applications are received before the application deadline, then the application process will close.

  1. Get Organized Now for the New Year

Lots of organizations, especially federal grant-making organizations, have already laid out a schedule of their grants for the new year. Some are already accepting applications for the spring cycle. For instance, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has its 2018 Forecast of Funding available here. Now is the best time to get pertinent dates on your calendar and get your boilerplate documents updated. Review the timelines for your likeliest funding sources, and prepare to apply well in advance.

  1. New Way to Apply for Federal Funding

Grants.gov has rolled out a new way for groups and individuals to apply for federal grants. This has been a two-year transition, and on Dec. 31, 2017, the legacy PDF application package was officially retired. In the past, applicants downloaded and completed a single, big PDF application package that contained all the forms (i.e., the “legacy PDF application package.”) To work as a team, you had to email the file back and forth while making sure all contributors were using the same version of Adobe software. The new Grants.gov Workspace program is intended to make collaborating on an application very efficient and easy. Forms can either be completed online within a web browser or downloaded individually and uploaded to Workspace. According to the Grants.gov blog, applicants who have already used the new program say it is making the process faster and more streamlined.  For more information and tutorials on how to use the new program, visit the Grants.gov blog.

  1. Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grants may not be funded in 2018

The heavily subscribed COPS grant may be on the chopping block this year. This Department of Justice grant program provides money to law enforcement agencies for a variety of needs, including hiring new police officers, testing new strategies, and purchasing technology. In recent years, money was also set aside toward curbing the opioid epidemic and addressing gang violence. In 2017, the COPS office allocated of $98.5 million to fund 802 police officer positions for the next three years. However, a working White House budget showed the elimination of the entire COPS office. The COPS hiring program is not listed by name in the proposed Fiscal Year 2018 budget, and very little information is being shared. We will continue to monitor this situation and keep you updated on its status.


We can help you get organized and prepared to apply for grants or find grants that will fit your needs. See our widerange of services, and then contact us for a free initial consultation.

Topics: application tips, federal grants, federal grant, federal funds, grant tips, Grant Writing Tips, COPS, COPS grant, grant application tips, Grant Writing and Planning

Five Ways to Say Thank You for Grant Funding!

Posted by Carol Timms on Wed, Dec 20, 2017 @ 21:12 PM

6301511795_719365e9d6_m.jpgThoughtful holiday gifts are followed by heartfelt Thank You cards. We were taught how to thank Aunt Edna for the new pajamas, but it’s unlikely we were coached on the best way to thank funders who respond positively to our grant requests. Not only are well-directed thank-you communications polite, they help build an ongoing relationship to support future funding.  While a Thank You note is nice, there are even more effective strategies. Consider these five additional approaches.

Thank You #1: Acknowledge the grant in a public manner.

A private response should be combined with public acknowledgements. News releases are common and should be part of your strategy. Another option is to post your gratitude on the funder’s Facebook/Social Media pages. Share a short description of the good work that will now be possible because of the grant.

 

Thank You #2: Put it in writing.

Include an acknowledgement of the funder’s involvement in printed materials and, if feasible, at the location where the funds are being used. For example, if you received funds for your food pantry to purchase a freezer, post a sign letting people know you are now able to distribute frozen food as a result of a generous donation by your funder.

 

Thank You #3: Share your success stories.

Make it a point to routinely communicate with your funder to let them know how their grant is impacting your clients. Don’t bother them with minutiae, but share any major events and publicity with them. If you produce a newsletter, add the funder to your mailing list.

 

Thank You #4: Invite them to the party.

If you hold any special events, invite your funder. Whether they attend or not, the gesture will build the relationship.  If they do show up, during the event be sure to acknowledge how their funds made a difference to your organization and those you serve. Assign a staff person to be sure the funder's representatives receive VIP treatment at the event.

 

Thank You #5: Create a Thank You from your clients.

Develop one or more Thank You messages from your clients, and encourage them to forward as appropriate to the funder. Messages may include impact stories, personal anecdotes, or any other evidence of the positive benefits resulting from the funder’s support.  These can be sent in written form, posted on your website, and/or posted on the funder’s Facebook/Social Media pages.


Ready to get started finding, applying for, or managing a grant? We are here to help no matter where you are on your grant journey. Contact us today for a free consultation to get started.

 

Photo Credit: StepChange MoneyAware

 

Topics: grant, grant thank you, thank you to funders, thank you

Grants for Children, At-Risk Youth

Posted by Tammi Hughes on Fri, Dec 15, 2017 @ 11:12 AM

7360314936_3b9b9585d4_m.jpgChildren are the world’s most cherished commodity. Organizations around the country work to make sure every child, even those that are at-risk, has the opportunity to live a healthy and happy life. Below is a list of grants that are available for organizations that help children.

Ralph and Eileen Swett Foundation

This small family foundation is focused on making the biggest impact it can on non-profit organizations throughout the United States. Two of their priorities are helping with adoption of foster and orphan children and supporting disadvantaged children. The foundation hopes to be pivotal in a funded organization's ability to expand, create new services, or otherwise support people in need. Applications are reviewed three times a year with, an upcoming review in January or February. If that turn around is too fast, applications are also reviewed in April or May and September or October. A previous grant recipient was Gift of Adoption Fund: Adoption Loan Program. This group received $50,000.

The Janus Henderson Foundation

The mission of this foundation is to “create opportunities to help children succeed and achieve their goals and aspirations through education, as well as support communities and organizations around the world.” Programs supported by grants from this foundation include those that focus on blended learning, early childhood literacy, and financial education initiatives. Since its inception the foundation has awarded over $39 million in grant money. Applications are accepted throughout the year.

Costco

This retail company provides grants to programs that support children. The United Way, Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, and the Red Cross are examples of its charitable giving. Only non-profit organizations are eligible to apply, and applicants must be located in a community where Costco does business. There is a search feature on the website to determine if you are located in a serviced area. Grants are normally program-based. Generally, Costco does not grant funds of more than 10% of the total program budget. Applications are accepted year-round.

Hasbro Children’s Fund

Grants from this fund focus on three areas: 1) programs that provide hope to children who need it most; 2) play for children who otherwise would not be able to play; and 3) the empowerment of youth through service. The Hasbro Children’s Fund reaches these goals by providing resources and programs that help teach and inspire empathy. The grant cycle for 2017 is now closed. The cycle for 2018 will open soon after the first of the year. Grant recipients in 2016 included such organizations as Give Kids the World Inc. and No Bully.

 


Ready to get started finding, applying for, or managing a grant? We are here to help no matter where you are on your grant journey. Contact us today for a free consultation to get started.

 

Photo Credit: Melissa Dooley

Topics: nonprofit grants, nonprofit funding, nonprofit, non-profit, healthy youth, nonprofit resource, nonprofit resources, grants for nonprofits, at risk youth, youth grants, disadvantaged youth, disadvantaged youth grants, at risk youth grants, grants for disadvantaged youth, grants for youth, grants for at risk youth, child grants, grants for children

Through the Eyes of the Reviewer

Posted by Carol Timms on Thu, Dec 7, 2017 @ 13:12 PM

eyes.jpgAs we discussed in Part I and Part II of our blog series entitled “5 Overlooked Grant Basics,” reviewers want proposals with well-planned, specific projects backed by solid numerical data. But what else are grant funders really looking for? These additional tips can further help you look at your proposal through the eyes of the reviewer.

  1. Understand the reviewers’ circumstances

Grant reviewers often receive a stack of grants to read and evaluate in a short amount of time. By the second or third grant, the words begin to blur together. Make it easy for the reviewer to see the important points of your proposal by using headlines, bullet points, graphs, pull-out quotes, etc.

  1. Personalize the problem you intend to solve

Just like the description of a novel, your proposal should immediately grab the attention of the reviewer. The more personal the introduction, the more likely the reviewer is to give it extra attention. A powerful statement of need is more likely to be internalized than a description of your organization.

  • Weak: “XYZ Food Pantry serving Hungry County has been in operation for over eight years.”
  • Strong: “More than half of the children in our community go to bed hungry.”
  1. Include Both Data and Narrative Support

As covered fully in Part II of our “5 Overlooked Grant Basics,” blog series, you must describe the problem you intend to solve with hard data. But, because you don’t know if your reviewer will be left-brained or right-brained, you should include both narrative and data to appeal to all reviewers. The data should be as recent as possible, presented succinctly – preferably in an easy to read infographic—and should reinforce your narrative. Narratives should be specific, compelling, and as representative of wider demographics as possible. If there’s enough space, include a poignant quote or profile in a separate box.

  1. Long, flowery narratives are hard to read.

Make your key points clearly and move on. Corollary: use bullets for lists. In text, number items for ease of reading, and highlight key words or phrases in bold text.

  1. Create Well-Planned Budgets

The budget is an indication of how capably the organization will manage grant funds. The level of detail will demonstrate the planning the organization has invested in the program. Remember to include in-kind donations, sources of matching funds, a description of anticipated purchases, and the vendor for those purchases if available.

  1. Recognize the Funder

Indicate at least three ways in which you will acknowledge receipt of the grant funds. The first should be upon receipt, with formal acknowledgement and thanks for the award. The second should be regular and at key points of the project. For example, share press releases with funders, and make sure to invite them to special events. The third should be upon completion of the grant, with a final report even if not formally required. We talked about some of these points in a previous blog on Stewardship. We’ll cover the topic again in another blog in the next few months.  It’s important for relationship building, which leads to repeat funding.


Ready to get started finding, applying to, or managing grants? Contact us today for a free consultation with one of our expert Grant Helpers.

 

Topics: best practices in grant writing, application tips, How to Grant Write, grant writing, grant tips, Grant Writing Tips, grant application tips, overlooked grant basics

Teacher Professional Development Grants

Posted by Michelle Hansen on Tue, Nov 28, 2017 @ 21:11 PM

One of the goals of 21st century educators is to inspire students to be lifelong learners. To accomplish that, educators themselves should be passionate about learning as well. Teacher development grants are available to help teachers develop and improve on their craft. Below are some grants that help7876968098_80c80e0668_q.jpg educators educate themselves. These grants all have deadlines early next year, less than two months away, so the time is right to get started on them.

The McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation

The McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation supports a teacher development grant program. This category aims to increase the effectiveness of individual educators and small teams of teachers. Eligible proposals are those that enhance student learning and educational quality, paying particular attention to those that best serve the at-risk and under-funded. A total of 125 teacher development grants will be funded. The application period is from Jan. 15-April 15. The maximum grant is $10,000.

Fund for Teachers

This organization provides funds to help educators get the resources needed to pursue professional learning experiences. Fund for Teachers grants can be used for a wide variety of projects as long as they create enhanced learning environments for teachers, their students and their school communities. Eligible applicants must be full-time preK-12th grade educators, curriculum specialist, curriculum head, Special Education coordinator, media specialist/librarian, or other type of educator who spends at least 50% of their time directly teaching students. Educators must also have at least three years of teaching experience. Individuals may apply for up to $5,000 while teams may receive up to $10,000. Applications are due by Jan. 31.

The NEA Foundation

This foundation has provided funding to thousands of educators. The NEA Foundation provides grants to individuals to participate in professional development activities. The foundation also provides funding to teams to fund collegial study. Preference is given to proposals that incorporate STEM and/or global competence. Grants of $2,500 and $5,000 are available. Grants are available to current members of the National Education Association who are educators in public schools or public institutions of higher education. There are three deadlines for applications: Feb. 1, June 1, and Oct. 15.

James Madison Graduate Fellowships

The James Madison Graduate Fellowships are $24,000 fellowships given to individuals desiring to become outstanding teachers of the American Constitution at the secondary school level. Eligible applicants are U.S. citizens that are teachers or plan to be teachers of American history, American government, or civics classes in the 7-12 grade levels. Fellowship applicants compete against educators in their own state. If funding permits, the desire is to grant a fellowship to an individual from each state. The deadline for application is March 1.


Not seeing the grant you are looking for? Send us a Tweet @TheGrantHelpers, write on our Facebook wall, comment on this blog, email us at tgh@thegranthelpers.com, or contact us the old-fashioned way, by telephone.

 

Photo Credit: Denise Krebs

Topics: education, education funds, educational opportunities, educational funding, education grants, education funding, educational grants, education grant, teacher resources, grants for teachers, teacher development grants, grants for teacher development

Grants for Animal Agencies

Posted by Tammi Hughes on Thu, Nov 16, 2017 @ 10:11 AM

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." Anatole France

Grants for Animal Agencies

Organizations across the country are dedicated to making sure pets have loving homes, safe places to seek medical care, and new shelters to seek refuge. Below are some grants that will help with animal needs, ensuring every person’s soul becomes awakened. You may want to use quotes like the one above in your application.

 

 

 

Insider Tip: Demonstrate impact with brief stories and testimonials about the difference animals from your program have made in people’s lives.

 

Petsmart Charities

Over $274 million in total grants have been awarded by the Petsmart Charities since 1994. This foundation has 10 different grant opportunities for non-profit organizations. The opportunities with deadlines range from shelter operations grants to spay and neuter grants. Iin 2017 these grants were due on April 30, June 30, and Aug. 31. There are also three grants that have ongoing deadlines. The year-round funding opportunities include one for adoptions. This grant funding helps organizations host an adoption event. Another grant with an ongoing deadline is one for emergency relief. Funds from this grant will help in the event of a natural or man-made disaster during the rescue, relief and/or recovery stages. Organizations hoping to fund conferences and training for their animal cause can also apply for grant funds at any time. These grants will fund enrichment programs and workshops for those working for and volunteering within the animal welfare industry.

Petco Foundation

This foundation funds organizations that have a strong impact on animals and their well-being. Grant money supports service and therapy pets, pet cancer research organizations, and groups dedicated to finding innovative approaches to lifesaving. In 2015 the Petco Foundation invested its largest grant ever, $1.5 million, to the LifeLine Animal Project. Their goal was to save as many animals from euthanasia as possible. Applications are accepted year-round.

Pedigree Foundation

The Pedigree Foundation helps those who help dogs. There are three different grant opportunities available. Operation grants are up to $1,000 and may be used to cover general operating expenses. Program development grants range from $1,000-$10,000. These grants can be used for new programs or to support the expansion of current adoption programs. Larger grants, $10,000-$25,000, are called innovation grants. These are awarded to help develop and implement adoption programs that are creative or innovative. Thus far, this foundation has awarded almost 5,000 grants since 2008. The grant cycle for this year is complete and the 2018 application period will open in March 2018. Mark your calendars!

 


Ready to get started on finding, applying to, or managing grants? Contact us today for a free consultation with one of our expert Grant Helpers.

 

Photo Credit: Axel Naud

Topics: grant opportunity, animal shelter, animal shelter grant, animal shelter funding, animal grants, grants for animal needs, grants for animals, animal needs grants

5 Overlooked Grant Basics Part II: Use Numbers to Get More Grants

Posted by Roland Garton on Thu, Nov 2, 2017 @ 12:11 PM

This blog is the second in a series of five blogs that address the basic aspects of successful proposals grant seekers often overlook. Last time, I wrote about the importance of planning to increase grant awards. Click here to read that post.

The message of this blog is the title. It’s worth repeating:

  Use Numbers to Get More Grants  

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Use Numbers to Substantiate Need

Almost all requests for funding address some need. Almost all of them also promise some results or impact if the funding is received. Words can help describe the need and impact. But words, as I mentioned in Part I, have their limitations. If you want to support your case for funding, you need some statistics to prove the truth and extent of your statements.

Here is are two examples that express a concerning need. The numbers are fictitious, but you get the idea:

  • Weak: Many families in our region don’t get enough food to eat.
  • Stronger: Our county has an average income of $48,564/year, well below the 2014 national average of $52,939. At the same time, 43% of our population consists of families with school-age children. Many of these children come to school hungry, and hunger has been shown to lower academic scores (Vedantam, 2017). The 16 schools in our district average 55% of students receiving free and reduced lunch. The weekend backpack program sends home 350 backpacks to the neediest children and turns down requests for another 125. A statistically-sampled survey conducted by our county health department last year revealed 35% of families who indicate that their families sometimes leave the house with inadequate meals.

I’d like to point out some crucial aspects of the stronger example:

Simple language is fine. The writing has complete sentences, no grammatical errors, and some variety of sentence structure. But it’s not elaborate or especially florid. The writing style is not what makes the second example strong; it’s the power of the numbers that document a community in need.

Do the legwork. It takes time gather the kind of information reflected in the strong example. The type of data shown here could easily take an hour or more to research and document. When planning to write a proposal, set aside sufficient time to find numbers that support your case.

Cite authoritative sources. Any time you can cite sources with credibility, you enhance your own credibility. The strong example above includes a reference to published research. Other authoritative documents might be published magazine articles, reports from units of government, or statements from nationally recognized organizations.

Use Number to Demonstrate Impact

As with need, using numbers to demonstrate impact will strengthen the odds you’ll receive funding. Funders like to know and measure the results of their investments. You can help them by providing clear measurements that prove results.

  • Weak: We will get more people to use rain barrels, which will result in greater water conservation.
  • Stronger: Currently, only 0.5% of the population in our city (100,000) have rain barrels. The proposed awareness program will reach 30,000 people with the fliers, social media, public service announcements, and community presentations described in the Work Plan. We have tested the program with 100 people, and 12 of them took advantage of subsidies for rain barrels. We expect the percentage of adopters in a larger population to drop. If it drops to half of the test group percentage, 6%, the program will still bring an additional 1,800 barrels to peoples’ homes, increasing the total to 2,000, which is 2% of the population.  The resulting annual savings, at an estimated $120 per barrel per year, would be $240,000.

Strong metrics reflect strong planning that will move your proposal up in the reviewer’s evaluation. They will also make things easier when you write your project reports. Furthermore, after the project has shown measurable progress, you will have a strong case for additional funding from this agency, as well as others.  The more your numbers can prove that you’re meeting the funder’s goals, the more likely they are to smile upon your next request.

Using numbers to show results is not only good grantsmanship to help receive funding, but it’s also good stewardship. Good stewardship is an inherent responsibility that accompanies the support you receive from others. But, more than that, good stewardship builds goodwill, which in turn increases your prospects for future funding. Stewardship is the main focus of the next blog in this series.

Topics: best practices in grant writing, grant writing help, Grant writing objectives, grant writing examples, How to Grant Write, grant writing, Grant Writing Tips, Write a Better Grant Series, grant application tips, Grant Writing and Planning, overlooked grant basics, numbers to get grants, numbers, statistics to get grants, show need in grant applications

Receive More Unemployment Assistance Grants

Posted by Jackie Edwards on Fri, Oct 27, 2017 @ 09:10 AM

8125991446_041f1c865d_m.jpgGuest blogger Jackie Edwards is an editor, researcher, and writer.

 

As of September of 2017, 4.4 percent of the population in the United States is unemployed. For those out of work, making ends meet is difficult at best. With the rising costs of housing and other basic needs, a sudden loss of income can be devastating. Depending on the severity of one’s circumstances, essentials such as food, water, clothing, and housing can be impossible to afford. This situation becomes even more challenging the longer one remains out of work.

One of the top sources of help for those who are unemployed are nonprofit organizations. Those that specialize in meeting the needs of these individuals help bridge the gap that usually exists between one’s unemployment benefits and personal savings and their actual needs. If your nonprofit organization is seeking grants to support its unemployment assistance program, utilizing the latest unemployment data in your grant proposals is crucial. By demonstrating the current and ongoing need for unemployment assistance (especially as it relates to the specific benefits provided in your state), you are more likely to earn the grants your program needs to thrive. Review the most up-to-date statistics on why nonprofit unemployment assistance is absolutely essential for your community.

Demonstrate the Need for Nonprofit Unemployment Assistance

Depending on what state you live in, the scope of the maximum unemployment benefits allowed varies significantly. While the weekly financial assistance certainly helps individuals who are out of work, the maximum weekly assistance is not enough to cover one’s most basic expenses in most states. Here are some impactful aspects of unemployment benefits that vary by state. Find out the specifics for your state and include them in the NEED section of your proposal.

  • The maximum unemployment benefit listed for each state is not a guaranteed figure for all individuals. Instead, the actual weekly assistance one receives is calculated based on their previous earnings.
  • Not all individuals who are unemployed are eligible to receive unemployment benefits from the state. Factors such as the length of time worked in a position, being fired or quitting, and the amount of compensation earned can prevent individuals from receiving any financial benefits.
  • Financial benefits end at 26 weeks in the majority of states. This gives an individual approximately six months to find work that can cover all of his or her current expenses.
  • Some states offer unemployment benefits for time periods less than 26 weeks in duration. These states include: Arkansas (20 weeks maximum), Florida (12 weeks maximum), Georgia (14 weeks maximum), Idaho (21 weeks maximum), Kansas (16 weeks maximum), Michigan (20 weeks maximum), Missouri (13 weeks maximum), North Carolina (13 weeks maximum), and South Carolina (20 weeks maximum).
  • In 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 40.8 percent of all unemployed job seekers were unemployed for 15 or more weeks. Additionally, 25.9 percent of all unemployed job seekers were unemployed for more than 27 weeks. Those who were part of the latter statistic who were living in a state that discontinues unemployment benefits after 26 weeks or less would have stopped receiving all benefits.
  • In late 2014, only 23 percent of unemployed job seekers in the U.S. were actually getting unemployment assistance from the government.

Use specifics for your state to show that many people who need financial assistance during their time of unemployment are not receiving it when needed. In addition, those who do receive unemployment benefits often do not receive enough to cover the cost of all basic needs.

  • According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median full-time weekly earnings for all employed workers in 2016 was $832.
  • Currently, the highest maximum weekly unemployment benefit available in any state is $742 in Massachusetts. This amount is significantly higher than most other states. Some states offer a weekly maximum benefit of under $300. This includes Alabama ($265 maximum), Arizona ($240 maximum), Mississippi ($235 maximum), and Tennessee ($275 maximum).
  • While the majority of other states offer between $300-$600 per week, many people receive less than the maximum. And even maximum benefits provide barely enough financial support to cover the average monthly rent in most states. This leaves a major gap for expenses such as food, medical supplies, and more.

Who is Using Unemployment Assistance?

Unemployment impacts individuals of all ages from various socioeconomic backgrounds. As a result, the families of these individuals also feel the burden of unpaid bills and the lack of basic items. Having access to essential unemployment assistance resources is key to helping provide individuals (and their families) with the support they need most.

  • In findings reported in 2015 and 2016 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment rates are almost identical among men and women.
  • According to the same report, more individuals that have never been married are unemployed than those who are married, divorced, separated, or widowed.
  • As stated earlier, in order to qualify for government unemployment assistance, individuals must lose their job due to no fault of their own. However, some exceptions exist in certain states.

Support your proposal with data from your own population in addition to state and national statistics.

Show Impact of Increase Grant Funding for Basic Needs

Make it a point to show how your nonprofit organization is meeting the needs of those who are unemployed. Provide specific figures when possible on the estimated dollar amount your organization gives to unemployed individuals, as well as the resulting impact for the recipients and their families. Demonstrate with data how your nonprofit is closing the unemployment benefit gap to help your proposals succeed.

Unemployment Granting Agencies

There are many programs that help fund unemployment assistance organizations.  Here are a couple notable ones.  If you contact The Grant Helpersand explain your specific situation, we can help you find others.

Jobs Plus Initiative Program

This Department of Housing and Urban Development Program aims to significantly increase employment and income of public housing residents through work readiness, employer linkages, job placement, educational advancement technology skills and financial literacy.  Public Housing Authorities are eligible to apply.

Robert R. McCormick Foundation

This private foundation aims to address poverty by giving individuals the skills to become self-sufficient. Eligible programs include those that provide transitional jobs, hard-skills training, youth skills training, and systems support.

Topics: nonprofit, non-profit, grants for nonprofits, unemployment grants, grants for unemployment, Unemployment Assistance Program Grants, unemployment assistance