Grant Writing Advice and Tips: The Grant Helpers Blog

Funding for At-Risk Youth--Three Major Areas Receiving the $$

Posted by Mary Ross on Tue, Feb 10, 2015 @ 12:02 PM

At Risk Youth resized 600Continuing in our series on special-interest groups, this blog addresses funding for at-risk youth programs. Many grants are aimed specifically at 1) educational programs, 2) community outreach programs, or 3) municipalities. In your search for funding opportunities, use keywords including these areas. And in your proposal, emphasize how your program addresses the area of greatest interest to the funding agency. Below are examples of grants for at-risk youth. Think of how your effort could fit into one of these areas to improve your successful funding of at-risk-youth programs.

Education Grants for At-Risk Youth

The education field is ripe with opportunities to help at-risk youth. The U.S. Government is particularly concerned with this area and offers several grants addressing youth behavior. Understanding what the government wants to fund, and tailoring your program accordingly, is an important step in securing one of these grants. 
  • The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention funds programs to reduce juvenile crimes and train people who are working with at-risk youth. Last year alone, more than 45 grants were issued totaling $262,604,665—a list of them is available on the website. Knowing what was funded can help in determining what will be funded in the future. The website also gives specific goals for young adolescents, teens, and communities for each grant. 
  • The Department of Health and Human Services funds the Adolescent Family Life_Demonstration Projects that are aimed specifically at aiding youth 17 and under who are unmarried and pregnant or parenting. This grant funds care services and pregnancy prevention programs. The website lays out very specific criteria that can aid in developing a proposal. 

Community Grants for At-Risk Youth

You may have noticed the ever-increasing push to get kids healthy by getting them involved. When it comes to grants for communities, both The U.S. Soccer Foundation and Build-A-Bear are ready with funding. 
  • The U.S. Soccer Foundation awards grants of up to $50,000 for communities looking to buy equipment and fund youth soccer programs. This foundation also provides grants of up to $60,000 for communities to create a “Safe Place to Play” by offering grants for lighting, turf, and irrigation systems. Grant application deadlines are February 6th for spring sports and June 5th for summer programs. Take advantage of the comprehensive information available on the website when planning your community’s program and application. 
  • The Build-A-Bear Workshop Foundation funds three different programs. One program, Bear Hugs, provides an average of $1,500 per grant, but can award as much as $5,000 to aid in “the areas of health and wellness such as childhood disease research foundations, child safety organizations, and organizations that serve children with special needs.” When applying for this grant, tell them exactly much money you need and how many children you can help—they like grant proposals that are specific and can show past success. Another Build-A-Bear program promotes literacy and education through “Paperback Pup” sales. This program supports organizations providing books for schools, libraries, and homes. (The third grant supports domestic pets.) Information about the 2015 grant deadlines is not yet on the website, so check frequently for new postings. 

Municipal Funding for At-Risk Youth

Municipalitieswishing to reach at-risk youth have additional grant opportunities. From designating school police officers to sponsoring community events, there is money available to help programs working for the betterment of all children.
  • In 2014, approximately $123 million was awarded to schools by the COPS program, in part to help put police officers in schools, according to cops.usdoj.gov. School resource officers are becoming the norm in American high schools, and grants are available to help make this a reality for your police department or school. The website lists yearly awards back through 2009; although the 2015 dates are not yet posted, keep an eye out for new information. TGH previously highlighted this grant in a May 22nd blog; this is one to keep an eye on. 
  • Through its Target and Blue program, the Target Corporation is working to build stronger communities. Each year Target awards grants for community events, public safety, and just general fun for all. Target boasts grants in all 50 states and works locally through its stores. More information on these opportunities can be found on its website or by visiting your local Target. 

Tips for Securing Grants:

  1. Understand what the grant program is looking to fund and tailor your proposal to show how you accomplish what’s important to them.
  2. Look at what has been funded in the past to better predict what will be funded in the future.
  3. Study the grant application and information; many will list specific criteria for funding.
  4. Have data available to support your organization’s past successes.
  5. Be specific in your request. Exactly what will you do? How much do you need to help how many people? 

Granting organizations want to help programs that will do the most good; building stronger children builds a stronger future. Tailoring your proposal for a specific program is not always as simple as it sounds. That’s where we can help. Contact TheGrantHelpers.com to see how we can work with you to create an application that attracts the funds you need.

Photo Credit: Kris Duda

Topics: municipality grants, education, health and wellness grant, community development, school safety resources, nonprofit grants, child care grants, afterschool programs, school safety, bullying, police safety grants

Nutrition and Fitness Grants for Kids

Posted by Alisyn Franzen on Thu, Feb 6, 2014 @ 11:02 AM

Food Programs for KidsEvery year, millions of Americans make a New Year’s resolution to lose weight and/or become more physically fit, and each year only about 8% achieve their goal. One of the many tips for ensuring success is to get a partner to join you in your efforts.  Partners motivate us, hold us accountable, and make the whole process more fun. Educators and parents might want to consider choosing a young partner – their children and students. By working to instill healthy eating and exercise habits in young people on a daily basis, the adults may well find themselves acting as healthy role models.

In the spirit of nutrition and fitness goals that are often associated with the new year, TheGrantHelpers.com dedicates this blog to helping organizations that are looking for nutrition and fitness grant opportunities for kids.

 

The General Mills Foundation: Champion for Healthy Kids

This program will award fifty $20,000 grants to organizations that develop creative ways to help children ages 2-18 adopt a balanced diet and physically active lifestyle. Champion for Healthy Kids is a partnership of the General Mills Foundation, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation, and the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

Deadline: March 14, 2014

 

Culinary Trust: Chefs Move to Schools 

To support healthy eating habits, this grant program provides $1,500 grants to support volunteer efforts by culinary professionals in public schools that serve children living at or below the poverty level. Chefs can apply for funding in support of programs that promote health and wellness in schools. Examples include school gardens, healthy eating curriculum, chefs as guest speakers, and wellness programs for students and/or parents.

Deadline: Grant applications are reviewed quarterly.

 

Aetna Foundation Regional Grants Program

The Aetna Foundation provides grants between $25,000 and $40,000 for communities served by Aetna. The Foundation’s priorities include healthy food choices and programs promoting physical activity for children and families, including nutrition programs, access to fruits and vegetables, and community gardens.

Deadline: 2014 deadline will be announced this summer.

 

The Coca-Cola Foundation

This foundation supports access to exercise, physical activity, and nutritional education programs. It also supports programs that motivate behavior modification and that encourage lifestyle/behavioral changes.

Deadline: See the foundation’s website for more specific details.

 

Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundations

Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundations are set up in the states served by Blue Cross Blue Shield. Each places an emphasis on healthy lifestyle choices including nutrition and physical activity for children and families. For more information on the BCBS Foundation programs and deadlines for your state, contact your states’ BCBS Foundation.

 

Working with our children to instill healthy habits may be the key to achieving that elusive New Year’s resolution. The Grant Helpers also want to be a part of helping you achieve your goals. If we can help you find additional funding opportunities in this or any other funding area, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

Image credit: stevendepolo

Topics: after school program, food grants, food program grants, food program for kids, fitness program for kids grants, afterschool program, afterschool programs, after school programs, nutrition grants, nutrition program grants, nutrition for kids, fitness grants, fitness program grants, fitness program for kids

Afterschool Program Benefits and Grant Opportunities

Posted by Alisyn Franzen on Fri, Sep 6, 2013 @ 15:09 PM

Student engagement does not need to cease when the bell rings to signal the end of the school day. Many school districts and educational and non-profit organizations are pushing afterschool programs for students. In this blog, we discuss some of the benefits of afterschool programs, which could help stimulate your thinking while making your case for funding. We also provide an excellent afterschool program resource and several afterschool program funding opportunities.

 

Benefits of Afterschool Programs

According to AfterschoolAlliance.org, afterschool programs actually increase student attendance and engagement in elementary through high school-aged children. Afterschool programs are also said to raise test scores and grades in reading, English, and math; afterschool programs are credited with helping students at the greatest risk to achieve the greatest gains in achievement.After School Programs

In addition to the educational benefits of afterschool programs, these programs also help working parents and keep kids safe and provide them with a healthier lifestyle in regards to eating habits and exercise. In fact, teens who do not participate in afterschool programs are approximately three times more likely to use drugs, drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, and engage in sexual activity than teens who do participate in afterschool programs.

 

Afterschool Program Resources

After examining this information, afterschool programs seem to make perfect sense for making a difference in student’s lives. If you or your school is interested in starting an afterschool program, or if you already have an afterschool program but could use some refreshing information, you may be interested in The Wallace Foundation’s After School Program Resources webpage, which offers resources on budget planning, strategic financing plans, funding opportunities, and other strategies for planning and implementing afterschool programs.

 

Afterschool Program Funding and Grant Opportunities

Federal funding for afterschool programs is provided to the states for distribution to programs determined by each state’s afterschool needs. Below is a listing and summary of these programs, as described on the findyouthinfo.gov webpage titled “Funding for Afterschool.”

  • The 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21CCLC):
    This is the only federal funding source that supports nothing but afterschool programs. The 21CCLC program aims to support community learning centers that provide academic tutoring and homework help; community service; and music, arts, sports, and cultural activities. The Department of Education works with State Education Agencies (SEAs) to manage statewide competitions for funding.
  • The Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF):
    This program helps low-income families by providing child care vouchers. The CCDF also funds state child care quality improvement initiatives, which may include training programs and capacity-building for afterschool providers.
  • Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF):
    TANF funds provide financial assistance for low-income families. These funds can also be used to support afterschool programs in ways that are consistent with the TANF program. States can spend TANF funds on afterschool programs and initiatives or transfer up to 30% of the funds to CCDF.
  • Federal Food and Nutrition Programs: These programs support snacks and meals for participants of afterschool programs. In these cases, afterschool programs may receive reimbursements from one of four food and nutrition programs made available by the United States Department of Agriculture. These food and nutrition programs include the National School Lunch Program: Afternoon Snacks; the Child and Adults Care Food Program; the Summer Food Service Program; and the School Breakfast Program.

 

Some private foundations also support afterschool programs. The Wallace Foundation, mentioned earlier in this article, is one of them. They award grants between $1,000-$5 million in several educational areas, one of which is afterschool programs.

Another place to find afterschool funding is through JC Penney Cares, which focuses on
supporting educational organizations and programs.

 

TheGrantHelpers.com is here to help you reach your funding goals. Whether it’s finding more funding opportunities for afterschool programs or helping you write a proposal or develop a grant application, we have the experts you need to give you your best chance of funding success. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. Initial consultations are always free.

 

Image Credit: Fort Rucker

Topics: education, education resources, after school program, educational funding, education grants, education funding, education grant, school resources, afterschool program, afterschool programs, after school programs