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

Real-World Examples of How to Use a Grant

Posted by Michelle Hansen on Wed, May 8, 2013 @ 14:05 PM
Lowes Foundation Orcas Island 272x331

We routinely list a selected sample of grants available to municipalities, schools, and non-profit organizations for a variety of uses. Sometimes it may be difficult to imagine how your entity could use the grants to meet your goals, or you may struggle to imagine all the ways a grant could impact your school or community. In this blog, we will revisit some of the grant opportunities we have shared with you in the past and give you real examples of how organizations  have used the specific grants. Maybe these examples will give you some ideas where external funding could make life better in your community.

Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation

Since 2007, Lowe’s and the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation have awarded more than $175 million in grants to help to help improve communities. One recipient of the charitable efforts was the Orcas Island School District in Washington. The district received more than $50,000 in funds from the Foundation to upgrade kitchen appliances and purchase supplies for the district’s Farm to Cafeteria Program. In the program, the students harvest, prepare, and eat fresh food from nearby farms.

Bus and Bus Facilities Grants

The city of Driggs, ID, will construct a 1,500-square-foot passenger facility and a portion of 110-space Park and Ride lot thanks to assistance provided through the Bus and Bus Facilities Grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The city received an $830,000 grant in 2012. This grant is available to local governments and state transit systems to purchase new buses as well as upgrade or build new bus facilities.

United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development Community Facility Grants

In March 2011, Palestine, IL, lost its grocery store, leaving only the gas station as the destination to buy the basics of milk and eggs. The village already had a successful farmer’s market where local vendors sold produce and homemade goods. Additionally, the village had built a shell of a building in their downtown two years earlier. Village officials thought that if improvements could be made to that building, the farmer’s market could be held more frequently and for an extended period of time. The village received a $30,750 community facility grant to finish the interior of the building as well as to add accessible bathrooms, heating, and air conditioning. Now the farmer’s market is open in the early spring to late fall, giving the residents of the small village a reliable place to purchase needed produce, baked goods, and wares.

Walmart Giving Programs

The Walmart Foundation aims to meet four core areas: 1) hunger relief & healthy eating; 2) sustainability; 3) women's economic empowerment; and 4) career opportunity with its local, state, and national giving programs. In 2012, Action for Healthy Kids was one organization that received a piece of $9.5 million in grants to organizations with a shared mission of promoting healthy eating habits. Action for Healthy Kids was granted $1.5 million to help increase access to healthy food, and to improve nutrition education at 400 schools nationwide. The program expects to increase access to nutrition programs to 160,000 school-age children.

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Educated Kids Grant Program

The YMCA of Philadelphia and Vicinity received a $200,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in 2013 through the Foundation’s focus on educated kids. The YMCA is using the grant to help improve the quality and quantity of affordable, accessible child care for low-income families in its coverage area. Grant applications are accepted throughout the year.

The Mary Kay Foundation Domestic Violence Shelter Grant Program

The Mary Kay Foundation awarded Alice’s Place in Winslow, Ariz., a $20,000 grant in 2012. Alice’s Place planned to use the grant to help support its recently opened shelter, Laura’s House. The grant will help cover operational expenses and develop programs to aid people in the domestic violence recovery process. Shelter Grant Applications for 2013 are available from now until April 30, 2013.

Whether your vision is for a new community facility or money to enhance an ongoing educational program, we are here to assist you in locating and applying for the proper grant. See a complete list of all of our services or contact one of our grant experts to get started.

Photo credit: Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation

Topics: health and wellness grant, community development grant, domestic violence, domestic violence grant, support for domestic violence, community facility grants, corporate grant for education, bus facilities grants, child care grants, school food grant, domestic violence funding, bus grants, grant seeking