While the deadline for 2012 has just passed, the National Day of Service Remembrance grant program is one grant program to keep in mind for next spring. This relatively new grant program was first enacted in 2009 as a means of honoring the victims and heroes of the September 11th tragedy by improving America's communities.
This grant program seeks to invest in programs that demonstrate significant community impact and address community problems through service and volunteering. Programs that rose in service as a result of the tragedy, or those who work to mobilize their communities in service and remembrance of September 11th, are also encouraged to apply.
The Corporation for National and Community Services and the 2009 Serve America Act established six priorities for the program, which are:
- Disaster Services
- Economic Opportunity
- Environmental Stewardship
- Healthy Futures
- Veterans and Military Families
For 2012, programs addressing Disaster Services and Veterans and Military Families will be the most competitive. Programs must address a community need, provide opportunities to engage new and diverse groups in service, leverage new community and public-private partnerships, and emphasize connections to Veteran Service and Military Service Organizations where possible, among other tasks. Service activities must connect directly to September 11th National Day of Remembrance activities and occur on or near that day. Within the program's set priorities, however, focuses change annually. This allows the program to be flexible to the needs of the nation, and applicable to many different organizations.
The award range is between $50,000 and $100,000, and the applicant pool is always large. Eligible applicants include public or private nonprofit organizations, institutes of higher education, cities, counties, Indian tribes, labor organizations, state agencies, and partnerships. Applicants should have a large scope, and those with multi-state, national (meaning consisting of 10 or more states), or comprehensive regional focuses have a competitive edge. The funding period is 2 years long, and proposals are generally due in early March.