Funding

Looking to re-submit a proposal that didn’t get funded last year? Applying for a new funding opportunity? Or re-applying for a highly competitive grant? If this sounds like you, listen up! Grant proposals are denied for so many different reasons and sometimes, unbeknownst to us. In the best cases, you get reviewer feedback, but more likely you are left wondering where your proposal went wrong and what could be done differently to set it apart from the flood of other applicants. Fear not – here are some tried and true, back-to-the-basics ways to improve your proposal and elevate it from the competition.  

Mosaic Life Care Foundation (MLCF) was recently awarded a $100,000 grant from the Patterson Family Foundation to support a portion of the Phase II Capital costs for their Cancer Survivorship Clinic. Phase II, the 9,000 square-foot Cancer Survivorship Clinic will feature an array of professional services and comfort for patients and families. New additions include a multi-purpose education room; expanded therapy services; wellness and exercise gym; spiritual health services; massage, acupuncture, and acupressure treatment; and a patient library. The capital budget includes general construction supplies and equipment, as well as technology improvements to increase virtual service capabilities for rural residents.

Wichita Children’s Home (WCH) was recently awarded a $31,277 grant from the State Human Trafficking Victims’ Assistance Fund (Kansas) to focus on supporting the depth and breadth of Wichita Children’s Home’s survivor aftercare services for victims of human trafficking (HT). Our primary goal is to empower these young women to heal and achieve self-actualization.

Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired (CCVI) recently received a grant for $75,000 from the Sarli Family Foundation to sustain core services in 2022. This support will help CCVI meet the ever-present needs of children with visual impairments while recruiting and retaining the highly specialized staff required to deliver services. General support allows CCVI to focus our resources on key services to achieve the best possible outcomes for the children we serve, especially during this difficult time. CCVI teachers, therapists, and specialists will provide services for 275 infants and children in 2022 through the following core program areas:
  • The Early Intervention Program (EIP) offers an individualized educational/therapy program for infants and toddlers, birth through age three, who have significant visual impairments that impact learning. It provides home-based instruction, therapies, and center-based evaluations of developmental progress.
  • The Preschool/Kindergarten Program’s six classrooms combine curriculum with specialized therapies and activities to enhance basic skills while preparing children for inclusion in public or private elementary schools.
  • Outreach Services are provided for school-age children attending public, private, charter, parochial, and state schools that do not have certified teachers of the visually impaired and/or orientation and mobility instructors. Services include assessment and monitoring of functional visual development and training on specialized classroom equipment.
  • Parent/Family Support Programs offer educational and training opportunities for all families, including orientation and mobility training, health care navigation, and other workshops and social gatherings.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwestern Illinois (BBBSIL) recently received a grant for $20,000 from the Joseph H. & Florence A. Roblee Foundation to produce quality, lasting 1:1 mentoring relationships that keep kids in school, out of trouble, and on a path to post-graduation success. Funding will support the identification and recruitment of volunteers, enrollment and interviews of new youth and their families, and regular follow-ups with participants.

Integrated Behavioral Technologies, Inc. (IBT) was recently awarded a $25,000 grant from the Dwane L. and Velma Lunt Wallace Charitable Foundation to replace the fire suppression hood and venting in the kitchen at The K.I.D.S. Place early childhood center. The Wallace Foundation has been a dedicated supporter of IBT's mission to support diverse learners. (Read more about their past giving here: Wallace Foundation Funds Playground Accessibility).

It’s normal and often encouraged to seek multiple funding opportunities for a single program, often referred to as braided funding (see Braiding Funds without Getting Tied Up In Knots – Approaching Budgets with Pre-Award and Post-Award In Mind by Julie Alsup, GPC). You might even request more funds than you need to run a program with the expectation that one or more proposals will fall through. As nonprofit organizations that belong to and are supported by the public, we should always be looking for new funding streams in case an existing source should dry up. But what if you ask for more than you need, and all the funders decide you shall receive?

What to Expect When You’re Prospecting Or: What to Know About Working with a Consultant A scenario: your small nonprofit organization has been in operation for several years now, thanks to the generosity and trust of individual donors and supporters. You have generated some promising outcome data from your programs, have a clear direction, and are making a positive impact on your target population. You feel you’re ready to move on to the next step in your organization’s growth: diversifying funding streams by adding in some grant dollars. But you’re busy running programs, your board is stretched thin, and you’re just not sure where to start. Choosing to seek outside assistance from a grant professional is a big step for an organization. The combination of a very small staff (or perhaps even a one-person shop), a small pool of invested donors and volunteers, and the amount of time, energy, and resources spent in getting a nonprofit off the ground can make this a deeply personal decision. An outsider consultant who suddenly asks lots of specific questions about your policies, competitors, and finances might feel a little intrusive (at best) or downright offensive (at worst). But wait! That consultant means well. They’re likely trying to gauge your organization’s grant-readiness and capacity for managing different types of funding opportunities to determine the most effective and efficient next steps. Here’s what to expect as you enter this new relationship.