United States Department of Agriculture – Food and Nutrition Services Attention schools, nonprofits, and state agencies working to improve student nutrition programs! The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently opened its annual Farm to School funding opportunity through the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) office. This grant program, in alignment with the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, provides funding and technical assistance for creating and implementing farm to school programs that improve access to local foods. Eligible activities include training, supporting operations, planning, equipment purchases, developing school gardens, building partnerships, and implementation activities. Proposals for this program are due January 10, 2022.

When I was a kid, I loved Halloween. I loved dressing up and pretending to be someone else - someone that was better, stronger, and more capable than I felt I would ever be. Fast forward through the decades and I recognize there are times when I want to pretend to be someone else - someone who is better, stronger, and more capable than I sometimes feel. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized what I was feeling was imposter syndrome. During my tenure with the Grant Professionals Certification Institute board of directors, I started to see that many grant professionals feel the same way.

Health Resources and Services Administration Does your organization work to address opioid use disorder in rural areas? The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) recently opened its annual funding opportunity, the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program – Implementation (RCORP-Implementation). RCORP-Implementation is a multi-year initiative that focuses on strengthening and expanding prevention, treatment, and recovery services for substance use disorder (SUD) and opioid use disorder (OUD) in rural communities. Ultimately, RCORP aims to improve access to treatment for rural residents, so that they may move toward recovery. Applications for this program are due January 13, 2022.

Department of Transportation – Federal Transit Administration Does your state or local government operate a bus service? The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is now accepting proposals for its 2021 Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program. The goal of CCAMPIS is to support the financing of buses and bus facilities projects. Eligible expenses include purchasing or leasing buses and purchasing, rehabilitating, constructing, or leasing bus-related facilities. Proposals for this program are due November 19, 2021.

Spooky season is upon us, and at AGS we’ve been thinking about what keeps us up at night when it comes to grants. As grant pros, we are skilled at anticipating challenges and putting controls in place to mitigate negative outcomes in our grant programs. Here are some eerie grant scenarios with suggested actions that’ll have you sleeping like a baby.

National Endowment for the Humanities – Office of Digital Humanities Does your institution or humanities-related organization have a digital project in the works? If your program is seeking funding for the development or implementation of a scalable, sustainable digital project that has the potential to enhance humanities research, teaching, and programming, you might be interested in this opportunity. The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) recently opened applications for the Digital Humanities Advancement Grants (DHAG) to support innovative, experimental, and/or computationally challenging digital projects, whether at the early research/start-up phase, the sustainability phase, or anywhere in between.

Poetry for Personal Power (P3) recently received a grant for $100,000 from the Health Forward Foundation Mental Health Fund to support the Stars Among Us program. The Stars Among Us program will match 30-60 peers with a behavioral health peer support specialist for peer support and mentoring in the community. Each peer will receive 25 hours of one-on-one peer support from a trained peer; unlimited access to P3 peer workshops and groups; and access to P3’s trainings, resources, and events such as advocacy events, webinars, the peer information campus (PIC), and connection to community resources. Peer support, including connection and referrals to other community service providers that are part of the peers’ recovery plan, will aid in solving social determinants and will increase the likelihood of success in achieving mental health and substance use recovery milestones.

AmeriCorps Does your organization engage staff and volunteers in evidence-based practices or interventions that strengthen your community? Have you considered recruiting and training one or more AmeriCorps member(s) to help with these efforts? AmeriCorps recently released their notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) for their Fiscal Year 2022 AmeriCorps State and National Grants program. This program supports eligible entities in establishing approved national service positions through which AmeriCorps members can engage in community service activities. Awardee entities recruit, train, and oversee the members and provide them with a living allowance and other benefits during the members’ year of service. The national deadline for this opportunity is January 5, 2022; however, most applicants serving a single state will apply through their respective state AmeriCorps commission, and the individual state deadlines may be coming up sooner.

One of the most important resources in nonprofit organizations is the staff. They form relationships with the people they serve. They build relationships in the community to find the resources clients need. Without them, the nonprofit programs and services which affect millions of lives would fall silent. While we are advocates of writing grants which describe how the target population is involved in the program, this does not mean that organizations should stop describing the strengths of their staff. Here are four ways to highlight the quality and importance of your staff in your next grant: