National Science Foundation (NSF) Attention educators, researchers, institutions of higher education, and associated organizations! NSF is now accepting proposals to its Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Education & Human Resources (IUSE: EHR) Program. As part of NSF’s broader IUSE education initiative, this program promotes better understanding of novel, creative, and transformative approaches to fully engaging all undergraduate students in STEM education. IUSE: EHR accomplishes this through engaged student learning (development, testing, and the use of innovative teaching/curricular practices) and institutional and community transformation (implementing and sustaining effective STEM education). Proposals to this program are due July 21, 2021.

National Science Foundation (NSF) Does your organization work to address systemic racism in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields? NSF is now accepting proposals to its Racial Equity in STEM program. This program is designed to advance racial equity in STEM education and workforce development through fundamental and applied research and practice. NSF encourages prospective applicants to send a one-page concept paper in advance of the full proposal. The full proposal deadline is July 13, 2021.

As grant professionals, we all know that one way to boost our proposals is to include collaboration. Funders like to see partnerships for a number of reasons. But too often, the partnerships we include might not be very substantive. Maybe we worked together on one event or they refer a few clients to our organization. But funders emphasize collaboration for good reason and it might be time to truly give those partnerships a chance to GROW! So, how do you go about helping your partnerships blossom? Begin by taking stock of all of your current partners, big or small. Partners could include other nonprofit organizations, funders, businesses, or individuals. Assess the ways in which you currently partner and begin thinking outside of the box to explore other ways in which both parties could benefit from expanded collaboration. One way the levels of partnership are often framed is through the 3C Model, which came from the for-profit sector. Its tiers include cooperation, coordination, and collaboration (moving from simple to complex). Here are a few ideas of ways to expand from surface-level partnership to meaningful relationships that benefit everyone involved:

U.S. Department of Justice – Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Is your law enforcement agency or school district seeking funding for security- and safety-related capacity improvements? The Department of Justice (DOJ) – Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) office has several funding opportunities opening soon that will support officer hiring and training, including school resource officers, as well as a variety of smaller-scale initiatives for law enforcement agencies. COPS funds a variety of grant programs that advance community policing through efforts such as hiring personnel; collaborating with school districts and other community partners to improve safety and security; training officers and key partners; and more. In last week’s Funding Friday post, we looked at three COPS programs that are currently accepting proposals. This week, we are highlighting three upcoming opportunities. Below is a brief breakdown of each of these programs.

Integrated Behavioral Services, Inc. (IBT) was recently awarded a $40,047 grant from Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund – All In for Kansas Kids to increase the number of childcare professionals trained effective social-emotional interventions (Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (PBIS)) for children with autism or other intellectual, developmental, physical, behavioral, and/or emotional needs. This project is the second part of a three-year plan to develop a replicable PBIS model that incorporates advanced social-emotional skills programming, puts into place appropriate structure, stability, and healthy behaviors to reduce problem behaviors among children at The K.I.D.S. Place.

May is a month of growth. Trees leaf out more fully and flowers bloom. The temperature rises without being sweltering. We slip the cold bonds of winter and the chaotic weather of early spring, and we breathe deeply of air redolent with the fragrance of blossoms and freshly mown grass. I do, at least until my allergies cause my sinuses to shut tighter than a 100-words-or-less organizational description. As spring’s warmth sets in, we may clean out some of the clutter we accumulated during the long winter. Yes, May is a good month for decluttering our living spaces, and it’s a good month to declutter our writing. By paring down our writing to its essentials, we can be much more effective as grant writers. We can actually grow by shrinking. And not only can we reduce the physical space our writing occupies, but we can also reduce the effort needed to read it and understand it.

U.S. Department of Justice – Community Oriented Policing Services Attention law enforcement agencies! The Department of Justice (DOJ) – Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) office has several funding opportunities currently available and multiple programs that will open soon. COPS funds a variety of grant programs that advance community policing through hiring personnel; developing and testing policing strategies; and training community members, leaders, and law enforcement officers. Included below are brief breakdowns of the open COPS solicitations, which support officer mental health and wellness and investigating the unlawful distribution of opioids and methamphetamines. In next week’s Funding Friday blog post, we will take a closer look at some of the upcoming COPS opportunities.

As pointed out in the Value Your Volunteers blog, it is important for grant professionals to properly communicate the value of volunteers, both programmatically and monetarily. Grant professionals should also be aware of ways they personally can volunteer their time outside of where they work. In addition to volunteering for organizations like food banks, youth development centers, and animal shelters, grant professionals can give back to their profession by volunteering their time.