The YMCA of Greater Kansas City was recently awarded a $2,102,020 grant from the Hall Family Foundation for direct operating support of the Linwood YMCA/James B. Nutter, Sr., Community Center (Linwood Y). This support will ensure the viability of our positive youth development programs, which are critical community resources. This partnership will also help to bridge the gap in revenues until the programs can be underwritten by sustaining revenue from the YMCA’s new downtown facility, opening in late 2020.

To kick off the month of love, we’d like to talk about relationships. In our personal lives, we know that nurturing relationships with our families, friends, and partners is important. Strong relationships provide mutual benefits; we give support to our loved ones as they make steps toward their personal goals, and we hope they do the same for us. As nonprofit leaders and grant professionals, we all know how crucial it is to build solid relationships in order to succeed in reaching our organizational goals, as well. We build relationships with our beneficiaries to make sure our program strategies match their strengths, needs, and solutions. And we build relationships with funders to ensure we have a strong financial foundation to continue offering those programs. Just as every relationship in our personal lives is unique, so are the approaches we must take with funders, depending on whether they are a foundation, corporation, or federal agency. So, let’s talk about the distinct “love language” and which approach to take in building relationships with each of the funders listed below.

Department of Justice – Office on Violence Against Women Does your organization provide services to undeserved victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and related crimes? The Department of Justice (DOJ) is now accepting proposals for its Grants for Outreach and Services to Underserved Populations through the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW). OVW operates under the DOJ and provides funding for coordinated community responses to holding offenders accountable and serving victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

Department of Homeland Security – Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Attention fire departments and state fire training academies! The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and FEMA recently opened a funding opportunity focused on improving fire safety for the public and firefighters. The Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program provides direct funding to eligible entities for training and equipment.

The YMCA of Greater Kansas City recently received a grant for $100,000 from the Health Forward Foundation, Healthy Communities to ensure that the healthy living strategies planned and implemented at the downtown Y, many of which will be scalable across the association, are inclusive and accessible to employees and residents who are low-income, underinsured, or uninsured.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – Center for Mental Health Services Does your public agency provide mental health services for children and their families? SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services recently opened its 2021 Grants for Expansion and Sustainability of the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children with Serious Emotional Disturbances program (also known as System of Care (SOC) Expansion and Sustainability Grants). This program aims to improve mental health outcomes for children and youth (up to age 21) who have serious emotional disturbances (SED) and for their families. The deadline for applications is coming up quickly on February 5, 2021.

KidsTLC was recently awarded a $50,000 grant from the Health Forward Foundation, Applicant Defined Grant to support in general operating “emergency funds” for the Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility (PRTF) “Phoenix” Program and Qualified Residential Treatment Program (QRTP), the “Phoenix Sanctuary” residential programs related directly to the COVID-19 crisis.

It’s January. Are you ready for a reset? Better yet, is your grant strategy ready for a reset? I am just hunching here but with a year like 2020, I think the answer may be “yes” (and probably in many more ways than just grants)!  There are many different tools and tactics to reset your grant strategy.

Department of Labor – Employment and Training Administration Does your organization provide education, occupational skills training, and/or employment services to at-risk youth? The Department of Labor (DOL) – Employment and Training Administration recently opened applications for its YouthBuild program. This program supports organizations that provide pre-apprenticeship services to youth ages 16 to 24, while these at-risk youth perform meaningful work and service within their communities.