Like many of you, school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic have placed me in the - let’s be honest - not entirely welcome position of balancing a full-time career with my new role of homeschool teacher. I naively and, looking back on it, pompously believed that this would be a piece of cake. I have teenagers, not small children who demand constant attention. They are good students. How hard can it be? Hard. Harder than I thought possible.

You are knee deep in a large government grant proposal and… The executive director calls you on the way to another meeting and quickly ambles off a new strategy the agency will be embarking on that must be included in the proposal. The finance person sends you an email with three new expenses to include in the budget. As you are leaving a meeting with the evaluation team, you are told about a new assessment tool the agency will be implementing…

Many funders see far more applications each funding cycle than their dollars can feasibly reach, forcing them to give careful consideration to how they wish to accomplish their respective missions. Even if your organization is doing amazing, life-changing things for the population it serves, if you fail to articulate those amazing things in a way that convinces the holder of funds to invest in you, you could be missing out on funding.

Kansas City Arts Institute (KCAI) recently received a grant for $30,000 from the Francis Family Foundation to support the KCAI Annual Fund, which helps bridge the gap between student tuition and the actual cost of educating each student. The Annual Fund finances 8% of the KCAI operating budget, and it helps to support institutional scholarships, student aid, and our programs like the B.F.A. curriculum, Continuing Education, the Artspace, and the Current Perspectives Lecture Series. The funding from the foundation will help provide a one-of-a-kind educational experience for KCAI students and enhance program offerings for our art and design community.

Developing Potential, Inc. recently received a grant for $7,500 from the Greater Lee’s Summit Healthcare Foundation to purchase two patient transfer arm recliners, a Pegasus massage chair, three flexible massagers, and a tactile solutions box. The recliners, massage chair, and flex massagers encourage comfort, relaxation, and joint stress relief. The tactile solutions kit encourages healthy development of sensory input processing pathways and encourages wellbeing through increased environmental engagement. Nearly all participants at the Lee’s Summit site are residents of the greater Lee’s Summit area. This aligns with GLSHF’s mission to enhance the health and wellbeing of the greater Lee’s Summit area.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City (BGCKC) recently received a grant for $823,368 from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education 21st Century Community Learning Centers to provide youth development and academic improvement opportunities to middle school students at Clifford H. Nowlin Middle School.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City (BGCKC) was recently awarded a $754,083 grant from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education 21st Century Learning Centers to create a new afterschool site at Lee A. Tolbert Community Academy (LATCA).

COVID-19 has forced many schools, hospitals, and agencies to launch emergency operations that they did not previously offer or to expand upon services that were quickly found to be insufficient. Many limped into virtual operations without adequate technology infrastructure, software platforms, or sufficient bandwidth (both internet signal and staff capacity). The USDA Rural Utilities Services Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant is not new, but it has certainly launched itself into celebrity status. This three-year grant provides eligible applicants the funding to purchase telecommunications equipment, computer networks, and related advanced technologies to be used by students, medical professionals, and rural residents for the purpose of expanding telemedicine and distance learning to rural communities.