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Federal vs. Foundation Funding - Embrace Them Both

Should we wait for a fresh, rich brew to percolate or settle for instant? Shop across town where prices are low or jet into our nearest convenience store? Savor the book or catch the movie? Life is a balance between effort and outcome, a constant trade-off between return and investment. The grant world offers the same dilemma. Public vs. private funding, which shall it be? Government grants offer the biggest jackpots, but are labor-intensive. Foundation grants offer smaller rewards, but are less time-consuming. Let’s look at the major pros and cons of each.

It's A Parlour Game...

According to the National Association of State Budget Officers, as cited in the president’s FY16 annual budget, federal agencies awarded more than $600 billion in grant funding to state and local governments, higher education, and other public sector organizations. Recent grant reform has emphasized improving the performance of each grant program from these federal agencies.

The Farmers Market Promotion Program

Who would not prefer to bite into a strawberry right off the vine instead of a frozen one, or take in the scent of a real flower rather than artificial fragrance? That same authentic experience occurs when we shop at farmers markets. There is something about the fresh air and connection to those who grow our food that makes us feel like a part of it all. Of course there are more tangible benefits too. Estimates hold that farmers markets put three times more of their sales back into the local economy than the major chains do. Farmers markets preserve the time-honored vocation of farming. They promote healthy eating with food so delicious we don’t notice it’s good for us. Want to make new friends? Market patrons have an average of 15-20 social interactions per visit. When was the last time that happened at the grocery store?

Land and Water Conservation Fund 101

If you’re managing a state or local parks and recreation agency and have counted on an annual grant from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), then you’ve probably been pacing back and forth wondering if this 50-year-old act will be funded again. In researching the LWCF for one of our eCivis clients, I found some background and current status tracking websites to keep you updated on pending congressional actions.

$9.2 Million in Grants to Improve Training Systems to Help Children with Disabilities

Last Friday, the U.S. Department of Education announced the award of $9.2 million in grants to nine states to improve personnel training systems to help children with disabilities. States receiving grants are: Arizona, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, and Tennessee.

Infrastructure Week 2015

If you're a civil engineer, mayor, or transportation department administrator, you probably know it's the 3rd annual Infrastructure Week (May 11-15). The theme of the week has perennially centered on the funding gaps between funding needs and actual levels, and the impact our investments have on our economic future. But what can we do with this information? We can arm ourselves with it, call on Congress to make long-term funding commitments, and explore programs and partnership possibilities.

Law Enforcement Grants for Body Cameras

Do people tend to behave better when they know they’re being watched? Those in favor of law enforcement officers wearing body cameras think so. In the wake of the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, and Freddie Gray’s death while in police custody in Baltimore, MD, proponents of body-worn cameras argue that their use improves police and civilian behavior, reveals instances of police misconduct, and builds trust between the police and the communities they serve.

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