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Community Development Block Grants Serve the Needs of Nonprofits

The first time I heard the acronym "CDBG" as a brand new grant writer, I didn’t know what to think. What did those four letters stand for ("Community Development Block Grant"), and why were they so important? As a grant writer located in Maricopa County, Arizona, I know that most cities have some form of CDBG funding—in fact, practically every city in the County (Scottsdale, Mesa, Glendale, Chandler, Peoria, and the Town of Gilbert). Why are these grants are so important? Because with other funding sources drying up, CDBG grants are an excellent source of funding that nonprofits have come to rely on over the years.

How Local Governments Can Land Private-Sector Grants

Local governments are not necessarily precluded from pursuing private-sector grants. By creating a 501(c)(3) foundation, local governments, and even police departments, can become eligible for grants from private-sector grantors that indicate in their guidelines that they only award grants to nonprofits. During ICMA's September webinar "The Language of Grant Writing," one of the last questions during the Q&A secton came from a local government official that brought up this very issue:

“I’m with the city and we have never considered going after private-sector funding. How can we position ourselves to win foundation grant awards?”

The answer deserved transcription, so I've quoted it at length below. Dr. Beverly Browning, who hosted the webinar, responded as follows:

Grant Success Spotlight: Chisholm Kids Plus

Chisholm Kids Plus is a nonprofit coalition established by the Northland Foundation to improve the well-being of children and youth in the rural town of Chisholm, Minnesota. This year, the organization applied for the Office of National Drug Control Policy's Drug-Free Communities Support Program. With the assistance of eCivis' grant writing team, Chisholm Kids Plus won a $625,000 matching grant that will go toward substance prevention efforts among youth in Chisholm.

Matching Funds: Two Words That Prevent You From Applying?

Has a matching fund requirement ever prevented you from applying for a grant?

Grant Seeking in an Affluent City: How to Approach Funders

I was recently asked to help a nonprofit organization that was located in an affluent city and that was continually rejected by grantors when it sought funding to supplement its other revenues. The organization’s staff figured that potential funders had perceived the nonprofit as being as well off as the high-median-income city in which it was situated.

Capacity Building Grants for Nonprofits: Trend and Resources

I recently met with a local foundation currently redesigning their community programs to include capacity building grants (also known as organizational effectiveness grants) to enhance the overall effectiveness of area nonprofits. The funder’s goal is to invest in the mission of local nonprofits to help ensure successful delivery of services to local communities and long-term sustainability of organizations. Through capacity building grants, the foundation is leveraging the impact of their philanthropic resources.

Joint Grant Seeking: A Strategy for Securing Grants

Economic challenges and increased competition for dwindling resources is motivating many nonprofits and public agencies to take a closer look at collaboration as a means of ensuring sustainability. Organizations are increasingly leveraging resources by forming partnerships with other agencies. Funders welcome strong collaborative efforts that include joint grant seeking that will result in strengthening organizational effectiveness, expanding reach, and implementing best practices in a cost-effective manner.

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