Are you the kind of person always up for a challenge? Who will fix what can’t be fixed? Find the solution no one has thought of before? Take on the task that makes everyone else shudder? Or maybe you are just a nice normal person who has a great idea now and then! Perhaps Challenge.gov is for you. One component of the Open Government Directive was to encourage more public-private collaboration. To quote President Obama, The challenges we face today – from saving our planet to ending poverty – are simply too big for government to solve alone. We need all hands on deck. Challenge.gov was a direct result of this directive. On this site, over 80 federal agencies host challenges and prize competitions to find innovative solutions to their most pressing problems.Read More
Across the U.S. there are over 5 million 14-24 year olds that are neither in school or working. Many are either homeless, in foster care or in the justice system. Aside from the tremendous loss of human potential if their paths are not reversed, there is the threat of billions of dollars in incarceration and social service costs. While there are many organizations that assist these young people, there are serious bureaucratic obstacles to their success. Agencies at different levels of government have a hard time coordinating with each other, let alone with nonprofits and community groups. There are gaps in services, data systems that can’t communicate across organizational lines, and an overabundance of regulations. The Performance Partnerships Pilots for Disconnected Youth set out to change that. It paves the way for innovative programs to cut through the red tape and remove the barriers to working together in order serve their clients in more effective ways.Read More
In this article, I’ll talk to you about the first of two potential collaboration options for local government. The first type is a fiscal sponsorship, the second type is project planning and implementation collaboration that I will cover in my June blog post. If you’re a local government, these two articles will provide you with some additional options for finding and qualifying for grant funding opportunities that are limited to IRS-approved 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations.Read More
It’s common knowledge that you can't simply arrest your way out of a crime problem. Sure, getting the bad folks off the street is a great step toward deterrence (at least while they remain in jail), but that’s not a complete solution. Crime—or rather, the causes of crime—are highly complex, and there isn’t a law enforcement agency around that can fix that solely within the scope of their abilities.
And that’s where collaboration comes in. You may have noticed that a lot of federal grant programs these days include a collaboration component (see COPS below). It may seem like a burden in some ways, but once you see the positive aspects of partnering with an outside agency to make an impact on crime, you'll jump at the chance to collaborate.Read More
The Department of Labor is awarding $175 million in American Apprenticeship Grants to 46 public-private partnerships. The winning grantees have pledged to train and hire more than 34,000 new apprentices in high-growth and high-tech industries, including health care, IT, and advanced manufacturing over the next five years. The grant emphasis on partnerships is front and center.Read More
Whether you're an elected official or a full-time local government employee, your mission is to improve your community. Promises made on the campaign trail or goals included in a department’s strategic plan should eventually be fulfilled; however, we must all acknowledge that having a vision and realizing that vision can sometimes be light years apart. In this blog article, I’ll give you glimpses into communities that have funded community improvement visions.Read More
Annually, units of municipal government, nonprofit organizations, and other eligible grant applicants go through a budget planning and preparation process for the next fiscal year’s anticipated expenses and revenues. This is a long process that often involves public meetings, department-level number crunching, and governing body review and approval of the final proposed budget. While this can best be described as a labor-intensive project for all parties involved, it frequently overlooks the possibility of retaining the services of an in-house grant writer or a third-party grant writing consultant.Read More
Smart technologies are changing the way we live and allowing cities to more efficiently deliver services. There are smart signals to optimize timing and assist with easing traffic congestion in cities, smart water meters that allow water customers to track usage and conservation in real time, and general open-data apps to keep residents informed and conserve resources.Read More
|North Hartford Promise Zone (Google Maps).|
Yesterday, the Obama Administration announced the next round of urban, rural, and tribal communities that have received a Promise Zone designation. For this second round of competition, 123 applications were received from 38 states, along with Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. Eight communities—six urban and two rural/tribal—were selected for Promise Zone designation:Read More
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.