This week's grant news grab bag includes a couple stories at the local level to inspire creative grant making and collaborative grant seeking, and key news items at the federal level.
Collaboration Makes Us Stronger
Two Massachusetts municipalities partnered to receive nearly $900,000 in CDBG funding from the state to help restore low-income housing and community infrastructure. The cities of Fairhaven and Middleborough's joint grant seeking efforts paid off, earning the applicants an additional 10 evaluation bonus points for the collaborative approach.
Creative Grant Making
Philanthropy, it’s been said, embodies that well-known proverb, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Main Street Blytheville, a community-based organization assisting businesses in Blytheville, Arkansas, is no exception. Starting in fall 2013, merchants will be able to participate in an online merchandising course that will offer instruction on topics such as creating effective window displays and owner-employee conflict resolution. Participants will be tested, and the owner with the highest score will be awarded a grant to use on the exterior or interior of their building. Read more.
State of the Federal Grants Workforce
The federal government issues upwards of $600 billion annually in grants. Federal agencies differ widely in how they manage this money. The Council on Financial Assistance Reform (COFAR), established by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), found that some agencies manage grants by using a combination of subject-matter experts and grants management specialists, “while other agencies use program specialists to manage the entire grant process.” The GAO report recommends that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) clearly distinguish between these two roles for future competency plans. (Perhaps the GAO's study could be useful to state and local governments looking to better organize their own grants workforce?) Read the report summary and grants management series to assist federal agencies.
You've probably noticed there's a new look to the Grants.gov website. The Program Management Office has developed a new "Find and Apply" training video to provide applicants with a walkthrough of what to expect with the new site.
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