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LISC: Working for Communities

The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is a community development organization that has been helping create a better future for over 7 million Americans for the past 35 years. Established in 1979 by executives from the Ford Foundation, it now has 31 local offices and a rural program that reach 44 states and 1400 counties. LISC takes a holistic approach to its mission,

What Do I Do With All This Data?

Despite the plethora of public data available, it can be difficult to navigate information about federal programs, funding opportunities, and current awards to find the best available resources to address the most pressing challenges in local communities. This is especially true for organizations without capacity or experience partnering with the Federal government.

Fire-Adapted Communities: The Community Planning Assistance for Wildfire Program (CPAW)

Along with their devastating physical and psychological toll, the price tag for fighting wildfires keeps increasing. According to Headwater Economics, since 2002, the cost of federal wildfire protection and suppression has tripled to more than $3 billion per year. A separate federal report found that 44 million

Building Capacity:  How Community Coalitions Are Improving The Chances of Federal Funding Awards

Since early 1990s, community coalition building has made progressive inroads for securing federal funding for community based projects. Building capacity within partner organizations and collaborative sectors strengthens relationships and provides a solid foundation to identify and solve the most pressing community problems. Community coalitions can be the answer that is sitting on the lap of organizations that are seemingly struggling to keep vital programs alive, while the push for greater collaboration is embedded within the verbiage of federal funding announcements and requirements. Many organizations do not understand how to begin building a coalition, while others choose not to participate, which ultimately places unnecessary burdens and limitations for organizational and programmatic sustainability.

Rails-to-Trails Grants:  The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Development Fund

Rails-to-trails is an exciting movement that converts abandoned railroad tracks into trails for pedestrians, equestrians, cyclists and kinetic enthusiasts of all kind. High profile repurposed lines include the Atlanta Beltway, Chicago’s Bloomingdale Trail, and New York's High Line which is beginning to rival Central Park as a must visit tourist attraction. Whether urban, rural, or somewhere in between, recycled railroads are a perfect place for fitness, fun, and financial renaissance. The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy via the Doppelt Family Trail Development Fund is currently offering competitive grants to build or improve mulituse trails.

Jobs, Small-Scale Manufacturing and Place-Based Economies - A Technical Assistance Opportunity from Smart Growth America

Smart Growth America is a national nonprofit that brings smart growth practices to communities across the country. We first told you about them in our post about their Transit-Oriented Development Technical Assistance opportunities. They are currently offering workshops for economic capacity building in their Small-Scale Manufacturing and Place-Based Economic Development Technical Assistance program.

Capacity Building for Local Government - Resources from the Building Neighborhood Capacity Program

Capacity building! Most of us know the general meaning even if its nuances have yet to completely crystallize in our minds. In broad terms, it means enabling an entity to help itself. In the nonprofit arena, it is related to organizational effectiveness and has become an increasingly popular area for funding. There is also a federal program dedicated specifically to local communities. The Building Neighborhood Capacity Program (BNCP) is dedicated to providing the combination of knowledge, skills, relationships, processes and resources that residents, local organizations and cross-sector partners need to work together to achieve their goals.

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