I currently serve as board chair for the Youth & Family Center at Lake Superior Village. The program is a collaboration between the Marquette Housing Commission, the YMCA and GLCYD. Earlier this year, Tyler McCabe, the program director, and I applied for some local grant opportunities through Zonta of Marquette and the Community Foundation of Marquette County. We also submitted a grant application to purchase a half dozen Chromebooks for the afterschool homework room through Dollar General.
We were fortunate to receive these three grants. They funded three summer field trips and a special program for the girls. And the computers will allow the youth to use the same technology they use in school. Finding out you have been approved for a grant is like winning an Oscar when you work in the nonprofit realm. It is necessary to put time and effort into the application process, but you get so much in return.
Things I didn’t anticipate I would receive in the course of the grant process include:
- Collaboration/connection with the funding organizations and other awardees.
- Board due diligence and involvement: Gaining a better perspective as a collaborative board member of what is truly involved in the program. This allows me to make more informed decisions on a board level.
- A better understanding of the grant process, including the case statement, budget, plan, carrying out the plan, and reporting/closing it out.
- Opportunities to promote GLCYD at award presentations and on social media as part of the collaboration, demonstrating the organization’s leadership in the youth sector.
These experiences bring a new perspective to my interactions with nonprofits and community members. Having gone through this experience, I know that I am more knowledgeable and confident in sharing this information and encouraging others to go for it.
If you wish to learn more about grant writing, we have two breakout sessions at the U.P. Nonprofit Conference on October 12th at NMU that you may be interested in: An Overview of Grant Writing with Kristin Beck, NMU, and Tips, Tactics and Pitfalls of Budget Development with Erica Goff, NMU.