This week in Funding News: California Community Foundation, Annie E. Casey Foundation, USA Today, JM Kaplan Fund

Photo Credit: Liberty HIll Foundation

Welcome to Funding News Weekly—your weekly connection to funding opportunities, tools, and grant makers that meet your mission. These curated opportunities represent potential investments and partnerships for MBK Network communities to support strategies and initiatives for boys and young men of color.

This week features a special Q & A with California Community Foundation Program Manager, Jai Phillips, about the power of public and private partnerships to advance outcomes for boys and young men of color.  Grant opportunities this week include: community development grants from USA Today Network, homeless assistance grants from Home Assistance Fund, Inc, social justice innovation grants from JM Kaplan Foundation, and grants from Annie E. Casey to advance workforce development in Southwest Atlanta.     

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New Funding Opportunities

      1. U.S. Department of Justice:  Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation – $$$$$
        Deadline: Letter of Intent –   February 22nd. Full Application – March 15, 2019
        Amount: $150,000
        Category: Workforce and Economic Development, Civic Engagement

        Eligibility:  501(c)(3) organizations serving Southwest Atlanta and representing a diverse collaborative of employers, service providers and residents.
        Description:In support of its mission to improve the lives of the nation’s most at-risk children and build healthy communities and stable families, the Foundation is seeking proposals through its Atlanta Civic Site program for community-led workforce efforts designed to help residents in Southwest Atlanta develop their skills and secure well-paying jobs. In 2019, the program will prioritize four key areas: active resident engagement (specifically within the NPU-V or a comparable neighborhood); capacity to develop talent and career pathways; partnership; and dedication to racial equality.
        Complete RFP


      1. USA Today Network – A Community Thrives Program $
        Deadline: February 28, 2019
        Amount:  $25,000 – $100,000
        Category:  Community Development
        Eligibility: 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and meet a challenge grant fundraising minimum
        Description:Founded in 1982, USA Today seeks to operate as both an informational resource and forum of discourse in order to bring citizens of the United States together in understanding.  In support of this mission, the company is accepting applications to its A Community Thrives Program. Through the program, grants totaling $2 million will be awarded in support of ideas focused on helping a particular neighborhood or region strengthen its sense of community, with priority given to ideas focused on traditionally underserved populations. Past recipients have submitted ideas in the arts, health and wellness, and education.  In addition, candidates located in markets served by USA Today/Garnett will be considered for operating grants.

        Complete RFP


      1. Homeless Assistance Fund, Inc – Philadelphia
        Deadline:  March 1, 2019
        Amount: $70,000
        Category:  Human Services 
        Eligibility: Programs serving homeless youth or families with children in Philadelphia.
        Description: The Homeless Assistance Fund works to break the cycle of homelessness in Philadelphia by providing access, opportunities, and support to homeless individuals and families, with the goal of helping them transition from shelters into permanent housing. In support of its mission, the organization is accepting applications from homeless service programs that assist families with children and/or unaccompanied youth between the ages of 16 and 25 who are experiencing homelessness. Programs must prioritize access to permanent housing and provide solutions focused on long-term stability.

        Complete RFP


      1. J.M. Kaplan Fund – JMK Innovation Prize $$
        Deadline: April 30, 2019 (first round application)
        Amount: $175,000
        Category:  Social Justice 
        Eligibility: Non-profit organizations and mission-driven for-profits
        Description: The fund is accepting applications for the 2019 J.M.K. Innovation Prize. Grants of up to $175,000 over three years will be awarded to ten early-stage innovators leading creative projects that stand to benefit numerous individuals, communities, and/or sectors. Project priorities include social justice-focused reforms of the criminal justice and immigration systems in the United States;  the preservation of natural resources and mitigation of the environmental impact of climate change; and heritage conservation. In addition to funding, the award includes significant in-kind support, including mentoring, community-driven learning experiences, media training, and resources for board/organizational development.

        Complete RFP


Funder Spotlight – Q&A with a Program Officer

Photo Credit: California Community Foundation

Jai Phillips, Program Manager – California Community Foundation

Stronger Together: The power of public- private partnerships

What is your foundation up to right now? What should MBK communities know about your work in advancing equity for boys and young men of color across the US/world?

On February 5, we announced a public-private partnership with the Los Angeles County Probation Department and the Liberty Hill Foundation to provide youth and families in the county with supportive, asset-based, high-quality resources, and opportunities toward successful pathways to adulthood for young men of color.

In 2012, CCF launched Building a Lifetime of Options and Opportunities for Men (BLOOM) in response to the fact that boys and young men of color (BYMOC) are overrepresented within the juvenile justice system in L.A. County. L.A. County’s black male youth population is about 9%, and currently they make up about 32% of juvenile justice involved youth— that’s nearly four times the percentage [of the population]. We had a bit of an ‘aha!’ moment when we realized that in the state of California, if a Black male doesn’t have a high school diploma, they have a 90% chance of getting involved with the justice system by the age of 35. If they have a diploma, that percentage of risk goes down to 12%. What is often viewed as a minor milestone in a lot of folks’ lives was a major indicator of someone’s success. Simple yet strong because it’s a milestone in a young person’s life where they have achieved something. It is taking them through a transition, it is a right of passage for a lot of folks to walk across a stage and receive a diploma at 17 or 18 saying , ‘I’m an adult now’. It signifies a lot of things.

What we wanted to do with a public-private partnership is to build a cohort with a set of interventions to replace gaps in services. Interventions based on research to ensure services are aligned with evidence-based practices for effective correctional intervention. Additionally, we will provide technical assistance to service providers regarding budgets, infrastructure, and programmatic record keeping as needed.

The goal is to be able to build these organizations up so that they can do their work better for the community. We are using our resources and knowledge of what makes a strong community-based organization or program so they can then take that and build up their infrastructure and their operations. Then, they will naturally will be able to provide additional support to their programs as well. What we are hoping to do with that is to then build a bridge between them and the County. Foundations have been a driver of these resources, but these resources are really public resources. And they should be funded by the local government. [We’re] building up their capacity to be able to engage with the county directly in the future and get around some of the bureaucracy and the red tape of the contracting process and the reporting process that has hindered a lot of our grassroots organizations from applying directly with the County.

Our goal is to build a system that replaces the traditional structures of punishment and incarceration with best practices centered on healing, learning, and opportunity. Grantees will receive funding for the critical work to strengthen their education, mental health, cultural, and workforce programs. We’re looking at the full spectrum—a whole child approach—while also identifying those who can benefit from the training and support of building capacity for growth and success.

How do organizations get on your foundation’s radar? What advice would you give to a MBK community looking to build a relationship with your foundation?

The first thing is make sure you do your research. We often get cold calls where folks have not looked thoroughly at the opportunities that we provide, and are unable to make a clear case for how an opportunity connects to their work. We recommend having a prepared vision of how you see the work intersecting and provide us with strong examples. At CCF, we make it a priority to give community members time to engage with our program officers, even if it’s only for 15 minutes. It is very important how you use those 15 minutes.

That’s the reason why our collaborations and our partnerships with the community are so strong. Our Board is more likely to approve our grant recommendations because we have strong partnerships with our grantees, we’ve already had these conversations with them.  We’ve made sure they’ve done their homework and we’ve done our homework and have come up with the best grant proposal possible to put before our Board for approval. Taking it a step further, when you are thinking around your program and what it is you are trying to do, make sure that it’s innovative and forward thinking. Make sure it’s responsive to the community, and make sure it’s sustainable.

In what ways can foundations help cross-sector collaboration or play an important role in pushing cross-sector collaborations and partnerships?

Our MBK grant is a prime example of this. We reached across the aisle in multiple directions: Liberty Hill and California Community Foundation came together to leverage our expertise and our connections to the work of community-based organizations, as well as within L.A. County offices. This was a full lift. And this was the closest to collective impact that we could probably get, with us coming together in order to create this unified vision for youth. Recognizing where the strengths are, where the synergies are, and being able to say ‘We would be stronger if we go after this together.’ That was the vision for our MBK grant. We could go after this alone, and we would probably do well, but we would be much stronger if we all pulled together. Those moments of clarity and collaboration are key to understanding that no one can do it all. When we’re able to pool our resources together, we can make a greater impact.

What concerns and excites you most about the future of philanthropy in the BYMOC field?

The most exciting thing is to see local government taking ownership and saying ‘maybe we didn’t have it right, and maybe we should reach across the aisle to our partners and foundations in order to better serve the community’. That level of communication and collaboration makes me very excited. Oftentimes, individuals who work in philanthropy and CBOs, at all different levels, can become siloed. One of our mantras here at CCF is “Stronger Together”. This is why I’m most excited about this opportunity with the public-private partnership. The things that I see, the leadership and the changes within the County and how they are thinking about moving the city forward make me excited for the place I call home.

Tip, trick or tool of the week

Digital fundraising, or using various digital channels in an integrated way including websites, donor pages, social media, text-message based organizing, crowd-sourcing, and email advertising, is a growing source of income and engagement for grantseekers and grant makers alike.   Online giving grew by 23% in 2018 compared to 12% in 2017, with 54% of individual donors saying they would rather give online.  Digital fundraising allows you to expand your audience and reach beyond your local community to engage a broader pool of people interested in supporting your cause.

Upcoming Training/Technical Assistance

Check out 10 Strategies for Success with Digital Fundraising , from EveryAction for a self-paced video on how to develop a digital fundraising plan.