What a great month it has been when it comes to training and learning new things. Since we last spoke, there has been a lot of talk about the sustainability of ARP funds, and I am really excited about this work. I have two more sessions to attend on this topic.
Don’t give up
The first thing that should be on your list of things to do is-- DON’T GIVEUP. Take out a piece of paper and write down a list of things you want to sustain from ARP HCY. Ask yourself what criteria you are using to decide which programs can be sustained. Call it your wish list. If you concentrate and organize and prioritize the items you want to sustain from ARP HCY, it can be done. We will start with the basic braiding and blending of funds.
Here is the definition provided by NCHE: Braiding funding
Funds from multiple funding streams are used to support the total costs of a common goal (for example, to expand access to child and family services). Funds from each specific funding source must be tracked separately.
Multiple funding streams are mixed to support the total costs of a common goal. Costs do not have to be allocated or tracked separately. Regulatory requirements could create challenges.
Different funds are used to support the costs of a common goal. Services are supplemented with additional funds to support other client level services.
At this point, you might be saying, “But I am a new grant manager and I have no idea how to do that.”
This is when you turn to the veteran grant writers in our community. I turned to Karen Holley, Nye County School District, and Lauren Ohlin, Washoe County School District, and asked them to put together a training for May on this topic. Join us the McKinney Vento office hour for this presentation.
The Public Sector
The next resource is public sector grants. Again, this maybe old hat for you, but if it is not read on.
Once you get out of federal funds this leads you to leveraging charities. Foundations have the ability to make a huge difference. In 2020, the American public gave away $471 billion dollars to charity. Of that, foundations gave 19 percent, $88.55 billion, and 4 percent was given by corporations, $16.88 billion.
LEAs need to leverage a piece of that pie and in order to do that, you need to have the ability to search the public foundations. This means having the right online tools and search engines like Candid or Foundation Search.
These types of tools allow you to see if the grant money is the right fit for your district.
I have noticed that some LEAs are better equipped to handle public sector grants than others and I know that some LEAs just don’t have the capacity to search the public sector to see what is available.
In March, the state McKinney Vento coordinators met in Washington DC and I met with them virtually to attend their panel and discuss the sustainability of ARP HCY. Sustainability has been a hot topic of conversation. In this conversation state coordinators gave some examples of places to look for funds:
Walmart, Target and Valley Electric Association for small items under $10,000. NV Energy should also be included in that conversation. I was told they wanted to branch out into education is ready to give too.
Another great resource for funding is NV Grant Lab. Look these people up and attend some training. Some of the training is free. For instance, the one on Capacity at the end of March was paid for by a grant. This is what they can do:
Nevada Grant Lab, a nonprofit corporation, started in 2020 with a vision to help nonprofits, local governments, and State agencies better access and maximize historically underutilized federal funding that can be used to build greater quality of life and opportunity for all Nevadans. They have a lot of training during the year for non-profits and for government organizations—like school districts.
The Nevada Grant Lab helps organizations with capacity building, grant services, data, engagement and policy. Later this month, I will be attending a training on capacity building and I will let you know how the training goes. In the meantime, keep talking about sustainability.
ARP HCY Effectiveness Survey
By the time this article is out, all LEAs should have seen the survey.
This survey is a quick way to get answers on the effectiveness of ARP-HCY spending. Please complete the survey as quickly as possible. In the end, it asks about sustainability and your district’s ability to search for foundations. In other words, do you possess online tools to search for public sector grants.