The reviews are in on this summer's grant writing workshops in Philadelphia and Easton Pennsylvania! Informative, imaginative, creative, educational and entertaining were just some of the adjectives participants used to describe the workshops, designed to help smaller community and faith based organizations learn how to navigate the application process for federal grants.
Workshop participants had lots of questions for HUD's trainers.
"The speakers gave me motivation to complete my strategic plan and be determined and proactive in seeking funding to achieve the goals of the plan," said another participant who was so motivated he planned to go back to the office and get his organization's business records in order.
HUD's expert trainers Cheryl Appline and Cynthia Haines offered personal instruction on how organizations can become more competitive for federal grant funds, how they can qualify for 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, and how they can structure their organization to secure government funds.
"�[The trainer] was superb in her presentation, tactics and approach. I gained great insight in developing an application and understanding the mechanics of operating a non-profit organization," according to comments written on the workshop evaluation form.
One Easton workshop participant was especially grateful for the training on the logic model which helps applicants focus on results and develop performance measures and accountability standards. This component is required in all grant submissions for federal funds and is critical to the success of an application. Philadelphia's Office of Housing and Community Development provided guidance on the consolidated plan process and how the city makes funds available through its request for proposal (RFP) process at the Philadelphia training. That information was well received by local organizations that compete for those funds annually.
Assistant Secretary Nesmith announces award to Calcutta House.
As an added incentive to Philadelphia participants, HUD showcased a local non-profit organization that was successful in getting the "big check". HUD Assistant Secretary Steve Nesmith and Senator Rick Santorum's State Director Jeffrey J. Haberkern presented Calcutta House in Philadelphia with a $741,268 check. The grant award will support the operations of Serenity Court, a nine-bed specialized housing and care facility for homeless and chronically homeless adults who are seriously ill and/or terminally ill with AIDS.
"It is extremely gratifying and humbling to be recognized as a nationally significant project by HUD, and be supported in our good work in this way," said Calcutta House Executive Director Steve Peura.
The Philadelphia workshop provided the perfect forum for HUD to convene federal partners from across the region for a Faith Based Regional Council Meeting. During the lunch break, fifteen federal agencies joined HUD at the table to discuss strategies, share information and coordinate efforts to fulfill the President's mandate to increase participation of faith based and community based organizations.
"HUD is delivering on the Bush Administration's promise to 'level the playing field' for grassroots organizations," said HUD Regional Director Guy Ciarrocchi.
HUD provided exhibit space during the Philadelphia grant writing workshop for federal agencies to provide information on their respective programs and services. Participants seemed to absorb the information supplied during the two-day workshop and suggested the need for more training opportunities.
"I was pleased at the depth of the resources and information shared," said one participant. "I think there should be follow up services/training provided to support local agencies interested in implementing materials learned and applying for funding."
HUD is offering these grant writing workshops throughout the country. Visit our web page for our national training calendar.
To receive regular notices and announcements of other training opportunities, sign up for our regional mailing list (www.hud.gov/subscribe/signup.cfm?listname=Philadelphia%20Faith%20Based%20Liaison&list=philadelphia-fb-l).
HUD's workshops not only prepare prospective nonprofit applicants to compete for federal grant funding but also corporate and foundation sources as well. To date, hundreds of organizations have been awarded more than $48 million in funding because of HUD's intensive two-day trainings.