Often, individuals or smaller groups don’t qualify for grants because they don’t necessarily have a non-profit structure or the credibility expected. Credibility often comes with being a registered and incorporated society, having experience and a track record, an established Board of Directors, and support staff. Community Connections was created to act as an umbrella society which has these capabilities and can enable local individuals and groups to apply for grants and run projects and programs with integrity and responsibility.
Grant sponsorship and project and program support constitute the largest part of our mandate and administrative workload. Since inception in 2010, and as of early 2016, we have supported 69 projects, of which 20 are currently still underway. Project experience to date represents sponsorship of more than 100 grants. This represents more than $400,000 in community projects and $335,000 in grant funding. We continue to enjoy demand for our services from the community and are exploring further funding and growth opportunities.
In general, important questions to ask before you start completing most applications:
- How would you briefly describe your project?
- What is the need and priority? How do you know?
- What are the objectives and benefits? Can benefits be measured?
- Is this a one-time project or does it have long term sustainability?
- Do you have the resources, support, team, and time to do the project?
- What activities make up the work plan required to reach the goal?
- What budget is required to properly complete your work plan?
- Are there statistics or background documents supporting the need?
In addition, there are a number of considerations in providing tax dollars, or otherwise, to programs and activities which contribute positively to the local economy.
- How does this promote and encourage development of the local economy?
- Does this identify a viable economic opportunity and support marketing it?
- With respect to economic growth, are constraints to development identified?
- Are there already established local groups or businesses this would compete with?
- Funds or allocation per applicant can be limited – Were other financial programs considered?
- Is there support from businesses or industry for this?
- What level of project oversight, qualification, and remuneration will be provided?
- How would you measure your results or outcomes?
The greater the extent to which these factors can be addressed, the stronger the proposal becomes in truly impacting economic or community development.
Grant Assistance Services
We believe that in order to be successful, there is a grant process and project life cycle for community and economic based projects and programs. Our view of this life cycle represents five steps and we participate in each step.
- Grant Concept & Initialization
- Grant Application Build & Submission
- Agreement & Project Setup
- Project Implementation & Review
- Project Closure
Our experience in providing services in support of these efforts is based on our past involvement with grant providers and application submissions, administering funds for projects and programs, and supporting project teams, committees and councils as they implement and complete their projects.
We charge an administrative fee, which should be included as part of the project budget. The fee is graduated from $25 for a $500 grant, to 15% for a grant, or aggregate grants, between $2500 and $10,000. Beyond that level there is a to negotiation based on project complexity. We do not take admin fees on funds that are raised by the community.
Writing the Grant
When making a request for funding, it makes the most sense for those who have the background, vision, and passion for the idea to complete the key content of the grant application. We can provide advice based on experience and knowledge of certain fund providers, as well as information relative to our mission, organization, experience, and background that are important application requirements. As well, there are often public reviews of proposals and we will support and participate in these.