Loudoun County’s grant application process for human service nonprofit organizations kicks off Monday, Dec. 3.
Tax-exempt, private, nonprofit organizations that provide human services to Loudoun County residents in identified areas of need identified are eligible to apply for grants.
For fiscal year 2020, the county board has identified four areas of need: prevention and self-sufficiency, crisis intervention and diversion, long-term support, and improved quality of human services.
The Prevention and self-sufficiencycategory includes services focused on assisting individuals and families in becoming and remaining independent and stable, and providing tools, skills, strategies, and resources to individuals and families.
The Crisis Intervention and Diversioncategory includes services provided to individuals and families in crisis to overcome immediate problems, and reduce or prevent the need for more restrictive and expensive higher level services.
The “Long-Term Support category covers services that focus on assisting individuals who have continuing, long-term support needs to remain healthy, safe and independent in the community.
And the Improved Quality of Human Services category includes services and opportunities provided to individuals, organizations and communities that enhance the quality, accessibility, accountability and coordination of services provided by community organizations.
The fiscal year 2020 Human Service Nonprofit Grant Application and related documents will be posted on Dec. 3 at loudoun.gov/NonProfitGrants.
Applications are due by 5 p.m., Jan. 18. The amount of funding available for grants will be determined as part of the county’s adopted FY 2020 budget. This year, the budget for human service nonprofit grant funding was $1.09 million. Supervisors are expected to adopt next year’s budget in April, with grant funding to begin with the new fiscal year on July 1, 2019.
Last year, supervisors continued their work to overhaul the grant process in part by removing six nonprofits from the competitive grant funding process, now opting to fund them directly. Those six nonprofits—HealthWorks for Northern Virginia, Loudoun Free Clinic, Northern VA Dental Clinic, Blue Ridge Speech and Hearing, Loudoun Volunteer Caregivers, and Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter—routinely accounted for half of the county’s nonprofit grants. They collectively received the same amount as the previous year, $502,519.
That resulted in a net increase of nonprofit funding, as the pool of money in the competitive grant program saw no correlating decrease.
This year, on top of releasing the application earlier, the county has made a number of other changes to the grant process. County government staff members are trying to encourage partnership applications between organizations providing similar services to present a stronger application and to assist smaller or newer organizations in managing grant funds. Applications that represent a partnership will be weighted in scoring those applications.
The application itself is similar to last year, but with more detailed guidance, streamlined questions requesting the specific data needed for review, and additional narrative space where organizations can provide context for data submitted.
The county will include additional resources for training and assistance, especially around strategic planning, in information sessions that will be offered after the application is released.
New funding limits will be in effect for this grant cycle. Since the current fiscal year’s application process, no organization may request more than 30 percent of its current operating revenue. This year, individual awards will also be limited to no more than 10 percent of the competitive process’s budget to ensure that the county retains the capacity to make multiple awards across all areas of need.
In addition to the standard nonprofit application grant process, a mini-grants process will once again be available, providing a simplified application for any nonprofit applying for a grant of $5,000 or less. The mini-grants program is designed for small-scale innovative projects, and for new or small organizations who may lack capacity for writing a larger grant.
Development Workshops Set for December
The county government is hosting an application development workshop for prospective applicants. The workshop will be offered twice: Friday, Dec. 7, from 9 a.m. to noon at the county government center in Leesburg; and Tuesday, Dec. 1, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Cascades Library.
The workshop will cover changes to the application, as well as resources for building stronger organizations, such as financial health and strategic planning. Pre-registration is not required.
For questions about the application process, contact Grants Program Coordinator Shalom Black in the Department of Management and Budget at Shalom.Black@loudoun.gov or 703-737-8186.