Grants for Community Service Programs

Whether you have been involved in some type of community service as a school requirement or project, as part of a judge’s sentence, or due to a sense of duty, you know that every community needs volunteers to enrich the lives of others. What you may not know is that the programs you have aided need more than just bodies to operate – they also need funds. For example, a public library may run rather well with volunteers to organize books, check in and check out books, dust shelves and man the information booth but funds are needed to continuously purchase new books, pay the utility bills and operate certain literacy and children’s programs. While some funding comes from property and other taxes, many organizations rely on community service grants. Similarly, even private programs run by religious organizations receiving parishioner donations may rely in part on Christian community service grants.

Perhaps part of volunteering your time to an organization could best serve them by researching for grants for community service programs. If this is something you’d like to do, there are a number of sources to find such funding, such as:

  • Grants.gov. This is a wonderful source for locating and applying for federal grants. Besides having a listing of all the federal grants, the site also includes user guides and applicant resources. Once the applications have been submitted, you can even track the progress of them.

  • Fundsnet Services Online. Found online at http://www.fundsnetservices.com/ this site dedicated to fundraising efforts. With literally hundreds of grants and fundraising programs to choose from that are nicely categorized, it is a very user-friendly site.

Another tactic to aid our communities is by getting others involved in community service programs. Go after a particular age group or occupation, such as:

  • Youth Service America. This organization works to increase the number and diversity of youth services. This site will help you in getting young people active in community service. Of particular interest is their “One Hundred Ways YOU Can Change the World” which may just give you some great ideas for helping your community as well as the world around you. The list is at http://ysa.org/100ways.

  • Voluntary Bar Association Community Service Grant Program – This program run by the Florida Bar Foundation works to increase community service by legal professionals.

It doesn’t matter if you pick up trash off the highway, tutor children after school, or answer phones at the YMCA, just do something!

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