Four-day program prepares Promise Zone partners on how to seek funding
JAN. 8, 2017 – Seventeen Promise Zone representatives recently completed an intensive, four-day Grant Writing Certification Program offered by SouthernCarolina Alliance to give them better tools to seek grants and take advantage of opportunities offered by the Promise Zone designation.
“We have heard some frustrations from our partners, supporters and the general public on how hard it is to find relevant grant opportunities, conduct appropriate research, write compelling applications and win grant money that’s available,” said Promise Zone Coordinator Dean Van Pelt. “Based on input from several focus groups, the Promise Zone’s lead organizer, SouthernCarolina Alliance, contracted with the University of South Carolina to offer a four-day grant-writing program to improve the skill sets of our partners and supporters so we can write more and better applications, which we hope will lead to more funding to help people in our six-county region.”
In April 2015, the federal government awarded the Promise Zone designation to all or parts of Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties to help them boost efforts to get needed funding to grow jobs, improve education and meet regional needs. Organizations that apply for funding through the Promise Zone designation are awarded extra points during the application process, which often can be the difference of winning grants and not.
The December grant-writing class, which was held Dec. 19 to 22 at the Allendale campus of USC Salkehatchie, provided students with detailed, introductory lessons on grant writing, including basic components of full proposals and budgeting. They also received training on conducting needs-based assessments to support grant applications, how to develop collaborative partnerships, best practices and ways to evaluate the grant process.
The professionals from the area who took the training involved representatives from municipal and county governments in each of the six Promise Zone counties, including schools, parks departments, emergency services and hospitals.
Students found the four-day sessions to be helpful. One commented, “It was a great course – way more in-depth than I expected.” Another said, “I feel completely prepared to write any grant necessary.”
At least two one-day grant-writing courses will be held later this quarter. Details will be announced soon.