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Grants Help Improve the Lives of Indiana Kids

PHOTO: The Indiana Youth Institute is offering grants to help nonprofit groups that serve children improve their effectiveness. Photo credit: Kenn W. Kiser / Morguefile.
PHOTO: The Indiana Youth Institute is offering grants to help nonprofit groups that serve children improve their effectiveness. Photo credit: Kenn W. Kiser / Morguefile.
July 8, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS - In a boost for children's programs, more than a dozen Indiana nonprofits have the chance to enhance their practices and serve more residents around the state.

The "Capacity Building Coaching" grant is being offered by the Indiana Youth Institute, which program manager Carolyn Langan says is an opportunity to help organizations overcome some of their basic day-to-day challenges.

"Resources are always an issue, whether it's time or money," says Langan. "We hope to help these organizations develop new tools for their fund development plans, and help develop more efficient ways to accomplish the services they're providing for their communities."

Nonprofit community and faith-based organizations serving children, young people or families in any Indiana counties are eligible for the grants. Langan says smaller agencies tend to benefit the most, because they typically don't have resources for development. The grants include professional counseling for strategic planning, board development, and financial and human resources management.

Girls on the Run of Hamilton County promotes kids' physical activity and received a grant last fall. Board chair and council director Kelley Stokesbary says the coaching they received had a major impact, and enabled the program to expand to five central Indiana counties.

"Building up our board and working on our funding strategies, those types of things, is doubling the number of schools and the number of girls we serve, from spring of 2014 to fall of 2014," says Stokesbary.

A total of 13 grants will be awarded, but Langan says more agencies could benefit since organizations often collaborate on projects. She adds some grants are given to agencies which collaborate on their application.

"We did some training with the boards together, then each board got some individual, separate consultation," says Langan. "That worked out really well, and we were able to stretch resources even further by helping two different organizations in that community."

Nonprofit groups must submit their applications to the Indiana Youth Institute by July 16th. The grants will be awarded in September.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - IN