Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Switch To Digital TV!

I just got finished posting on my Getting To Know You Blog about the switch to digital tv and me not being ready for it!

I have now come to find out that the deadline date has been extended to June 12 which is a BIG relief to me!

Since grant research and grant consulting is what I do I decided to go ahead and fill out my application online for the 2 $40 off coupons that the government is allowing each household!

I went to their website and filled out an application online. I already know from listening to the news that the funding has run out for the coupons but those who still sign up between now and March are still eligible to apply for the coupons.

I have a copy of their application and will give a copy to those who make a $5 donation however it should be noted that even though the date has been extended to June, the application itself still has the February 17, due date on it. However you will be glad to know that the application also includes links to their website as well!

Even though this doesn't officially qualify as a government grant (heck - maybe it does!) I do believe that all things are related....

This is after all a program providing financial relief to those in need and actually this is quite different because it seems that all households regardless of income are eligible to apply for this coupons - which is probably one of the best examples of a government grant program - right?

IRS data show that each year about 131 million individuals file tax returns and pay an average of $7,633 to the IRS. The U.S. Office of Management and Budget and recent independent studies show that the government gives out over $1.5 Trillion a year to individuals through its free money programs. One and one half trillion dollars in government money programs, divided by 131 million taxpayers, means that the average taxpayer is getting $11,450 a year in cash back from the government in free money programs.

Are you getting yours?

How About A Grant Program For Biking Organizations?

There is a biking-related foundation that has awarded four grants so far this year in the amount of $10,000. Applicants can request up to $10,000. Requests for more than $10,000 will generally be viewed unfavorably unless the applicant has an extremely compelling case that the proposal is of unique and/or national importance. These grant awards have gone to organizations that are supporting their communities through bicycling, establishing innovative bike programs for young riders, and setting—and raising—the bicycle-advocacy bar. Grants are awarded for best practices in bicycle advocacy, safety, and youth programming. Bicycle advocacy organizations must have a mission and activities directly relating to bicycling. They typically work to improve bicycling conditions and affect positive change on a local, regional, state, or national level. Most are incorporated 501c3 nonprofits.

Recipients of these grants include an organization that has an incentive program that promotes healthier, happier children, and a cleaner environment, by encouraging kids to ride their bikes and walk to school. Their program began in 2004 at an elementary school and has since gone on now to include other elementary schools as well.

This grant program strives to put more people on bicycles more often by funding important and influential projects that leverage federal funding and build momentum for bicycling in communities across the U.S. These projects include bike paths, lanes, and routes, as well as bike parks, mountain bike trails, BMX facilities, and large-scale bicycle advocacy initiatives.

Since 1999, this organization has awarded 180 grants to municipalities and grassroots groups in 45 states and the District of Columbia, investing nearly $1.5 million in community bicycling projects and leveraging close to $500 million in federal, state, and private funding.

Who is eligible to apply? - The organization welcomes grant applications from organizations and agencies within the United States that are committed to putting more people on bicycles more often. Nonprofit trails groups and public agencies or departments at the local, regional, and national levels may apply for facility grants. The organization encourages municipalities to partner with bicycle advocacy groups when applying for our funding in order to insure that bicyclists are involved in and supportive of the project. The organization does not fund individuals.

Fundable projects include paved bike paths and rail-trails as well as mountain bike trails, bike parks, BMX facilities, and large-scale bicycle advocacy initiatives.

The organization does not accept applications for bicycle recycling, repair, or earn-a-bike programs, or for bicycle rodeos.

Grant applications will be accepted from nonprofit organizations whose missions are bicycle and/or trail specific. Public agencies and departments at the national, state, regional, and local levels, are encouraged to align with a local bicycle advocacy group that will help develop and advance the project or program. (Please note that grants are rarely awarded to organizations and communities that have received their grantfunding within the past three years.)

If your organization is new, and you have not yet acquired your nonprofit status, you may submit an application with the assistance of another nonprofit that has agreed to serve as your fiscal agent. You will need to provide a letter from the fiscal sponsor outlining their role in the project.

This organization does not fund individuals.

It is also important to note that the organization has moved to paperless applications. Applications are now accepted via e-mail only.

The completed application consists of three main parts. Please submit the following material in ONE e-mail, with your project title in the subject line. Your e-mail message should not exceed 10 MB.

  1. Cover Letter: The letter should introduce your organization and proposal. It should appear as the body of the e-mail.

  2. The application is available as a downloadable file: This Microsoft Word file includes the Administrative Information Form and the Grant Application Narrative.

  3. Attachments: These include your financials as well as support letters from the bike industry*, a list of your board members, a project map or plan, and media articles.

*Support letters from the local bicycle industry are KEY to your proposal. Letters from this organization's members—retailers and suppliers—will strengthen your application. Please ask your supporters to address their letters to the Grant Committee, as form letters will not be considered. You can visit the organization's website to view a list of their members.

Additional information is not encouraged unless it is absolutely essential to the organization's understanding of your project. They will contact you should they need further information on which to base a decision.

The organization no longer accepts mailed or faxed applications. All application materials must be submitted together, in the same e-mail message—no exceptions. Incomplete or excessively long applications will not be considered.

Completed applications can be sent via email

Grant Application Schedule runs on a quarterly cycle up to February 2010. Applications must be e-mailed by the due date in order to be considered for the ensuing decision date.

Depending on the number of applications received, the organization currently awards funding to about 15–20% of completed applications.

Generally, grantees can expect to receive funding within three weeks of the grant award.

For more information about this grant program you can read the organization's guidelines on their website, contact them via email or you can contact them by phone.

No comments: