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Raising money is an essential, yet often difficult obligation for nonprofit organizations. With the number of U.S. nonprofits increasing 25 percent between 2001 and 2011, promoting your organization over the countless other nonprofits for fundraising opportunities can be challenging.
Regardless of an organization’s financial situation, coordinating fundraisers and actively seeking philanthropic donations is a stressful job, especially when grant opportunities are hard to come by for nonprofit organizations. In fact, according to a study by the Urban Institute, nearly 40 percent of nonprofit organizations reported a decline in local and state government funding. While applying for these limited opportunities can be demanding, receiving additional funding can be life-changing for everyone involved, including the community.
As a board member for several nonprofit organizations throughout this great state of Texas, I have been fortunate to witness the positive impact a grant can have on an organization. It’s amazing to see how extra funding can breathe new life into organizations, give them the ability to achieve higher goals, and provide new hope to accomplish even more in the future.
Now, San Antonio nonprofits have a new opportunity to receive additional funding from the Humana Foundation, the philanthropic arm of health and well-being company Humana Inc. Until June 30, 2014, eligible nonprofits in Atascosa, Bandera, Bexar, Comal, Guadalupe, Kendall, Medina and Wilson counties can apply to win the $350,000 signature Humana Communities Benefit grant.
The funding, which will be provided over a three-year period, is to help a deserving 501(c)(3) organization in San Antonio focused on promoting healthy behaviors and healthy relationships. This can include everything from physical activity and nutrition education programs to intergenerational and peer-to-peer mentorships between caring adults and youth.
As a longstanding company in the San Antonio area, Humana is invested in helping the community. That’s why Humana, with a three-decade history of support to the community, is excited to provide this grant opportunity to San Antonio nonprofits. The funding is designed to help create new programs or enhance ongoing activities that have a positive, transformational impact on the organization and the community.
While this charitable program is new to the San Antonio area, it has already awarded more than $8 million to nonprofits in 11 communities nationwide since launching in Chicago in 2003. Previously, Humana Communities Benefit annually awarded one-time, $100,000 charitable grants to nonprofits.
There are numerous stories about how the Humana Communities Benefit grant has impacted nonprofit organizations and those they serve. Take the 2011 grant recipient Mainsprings Schools, based in Austin. The organization, which provides early education and care to Austin’s most economically disadvantaged children, utilized the funding to construct additional classrooms. As a result of the expanded facilities, the nonprofit increased its enrollment by 30 percent.
According to Rudi Andrus, executive director of Mainspring Schools, the grant allowed the organization to provide life-changing educational skills to help promote healthy behaviors to more disadvantaged children in the area than ever before. As an added bonus, the organization now serves the parents of these disadvantaged children in their newly-developed parent support and education program.
To see firsthand how additional funding can positively impact an organization, check out this video of the 2010 Humana Communities Benefits grant recipient Southwest Human Development, based in Phoenix, Arizona. This organization used the funding to build a customized workshop, known as the “ADAPT Shop,” where they can build adaptive equipment for Arizona children with disabilities.
Since this is a new program in San Antonio, we’re asking that you help spread the word about this funding opportunity by alerting your family, friends, business and nonprofit associates, especially those focused on promoting healthy behaviors and healthy relationships, about this opportunity to receive substantial funding and encourage them to visit Humana.com/HCB to learn more. I also ask that you remember the importance of giving back and encourage you to volunteer your time at a local nonprofit. It is sure to be a rewarding experience.
*Featured/top image: Screenshot from the Humana Communities Benefits video, featuring 2010 grant recipient Southwest Human Development. Courtesy image.