Pictured: OCA Immigrant Affairs Liaison, Alma Martinez; Paul Aurora Singh, Desi Kitchen owner and OCA Indian Community Liaison, Harjinder Saini at Desi Kitchen
Often, nonprofit organizations expand services by applying for and receiving philanthropic or government grant funding. Some organizations have dedicated grant writers who seek funding opportunities and author proposals. However, for many small and newly founded organizations, the addition of a full-time staffer for grant writing is out of reach. For many nonprofits, organization staff or volunteer board members must take the lead on grant writing without formal training.
Jatan Kaur, record keeper for Fresno-based Hidden Wealth, knows the challenges organizations face when it comes to fund raising. “For our organization, the lack of knowledge inhibited our organization from possibly receiving available funding. Which pushes back the services we are trying to provide,” said Kaur.
Several Fresno-area organizations reached out to the Mayor’s Office of Community Affairs (OCA) seeking information to assist with grant writing. “Daily, our city nonprofit organizations are providing vital services and activities for our most vulnerable community members. Recognizing the value these organizations provide to our city, our team was pleased help,” shared OCA Asian Pacific Islander Liaison, Sandra Lee.
OCA leads grant working 101 training
In May, the OCA team authored a grant writing presentation and offered a free, in-person workshop to nearly 20 Fresno-area nonprofit leaders. The OCA-hosted workshop provided basic grant-related information including:
- Grant terminology
- Tips on researching funding opportunities aligned with an organizations’ mission
- Benefits and considerations to keep in mind
- Applying for city of Fresno funding opportunities
- Effectively answering grant questions
With the training the OCA teams’ goal was to ensure nonprofit organizations had the tools they needed to start applying for philanthropic and government funding. McNight Thao, volunteer board member of A Hopeful Encounter, a Fresno area organization providing youth leadership training for underserved Southeast Asians, attended the workshop. “The information that the workshop provided was very clear and that gave us a level of confidence to do our own research and start the initial drafting of a grant proposal,” shared Thao.
For information on potential future workshops, please contact the Mayor’s Office of Community Affairs at [email protected].