Empowering Morgan County Non-Profits with Recent Grant Writing Workshops

CFMC works hard to address our communities’ greatest needs.  We take pride in serving alongside our nonprofits, local government organizations, and staying involved at a grass root level within our smaller communities.  It’s simple, you speak, we listen!

Based on annual feedback, CFMC works to host capacity training opportunities to uplift and empower our local nonprofits who serve our county’s population of over 72,000 residents.  We’re so grateful to those that serve our county, and we know that these organizations need our assistance to help keep them updated on best practices.

After receiving consistent feedback from our nonprofits, we recognized the need for organizations to better understand grantmaking and learn for themselves the process and how to maximize a rather daunting process.  We are so grateful to have partnered with Home Bank’s gifting committee to make these workshops happen!  Home Bank is a community leader and like CFMC, grants money to uplift and empower organizations who serve in our communities.

CFMC and Home Bank hired Purdue Extension office’s grant writing trainers to host two two-day Beginner’s Grant Writing seminars.  Forty-five local nonprofits, schools, churches, and government organizations attended these trainings.  Prior to these workshops, registrants were asked to come with an idea or concept of a grant they would like to write, regardless of their prior grant writing experience.  On day one of this training, attendees walked away with a grant proposal outline and all the resources needed to develop it into a full grant proposal.  An intentional month was included between day one and day two to allow attendees time to process all of day one’s information and come back for day two.  On the second day of this training, participants practiced reviewing peer grant proposals, had an opportunity to interact with Morgan County grantors through a panel discussion, and learned how and where to search for relevant grants.

According to Purdue Extension’s website, workshop participants across the state of Indiana have leveraged millions of dollars in grant funding to improve quality of life through these workshops, and we hope that these workshops will bring in significant grant funding to Morgan County serving organizations.  We are home to hundreds of nonprofits, dozens of churches and schools, multiple government organizations; all who work diligently to address various community needs.  The specific goal of CFMC and Home Bank hosting these workshops was to educate our local organizations to increase revenue, better establish financial stability, fund necessary programs and services, fund overhead and salary expenses, and offset lower donations, which has been a theme since inflation has risen.

“Providing training opportunities for those organizations serving our community is an investment into Morgan County’s future.  Our hope is that these learning opportunities set up our service organizations for success.  Since we are unable to support every tax-exempt organization serving our community, capacity trainings are our way of coming alongside our nonprofits so they can continue making an impact in our community”, says Brittani Bentley, President, CFMC.

We asked participants for their thoughts in a post-workshop survey.  Almost half of the workshop’s attendees were entirely new to the grant writing process, and less than a fourth (1/4) of organizations survive on donations for half of their operating and programming budget.  This means that if donations are lower than expected, they must find other sources of revenue to cover operating and programming costs.  Grants are an excellent opportunity to sustain operations.  All surveyed attendees said that this workshop was a good use of their time and specifically appreciated the following details of the training: finding funders and access to grant funder websites, learning how to put their ideas on paper, networking with Morgan County peers, refining their ask for a grant, and the panel discussion which hosted Morgan County grant funders and experienced grant writers.  As a result of these workshops, 94% of surveyed attendees said they feel more prepared to share their grant idea with others and say they now feel educated and empowered to research and write grants for their organization.  Purdue Extension will follow up with workshop attendees to survey the grant dollar amount that has been brought into our county because of these trainings.

We are so thankful for our community partnerships and for the pleasure of serving Morgan County.  Thanks to all who participated, and we were so thrilled to hear that these workshops were a benefit to you and your organizations!

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