United Way of Berks County has announced a one-time Venture Grant opportunity available to local nonprofits providing health and human service programs and/or projects within Berks County.
Venture Grants provide one-time funding to support innovative projects responding to needs of a specific community issue identified each year. For 2018-19, programs serving Unaccompanied Homeless Youth* (UHY) and/or Disconnected Young Adults** (DYA) has been selected as the focus for Venture Grants and all proposed programs for funding should be designed to achieve one or more the following outcomes:
• Unaccompanied Homeless Youth have access to supplies and services to meet basic and emergency needs.
• Unaccompanied Homeless Youth and/or Disconnected Young Adults will receive case management to help establish a stable and safe residency, reengage with family (if appropriate), connect them to current service providers, and/or assist with identifying and eliminating barriers to working or attending school.
• Disconnected Young Adults will have support with their educational needs or job training that results in completing their high school degree/GED or successfully employed.
*An Unaccompanied Homeless Youth (UHY) is defined as a Berks County citizen aged 17 and under that is, for emergency reasons, not residing with their legal guardian.
**A Disconnected Young Adult (DYA) is defined as Berks County citizen aged 16 to 24 who are unemployed or out of school for at least 6 months or aged 21 to 24 and underemployed.
Proposed programs including the following elements are highly desirable:
• offers a safe and welcoming program space for target population
• provides an explicit plan related to building trust with target population
• provides emergency meals, personal hygiene products, and clean clothing for unaccompanied homeless youth
• provides academic tutoring
• education-focused case management to ensure UHY/DYA are making progress/earning credits in school; communicate with student on almost a weekly basis
• connects DYA with internships
• addresses child care needs for DYA to ensure full participation in the program
• assist DYA with post-secondary planning and connections for career and educational opportunities (FASFA, resume writing/interviewing, job search, etc.)
• incorporates a plan of reliable transportation and/or assists DYA who are of driving age secure their driver’s license
• serves both city and rural populations
Detail on Venture Grant eligibility follows:
• Any 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing health and human services to Berks County residents is eligible to apply.
• Grants must support the delivery of new, expanded or enhanced programs and cannot simply fund existing programs.
• Priority will be given to programs that demonstrate meaningful and ongoing engagement with participants over an extended period of time, and that provide an opportunity for participants to apply new knowledge or skills to achieve the desired outcome.
• Stand-alone, one-time events or large group presentations will NOT be eligible for consideration.
Venture Grant Award Amount: A maximum grant of up to $50,000 may be requested, with United Way reserving the option to award a lesser amount based on demonstrated need and available resources.
Applications will be open for completion beginning September 5, 2018, and applications are due by 4:00 pm on October 5. Applicants will receive notice of funding by November 30. The funding period is defined as December 1, 2018 – November 30, 2019.
Applicants should review the full detail regarding all grant eligibility requirements, as well as the application format, at
www.uwberks.org. Grant proposals will be awarded through a competitive process after review by a panel of community volunteers, with approval by the organization’s Board of Directors.
For technical assistance with the application software, known as e-CImpact, please contact Jennifer Tinsman at [email protected] or 610.685.4576. For any other grant-related questions, please contact Kristin Gehris at [email protected] or 610.685.4567.