Programs Get Black Nonprofits in the Money
By Dianne Anderson
Every little bit of money up to $25,000 here or there adds up for mom and pop nonprofits waiting to tap whatever new stimulus dollars they may have missed out on the first time around.
New grants are coming, but first, the community needs prepare to respond to the RFPs that will start rolling down.
Michelle Byerly, executive director of The Nonprofit Partnership, said that this is the prime time to advocate for what those RFPs will look like when they are released to community nonprofits.
“Right now since they’re doing the [program] planning, you can ask for things to be prioritized we can ask for different things to be built out, because it hasn’t come out yet,” she said.
For more help, nonprofits can connect with The Nonprofit Partnership, which is working with the city of Long Beach to prepare nonprofits for what’s ahead. Participants in The Nonprofit Partnership workshops will also receive a stipend for attending.
“This is a good opportunity,” she said. “They get compensated for their time, to learn about the process so there are less barriers to access funding when they come out.”
She said that their organization is also sharing information and resources with other community-based organizations that are outreaching to the community.
The city is now initiating its Capacity Building Project for Small organizations/nonprofits, a cohort program through the city’s Racial Reconciliation funds supported by CARES Act dollars. Specifically, the cohort supports 30 organizations that are serving hard to reach populations and communities of color most impacted by the pandemic.
“So when those start coming out through RFPs, part of the problem is that these smaller organizations don’t have to go after these [RFPs]. We’re trying to give them the structure through this program to be able to apply.”
Among other skills, she said that nonprofits, emerging nonprofits and small businesses will learn the art of grant proposal writing and be ready to tap one of several buckets of money, which all fall under the LB Recovery Act, including ARPA funds. Participants must be serving predominantly Black and Indigenous People of Color communities.
Byerly said that accessing the funding is a long involved process that includes approval of contracts on the legal side, and on the procurement side.
“There will be a lot of grants coming out through the Department of Health for certain programs, and more money that’s part of that plan in the Long Beach budget,” she said, adding that TNP is preparing organizations to go after the funding when it becomes available.
The city’s funding is expected to reach $1.7-1.8 million in grants up to $25,000 that will be issued to nonprofits through 2022.
Christina Kreachbaum, program manager with the organization, said that TNP was part of an early push to encourage nonprofits to apply, but the timing is everything now and important as the city gears up to release their RFPs.
“Our task in that is to provide training,” she said. “It’s a full grant workshop training offered out for free through the city, support for whether Black-led organizations, or minority-led organizations, and we’re offering it twice.”
In the funding slippage of last year, she said that many grants did not reach the Black community with the first round of CARES Act funding, and a lot of it was left on the table by nonprofits.
Kreachbaum said the city seems to be refining the process. The three organizations now outreaching to the community through the city’s cohort program include Black Health Equity Collaborative, Centro CHA and the United Cambodian Community.
“From what the city has told us, they have been told how cumbersome and how really unfair this process is for folks that need access to it,” she said.
The cohort, Capacity Building Project for Small organizations/nonprofits, through TNP offers three classes— grant writing, social media and board development.
Participants can also access information about RFPs and RFQs, along with one on one assistance through the application process from beginning to end.
“We walk them through the entire process. In terms of people are struggling in terms of understanding some of these questions, or connect them with an expert in applying for these types of funds.”
For more information on The Nonprofit Partnership, see https://www.tnpsocal.org
Call 562.888.6530, or email email@example.com
To participate in training, nonprofit organizations can also register with the
Black Health Equity Collaborative or email Amber Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org
To sign up for Planet Bids City of Long Beach for RFPs and RFQs, see https://www.longbeach.gov/finance/business-info/purchasing-division