Grants to improve the lives of Indiana kids 

click to enlarge The Indiana Youth Institute is offering grants to help nonprofit groups that serve children improve their effectiveness. - KENN W. KISER / MORGUEFILE
  • The Indiana Youth Institute is offering grants to help nonprofit groups that serve children improve their effectiveness.
  • Kenn W. Kiser / Morguefile

By Mary Kuhlman

In a boost for children's programs in the state, more than a dozen nonprofits have the chance to enhance their practices and serve more families around Indiana. The "Capacity Building Coaching" grant is being offered by the Indiana Youth Institute, which consulting program manager Carolyn Langan says is an opportunity to help organizations overcome some of the day-to-day challenges they face.

"Resources are always an issue, whether it's time or money," says Langan. "So, we hope to help them develop some new tools for their fund development plan, and help develop more efficient ways to accomplish the services they're providing for their community."

Nonprofit community and faith-based organizations serving children, young people or families from any county are eligible for the grants. Langan says smaller agencies tend to benefit the most, because they typically don't have resources for development. The grants include professional counseling for financial and human resources management, and strategic planning and board development.

Girls on the Run of Hamilton County promotes physical activity in youth and received a grant last fall. Board chair and council director Kelley Stokesbary says the coaching they received had a major impact, and enabling the program to expand to five central Indiana counties.

"Building up our board and working on our funding strategies, those types of things, are actually doubling the number of schools and the number of girls we serve, from spring of 2014 to fall of 2014," says Stokesbary.

A total of 13 grants will be awarded, but Langan says more agencies could benefit since organizations often collaborate on projects. She adds some grants are given to agencies which collaborate on their application.

"We did some training with the boards together, then each board got some individual, separate consultation," says Langan. "That worked out really well, and we were able to stretch resources even further by helping two different organizations in that community."

Nonprofit groups must submit their applications to the Indiana Youth Institute by July 16th. The grants will be awarded in September.

It's a boost for programs that improve the lives of Indiana's children. As Mary Schuermann reports, more than a dozen nonprofits have the chance to enhance their practices and help them serve more children and families.

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