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A grant is a charitable gift donated by an individual, corporation, foundation or government entity to a non-profit organization. These donors usually have a board which oversees the philanthropic activities and establishes the organization’s priorities and guidelines for giving. Community center grants are donations intended to support local community centers.
Community centers are public meeting places which offer public services, cater to the needs of specific segments in the society, or provide a hub for community activities. Some community centers are run by city or county parks and recreation departments. These may have exercise equipment, swimming pools, and offer a variety of recreational classes. Other centers provide adult education, literacy programs, or care for children and the elderly.
While some community centers may charge membership fees, enrollment fees for classes, or rent rooms for organizational meetings, they are generally non-profit in nature. Other centers provide programs for the elderly or indigent at little or no charge and must rely on charitable donations to survive. Community center grants are a valuable aid in keeping these social services available.
Some foundations specifically list community center grants as one of their funding priorities. Centers wishing to apply for these funds need to carefully study the funding guidelines of each foundation and examine the types of programs the foundation has funded in the past. One mistake some charities make is to send grant requests without regard to the guidelines and priorities of the funding organization. These foundations are governed by boards bound to honor the wishes of their donors. In order to increase the chances of success, the grant seeker needs to diligently search out those funders with guidelines which match their organizations’ goals and then submit their request following the donor’s procedures.
Government funding is also a valuable source of community center grants. Some of these programs are specifically designated for community centers, while others support programs which might be offered by a community center. One example of this are grants offered by a government department, such as the Department of Education, which fund literacy, after school programs or preschool projects. Social Service departments may offer grants for elder care, job training or feeding the indigent. While such grants may be open to a wide range of entities, they can be valuable sources of community service grants.
Funding for community center grants may come from corporations and foundations that support health, youth, volunteerism or the arts. Centers which provide music lessons or sports activities to the underprivileged should look for these program focused grants. Other community centers have received grants to provide parenting classes for teen mothers, breastfeeding classes, or immunization clinics. Community centers which cater to a certain demographic, such as a tribal center, can also find funding from a variety of corporations and foundations.
Organizations seeking community center grants may find help in the resource sections of their local libraries. Government grants are usually advertised in both print and over the internet. Many corporate websites have links to their foundations or grant giving divisions. These resources can help the grant seeker to find donors with giving priorities that match the needs of his organization.