CATONSVILLE – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), welcomed Maryland’s nonprofit community to a free workshop designed to help groups understand how to access federal and state grant resources. The event, cosponsored by the Governor’s Grants Office and the Maryland Association of Nonprofits, was hosted by the Community College of Baltimore County Catonsville Campus. The workshop also featured representatives from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Grants.gov and others.
“The federal government should be a strong a partner with the nonprofit community but we are held back by tight, unrealistically low budgets. In good financial times and bad times, no one can do it alone. We have the same goals and only together can we solve the challenges facing our communities and neighborhoods,” said Senator Cardin to the more than 200 representatives attending the CCBC workshop. “Funding mechanisms have changed in recent years. Grants are more competitive. I am pleased to facilitate providing the tools Maryland’s nonprofit community needs to succeed in the areas they know best.”
Workshop presenters from state and federal organizations provided an overview of grants at their respective agencies, including specifics on how much money is available; from what grant programs, how to apply, and what makes for a successful application. The U.S. Department of Labor, for example, has $1.6 billion in competitive grants it will award in FY14. They offer grants programs to reintegrate ex-offenders, educate low-income young people (leadership development, community service, working towards a GED), employment and training for persons with disabilities, etc. Also discussed were procurement procedures, public-private, community legacy grants, strategic demolition/smart growth impact funds, and community investment tax credits. A representative from Grants.gov, the federal portal for federal grant information and tracking, was among the speakers who gave step-by-step instructions on information available and best-practices.
This was the second in a series of nonprofits workshops sponsored by Senator Cardin. The next is planned for Baltimore in May.