Failure to Secure Grant Leads to Closing of Indiana Nonprofit Health Clinic for Children

When a family member got pregnant and didn’t have health insurance, a sister, cousin or aunt would recommend “the clinic.”

Now, after failing to secure grant funding from the Indiana State Department of Health for the first time since 1979, the Maternal Child Health Clinic in Gary, Indiana, will close at the end of the year. Following more than four decades of service, the staff of five — director, program director, registered nurse, medical assistant and social worker – will be let go.  Uninsured, underinsured women and children in Gary will be forced to look elsewhere for healthcare services.

Shirley Borom, the clinic’s director, said since August when the state grant fell through, the nonprofit clinic tried unsuccessfully to secure other forms of funding.

The nonprofit clinic provided physicals for children including immunizations and screenings for hearing, vision and anemia, as well as OB-GYN services. The social worker helped enroll residents in insurance and get patients to appointments.

Libby Hikind, founder and CEO of GrantWatch, said it’s not unusual for grant providers to change their priorities, as well as their recipients, if they’ve been the same for years. Most importantly when you rely on grant funds for your operation, you must diversify.  Organizations should never be complacent in their funding and programming – they should continuously seek out new funding sources to support existing and new much needed programs. 

Mental Health America of Lake County, the applicant that will receive the Early Start grant that was lost to Maternal Child Health, offers a broader scope of services including child injury prevention, smoking cessation, home visiting and safe sleep education.

Since 1976, the Gary clinic had received state grants to provide healthcare access to low-income children at its Children and Youth Clinic. Services expanded in 1991 to address infant mortality rates when the clinic adopted its current name.

According to the Alliance for Advancing Nonprofit Healthcare, about 60 percent of community hospitals are nonprofit, all community health centers are nonprofit, almost 30 percent of nursing homes are nonprofit, and about 17 percent of home health care agencies are estimated to be nonprofit.

Hikind said nonprofits play an important role in the delivery of healthcare services in the United States. She encourages those organizations and corporations that rely on grants and are looking for new funding sources to visit, where they will find grants for programs that foster innovation and improvements including children's health and development, school readiness, and support for families.

About the Author: Staff Writer for


Martin Luther King, Jr. Day-Celebrating Nonprofits and Volunteers

 Martin Luther King Day“Even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Most of us are intrigued by dreams. On that rare occasion when we remember a dream had while sleeping, we might ask ourselves, “What was that all about!?” or “Is there a message in my dream for me to act on?”

Then, there are “goal dreams,” which are light years ahead of night dreams or even day dreams. Goal dreams occur when we are awake. They might come to us while sipping our morning coffee, driving in traffic, listening to a tragic news story or any number of other ways. Goal dreams get our juices flowing. “If I do this, I can change the world!”

One of the greatest goal dreamers in our time was Martin Luther King, Jr.  A pastor by trade, he managed to shake up a nation by bringing his dream of equality for all to the forefront of our consciousness. Yes, this is written clearer in the U.S. Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.” But, somehow, nearly 200 years after our forefathers signed this infamous document, people were still not being treated properly. Martin Luther King, Jr. decided to take action.

On Aug. 28, 1963, more than a quarter of a million people from all ethnicities and walks of life gathered to declare that it was time for our forefathers’ assertion to become a reality for all. This was the largest gathering of protesters in Washington, D.C. history up to that point.

For those dedicated to the nonprofit sector, turning dreams into realities might have been mixed into their baby food. Not everyone has the vision, passion and energy to take action on the hope for a better world. By choosing to use your time to help friends, communities and nation, you become part of a great historical team of leaders who took their dreams and created real solutions to real problems.

Last year, hundreds of thousands of volunteers participated in a “day of service” in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy. Backed by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the idea is to start the New Year off right by giving to those in need. This year’s date for service is Jan.15, 2018. Each year, more people participate. For many, volunteering on this day is a springboard for continuing a life of service, whether on an individual basis or through nonprofit organizations.

For those who are already nonprofit staff and volunteers, commends you for acting on your hopes and dreams. Though there may not yet be a day named after you, your efforts are still celebrated by those touched by your devotion. Surely, our dreams for a brighter future are materializing with every great deed you perform. May all your dreams come true!

Homeless Crisis Points Finger at Booming Economy

Outside the tarp-covered tents belonging to homeless people populating the Skid Row area of downtown Los Angeles, a man who identifies himself as Vincent sorts his belongings. Vincent said he thought he was bulletproof and never had to worry about finding a job as a young man.

"Things ain't the way they were anymore," he said while bemoaning a homeless crisis of unprecedented proportions that has not only rocked the streets of Los Angeles and other West Coast cities, but has advanced throughout the entire United States as well.

The nation’s homeless population increased this year for the first time since 2010, according to the U.S.. Department of Housing and Urban Development which released its annual Point in Time (PIT) count last month. The report showed nearly 554,000 homeless people across the country during local tallies conducted in January; up nearly 1 percent from 2016.

Of that total, 193,000 people had no access to nightly shelter and instead were staying in vehicles, tents, the streets and other places considered uninhabitable. The unsheltered figure is up by more than 9 percent compared to two years ago.

Increases are higher in several West Coast cities, where the explosion in homelessness has prompted at least 10 city and county governments to declare states of emergency since 2015.

City officials, homeless advocates and those living on the streets point to a main culprit: the region’s booming economy. Rents have soared beyond affordability for many lower-wage workers who until just a just few years ago could typically find a place to stay. Now, even a temporary setback can be enough to leave them out on the streets.

Federal, state and local agencies do provide funds to nonprofit organizations committed to homelessness prevention, said Libby Hikind, founder and CEO of, which provides a user-friendly listing of current and archived grants for homeless prevention initiatives as well as funding opportunities, awards and contracts, and their summaries.

“Many of these nonprofit organizations, in turn, will offer rental payment assistance and supportive services to qualified homeless populations,” she said. “These programs and a small investment of time, money and energy can have a profound impact on assisting homeless individuals through the entire spectrum — from obtaining income, to assessing healthcare needs, to finding a job, or to rental application assistance.”

In the meantime, as the surge in homelessness becomes part of the fabric of daily life in West Coast cities, the numbers in the report back up what many people in California, Oregon and Washington have been experiencing in their communities: encampments sprouting along freeways and rivers; local governments struggling to come up with money for long-term solutions; conflicts about whether to crack down on street camping and even feeding the homeless.

The most alarming consequence of the West Coast homeless explosion is a deadly Hepatitis A outbreak that has affected Los Angeles, Santa Cruz and San Diego, the popular tourist destination in a county where more than 5,600 people now live on the streets or in their cars. Spread through a liver-damaging virus that lives in feces, the disease prompted California officials to declare a state of emergency in October.

The HUD report underscores the severity of the problem along the West Coast.

While the overall homeless population in California, Oregon and Washington grew by 14 percent during the past two years, the part of that population considered unsheltered climbed 23 percent to 108,000. That is in part due a shortage of affordable housing.

In booming Seattle, for example, the HUD report shows the unsheltered population grew by 44 percent in two years to nearly 5,500.

The homeless service area that includes most of Los Angeles County, the epicenter of the crisis, saw its total homeless count top 55,000 people, up by more than 13,000 from 2016. Four out of every five homeless individuals there are considered unsheltered, leaving tens of thousands of people with no place to sleep other than the streets or parks.

By comparison, while New York City’s homeless population grew to more than 76,000, only about 5 percent are considered unsheltered thanks to a system that can get people a cot under a roof immediately.

In contrast, the HUD report showed a long-running decline in homelessness continuing in most other regions. Nationally, the overall homeless number was down by 13 percent since 2010 and the unsheltered number has dropped by 17 percent over that seven-year span, although some changes in methodology and definitions over the years can affect comparisons.

Places where the numbers went down include Atlanta, Philadelphia, Miami, the Denver area and Hawaii, which declared a statewide homelessness emergency in 2015.

The Homeless Point-In-Time survey is based on counts at shelters and on the streets. While imperfect, it attempts to represent how many people are homeless at a given time. Those who work regularly with the homeless say it is certainly an undercount, although many advocates and officials believe it correctly identifies trend lines.


About the Author: Staff Writer for


Four Strategies to Start Year Off Right and Meet Your Goals for 2018

As we all begin to focus on a new year, we tend to start thinking of everything we want to accomplish. We want to raise more money, start new projects, expand what works, and change what doesn’t. If you’re like me, that list can quickly get very long. If you find yourself hyperventilating, take some deep breaths and repeat after me:

“I can do this.”

Here’s what to do:

1. Identify the ONE thing you must accomplish before the end of the first quarter. One. Write it down, and focus your attention on reaching that goal. Create a game plan with a timeline, and block out time in your calendar — daily or weekly — to accomplish it. Every morning ask yourself, “What can I do today to help reach this goal?” Make it one of your three top priorities for each day.

2. Remove unnecessary distractions and dramatically streamline your work. Look at your calendar for the next three months and identify all the time suckers. Dramatically reduce or eliminate them. Look for half-day meetings that can be accomplished in 1-2 hours, meetings that could instead be quick phone calls, hour phone calls that could be accomplished in 15 minutes, trips that could be turned into video conference calls, internal processes that could be streamlined, events that are not critical for you to attend, and time you are spending with people you don’t really like. Focus on paring everything down.

3. Control your technology instead of letting it control you! Unless you are in the path of a hurricane, you don’t need to check FOX online every hour. Limit the time you spend checking email to twice a day, and don’t allow the beeps and alerts to go off and let you know every time “you’ve got mail” (or you’ve got a new LinkedIn connection, or someone retweeted you).

4. Get help. Delegate what you can. I once made a list of everything I was doing in my consulting work, and divided into three categories: things that bring me joy/give me energy, things I hate to do, and things I can do, but could easily be delegated. It was illuminating. I created an entire job description that delegated a large chunk of items in the last two categories, and hired a communications firm to handle it all for me. Not only did I offload all that work onto someone else, that firm is doing a better job than I ever could. You can also retain a consultant to help facilitate strategic planning, conduct research or scanning, review grant proposals and reports, or write that case study you’ve been meaning to do. A trusted advisor can serve as your sounding board to help you navigate strategic and tactical decisions you need to make as you delegate and streamline.

  1. things that bring me joy/give me energy, 
  2. things I hate to do, 
  3. and things I can do, but could easily be delegated

Once you’ve followed these steps for the first quarter of 2018, repeat them again in quarters two, three and four. You’ll not only move through the new year without added stress, but also be more productive. Just wait until you see how much you can accomplish!

About the Author: Kris Putnam-Walkerly is a global philanthropy advisor, contributor, and author of the award-winning book Confident Giving: Sage Advice for Funders

Grants Help Support Police Campaigns to Curb Drunk Driving During Holiday Season

Police departments across the nation are gearing up their efforts to deliver gifts of sobriety to motorists between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

The concerted campaign to make drivers think twice about operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs during the holidays requires an increase in staffing to man the added patrols and roadside checkpoints.

Libby Hikind, founder and CEO of, said the extra details and public awareness strategies are typically funded by grants at the state or federal levels including the NHTSA, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Much of the focus throughout the United States will be on speed limit enforcement, which often leads to DUI arrests, according to law enforcement authorities. In Santa Rosa, where the overtime is funded by grants from the California Office of Traffic Safety, every traffic stop is considered a DUI investigation.

As a measure of support, NHTSA sponsors the annual Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, which includes nationwide TV advertisements aimed at warning Americans to stay safe during the holidays and raise awareness of drunk driving. In December 2016 alone, 781 people lost their lives in drunk-driving crashes. The agency reports that over the past five years, an average of 300 people died in drunk-driving crashes during the Christmas through New Year’s holiday period.

That’s why the Bucksport Police Department has applied for three grants from the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety. Each grant could allow the department to pay officers to work an extra four-hour detail patrolling the busiest roads in town for: speeding, distracted drivers and operating under the influence offenses.

Earlier this year, the Bucksport Police Department received grants for speeding details, new body armor and a new cage for one of its cruisers. Police departments in small communities like Bucksport are often at a disadvantage because they have fewer resources available to help their officers effectively do their jobs.

“Policing comes with a price tag,” said Hikind, who encouraged law enforcement authorities and nonprofit fire and first-responder services to visit, where they will find grant resources and links to their administrating agencies. Here are two examples of state grants that can be found when using the keyword search with the word "Driving".

Grants to Delaware Agencies for Projects that Reduce Traffic Accidents

Grants to Washington Nonprofits, Agencies, and Schools to Improve Traffic Safety

Libby explains, "We add new grants daily. But if you do not see a grant specific to the DUI community issue, look at grants for economic development, travel & tourism and municipalities – and if you meet the eligibility and funding requirements, prepare to make a strong case for your proposed program with the needs of your locale."

Grants can help police departments with the purchase of equipment – from bulletproof vests to cruisers — and in the hiring of additional officers. This year, the Community Orientated Policing Services, an arm of the Justice Department, provided close to $100 million to 179 police departments around the country, which will allow 802 full-time law enforcement officers to be hired.

About the Author: Staff Writer for


No Mountain Too High for Wendy’s High School Heisman College Scholarship Recipient

At six-foot-one, Soleil Gaylord can stand tall and be proud of receiving the Wendy’s High School Heisman trophy and the $10,000 college scholarship that went with the award.

After growing four inches in one year, the senior at Telluride High School feared her running days, which began at the age of 5, were finished.  Any prolonged strides would stretch her tendons too far and leave her hips prone to injury. Despite a 12 ½ size shoe that was more suited for basketball, Gaylord was not about to cut short her passion for long distance running in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.

Instead, Gaylord worked harder, rising to all occasions to become a state champion in cross-country and track and field, a World Mountain Running Championships competitor, a World Champion snowshoe runner and a Colorado Sportswoman of the Year. 

Several colleges are courting Gaylord’s talents. The Wendy’s scholarship could certainly influence her choice of schools. But, most high school seniors like her aren’t afforded such a luxury; although, the playing field to compete for college scholarships has leveled somewhat and become more efficient.

“The internet has changed things,” said Libby Hikind, founder and CEO of, which lists college scholarships from the government, schools, and private organizations including foundations and community groups. “If you want to find college scholarships, you just need an internet connection and a phone, tablet or computer.”

Hikind said unlike financial aid, students do not have to pay back grants, awards and scholarships. GrantWatch has a dedicated category for unique college scholarships, grants for college, awards for college.

“All types of students can receive grants and scholarships,” she said. “There are thousands of funding sources for college, but you have to find them first.”

Scholarships and awards are typically merit-based and awarded to students who exhibit proven ability and have rules for maintaining aid. Grants, on the other hand, are need-based and usually awarded depending on the financial situation surrounding the applicant.

The U.S. Department of Education provides many grants to help college students offset the rising cost of tuition. More than $28 billion of that money is disbursed to about 7.2 million students through the Pell program, which provides need-based grants to low-income undergraduates.

Federal and state governments combine with colleges and universities to offer more than three-fourths of all grant money, but many large and small corporations and private nonprofits can be a source for “free money” as well.

Private and public nonprofits utilize scholarships as a tool to perform charitable work and assist struggling students and their families to defray the cost of college. Most of these scholarships have requirements that are targeted to specific groups. 

Hikind suggests that students thinking about going to college should start looking early for extra financing.

“Millions of students receive financial help,” she said. “But, those that do, apply early and often to as many different sources as possible.”


About the Author: Staff Writer for

Growing Senior Populations Challenge Nonprofits to Answer Calls for Help

When the Brevard County Commission decided to reduce the amount of money allocated to nonprofits, Meals on Wheels funding came to a grinding halt. The program, which delivers meals to the homes of seniors who are unable to purchase or prepare their own meals, failed to provide enough value in the minds of the Florida commissioners, who dispense government funds to nonprofits.

Meals on Wheels, which is just one service of the nonprofit Aging Matters, is not without company among organizations in need of funding resources. Over the next five years, the commission is cutting the budget to local charities, until the giving stops completely. The government, the argument goes, should not be funding nonprofits with taxpayer dollars.

That’s not to say seniors will have their calls for help left unanswered. The GrantWatch Aging and Senior category matches government and foundation grants with entrepreneurs and nonprofits who are looking to put their ideas to work based on a surge in the demand for elderly-care support services.

The market for elderly adult care continues to grow at an unprecedented rate. AARP claims that the 106 million Americans aged 50 and older represent a consumer base that will generate more than $13.5 trillion in annual economic activity by 2032. That’s more than half of the U.S. GDP.  What’s more, Deloitte predicts seniors will amass $26 trillion in financial assets by 2029.

Caring for the elderly is no longer restricted to nursing homes. Starting a nonprofit business that cares for seniors in their homes requires common sense, compassion, honesty and organization skills. The trick is to showcase these attributes to attract grant money for starting what could be a prosperous business that actually helps people.

Home care to assist seniors who have physical or mental limitations, but don’t want to lose their independence is gaining attention. Most government agencies and private foundations will prioritize their grant-making activities on care for the elderly.

Federal agencies typically provide most of their support for elderly-care services through block grants to their counterpart agencies at the state and local levels. In turn, these state and local agencies award competitive grants to qualified nonprofit enterprises that directly serve the needs of senior populations.

Studies predict that baby boomers will account for a 73 percent increase in the age 65-and-above senior population. Some 30 million of these elderly adults will be confronted with more than one chronic health condition by 2030, according to the American Hospital Association.

Seniors face difficulties for many reasons. Some of these issues are visible, but none of them should be ignored. If your organization offers funding sources to assist the elderly to do things they can no longer do for themselves, list the opportunity on Eligible entrepreneurs, small businesses and nonprofits are waiting to accept your generosity and put their philanthropic ideas to work.


About the Author: Staff Writer for


Teaching Award Punctuates English Instructor’s Selfless Service to Students | Grantwatch

Her jaw dropped open in shock. Then the students seated around her in the school gymnasium erupted in screams and cheers. Katherine Watkins placed her hand over her heart. What had begun as a typical school assembly – or so, she thought – had become a ceremony in her honor.

Watkins, an 11th-grade English teacher at Millington Central, was awash in congratulatory hugs after receiving a $25,000 Milken Educator Award during an impromptu presentation at the high school in Memphis, Tennessee.

According to an article published on November 16, 2017, in USA TODAY NETWORK (WXIA), written by Jennifer Pignolet, The National Educator Award, is one of some 45 unrestricted grants delivered by the Milken Family Foundation annually to recognize teachers nationwide for their exemplary service. The foundation is one of thousands of funding sources that single out teachers like Watkins for their important contributions to education.

From the federal government to private companies and charities, these grants, fellowships and scholarships are typically awarded to teachers who are looking for ways to expand their instruction and engage their students, but find their ideas sometimes too expensive to implement. provides a roundup of what grants, awards, funding opportunities, contests and prizes are available to educators from the government, corporations and private foundations. The user-friendly search engine posts new and unique grants daily and updates opportunities for instructors, administrators and nonprofit organizations in the learning community. On GrantWatch, educators can identify funding sources for anything that goes into helping students, classrooms, schools and communities to improve the quality of education.

"I encourage teachers to take initiative," said Libby Hikind, founder and CEO of Grantwatch. "Find the funding you need for your students and, if it is not available, crowdfund — of course, with the proper beaurocractic permissions."

During her tenure as a teacher, Hinkind wrote grants to gain support through the public school district for educational enhancements. The Tandy Corporation (Radio Shack) provided Hikind with her first award. On behalf of IS 68K in Brooklyn, she evaluated the Model 100 — one of the first tablets made available in the 1980s. Encouraged by her successful use of wordprocessing to teach special education students, Hikind continued writing grants leading up to a classroom full of Commodore 64s.

Watkins, meanwhile, is in her seventh year of teaching, her third at Millington Central. She teaches English to juniors and seniors including an Advanced Placement literature class. Unlike athletes and other celebrities, teachers like Watkins and others who make selfless commitments to help others, don't always receive the recognition they deserve.

Her students said Watkins invests her time in their academic and personal lives, and even arranged a Sunday movie day at the school after her literature class finished reading Charles Dickens novel Great Expectations.

“I think in order to be a truly great teacher, you have to be passionate about what you teach, and you have to have the ability to share that passion with others,” Watkins told the Memphis Commercial Appeal. "And for me, going out of my way, using my extra time to try to bring students into my way of seeing literature, is what that’s all about."


About the Author: Staff writer for


#GivingTuesday #RaiseMoney

The global movement of giving has begun. Capitalizing on Black Friday and Cyber Monday – Giving Tuesday harnesses the potential of social media and the generosity of people around the world to evoke real change within local communities. 

An immediate sensation that caught on like wild fire … nonprofits rallied around crowdfunding as a means to raise vital dollars while relying on the tradition of "year-end" charitable gifts.

In 2015, charities from 98 countries raised $177 million within 24 hours. 

There is a strategy to success! 

  1. Do not fundraise for general operating expenses or more than one program 
  2. Pick one program with a beginning, a middle and end. For example: a new playground to be built in an inner-city 
    •     Beginning:
      • Fundraising Goal $10,000
    •     Middle: 
      • Who will the gift help – preschool children 
      • What will the gift accomplish – build a playground where there was none before
      •  Where (city, state) the gift will reach – inner city
      • Why is the gift needed – helps to build a community by providing a safe, nurturing place for families to gather 
    • End:
      • The Goal needs to finish the job – $10,000 will help put the last nail into the playground 
  3. Tell a personal story: Human impact sells to donors on social media
  4. Do not describe your nonprofit in detail
  5. Stick to the one program that needs funds
  6. Photos speak louder than words 
  7. Remember that every dollar counts
  8. SHARE: To go viral, the post must hit as many newsfeeds as possible
  9. UHelp is a free crowdfunding platform and means to collect the funds
  10. Platforms are NOT going to sell your cause  – you are
  11. If you have a  website, link a donate button to your UHelp campaign page
  12. Urge family/friends to SHARE your Giving Tuesday post on their feeds
  13. Accept that someone may not have the capacity to give a gift today – but sharing the post can be just as valuable; continue to post on social media past Nov. 29, 2017, so donors can view how their contribution made a difference 
  14. Plan for 2018 NOW …

About the Author: Marsha3 is a proven grant writer and crowdfunding mentor on the website.

An Open Letter to Funding Sources

Dear Gantmakers, Foundations and Government Agencies that fund nonprofits,

GrantWatch wishes you, your family and your organization a Happy Thanksgiving! Before you wind down business for the holidays, though, remember that #GivingTuesday is right around the corner — the first Tuesday following Thanksgiving.

This is the perfect time to post a grant for community services and homeless assistance using our free, easy-to-use portal. GrantWatch lists grants from foundations, corporations and federal, local and state governments. You provide the basic information, and we’ll fill in the rest!

Nonprofits, small businesses and charitable individuals are gearing up to help local communities during this year’s #GivingTuesday holiday season. There are so many creative ideas and campaigns on UHelp that will help the less fortunate. The need for funding is immense!

As you know, many people are unable to spend the holidays with their families — and are without homes in which to spend Thanksgiving. Consider the people whose lives have been impacted by horrific weather events and acts of terrorism over the past few months as well as victims of domestic violence and families bereft from illness. There are so many reasons to give, and you do it best through your grants.

If your organization has a funding opportunity, a grant available or award that will better various communities and individuals during the upcoming winter months, list it on, where nonprofits, small businesses and organizations can easily access financial services to carry out their generous goals and philanthropic mission.

GrantWatch thanks you for your generosity and work for the greater good.

Wishing you and yours good health and happiness, 

About the Author: Kayli Tomasheski is a Copy Editor for