Ways to Fund Youth Service Projects

Collaborate for the Cause

 You have an idea for empowering your youth group through community service.  The youth have identified some possible community service projects that they can do to make a difference, but your organization lack the resources to get things done.  You need a plan to get the necessary resources on board.

Truthfully, you are already on the right track.  All that you have to do is start connecting with others who share your vision or support your cause.  Think of community service groups that do similar work.  Make contact with local volunteer groups who have a similar community vision or organizational mission.  Meet and agree to join forces to address the issue.

In an effort to do good, work together with others.  It's called collaboration.  Agree to work together with others on the cause.  See what each organization brings to the table.

Look Local

 Take a look at local service and volunteer groups.  Check with the Lions Club and the Rotary Club.  Search local nonprofit listings at your local volunteer center like the United Way.  Share the proposed project and see where these organizations may fit into the overall plan.  Gain buy-in from potential partners and see how they may be able to bring others on board, too.

The United Way may have connections to funding sources and others who may be able to support the program.  Support may not be limited to fiscal support like grants and donations.  In-kind support may come in the form of marketing or publicity, even advertising.  Donations may come in the form of trash bags, tools and other items for a community clean-up.  A local culinary school may donate pastries and cookies for volunteers to nibble on along with donated juice.

When you look locally, you can share the cause with others and make a connection with them.  Be sure to look at local groups that can help with the project.  Start by looking at local groups and networks for help with your project. 

Get Different Kinds of Help

Don't look at funding as only getting grants.  Think outside of the box.  Go totally outside of the box to get things started.

  • Mini Grants: These tend to fund short-term or single-day projects and are offered by a variety of funding sources; search www.ysa.org or www.servenet.org
  • Sponsorships: Get corporate sponsors to cover the costs such as outreach and materials, then place their logo prominently on banners and t-shirts at the event
  • Individual Donors: Look in the society section of your local daily newspaper and community press; see who is giving to worthy causes and find a way to get in touch with them.  Make announcements to the people who support such causes.

State the Case

 Develop proposals and pitches.  You need to be ready to share with others.  You need everything from a 30-second elevator pitch to a full-fledged proposal.  You need to be able to communicate the finer points of your project in terms of who benefits and gets the help as well as what it will take to get it done.

Be ready to share.  You never know who might be the person who can write out a check for those necessary supplies that will help you to get the job done.  Always be ready.

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