You may have noticed the Silver Lake Neighborhood sign out in front of Lot 49 and 50 on 19th st. This was paid for with last years grant money. There is another sign near our local Costco. We are trying to decide what to do with this years grant so please come to the next Silver Lake Association meeting to voice your opinion.
Greetings, January 6, 2009
I am enclosing the Neighborhood Mini Grant application for 2010. We're hearing about some great new ideas and look forward to seeing your proposals. You may use this form, or prepare your grant on the computer using the forms emailed out earlier this week. Mini-grant Applications will be accepted until the January 30, 2010 deadline.
The 2010 mini grant amount will be up to $2760 per neighborhood. Up to $500 of the total amount is intended to help cover insurance costs for neighborhoods. If you do not plan to obtain insurance, you may allocate those dollars to projects. The maximum amount of mini grant funds that can be used for insurance is $500. If your insurance policy costs more, you will have to use other funds to cover those costs. This additional funding will allow neighborhoods to do more with their visions for neighborhood improvements and activities that foster community.
Note that the volunteer match value has been set at $20/hour, which reflects the national calculation of the value of volunteer time. Also note that you may list up to 10 hours of volunteer time for writing the application, for a total of $200 in match value.
In addition to your usual projects, we urge you to consider three priority areas for activities.
1) Fostering inclusive communities so that all neighbors feel welcome and included in neighborhood life. We want to work toward meetings, events, and projects that are welcoming and reflective of the residents in your neighborhood. Find out who lives in your neighborhood and what matters to them. Consider inviting guest speakers from the various cultural, ethnic, and immigrant organizations to your meetings, events or info fairs. Try reaching out door to door to new neighbors from pockets in the neighborhood who have not attended so far. Do you need to get some translations done or arrange for volunteer interpreters to help reach out to people who are new to this country? Can you get your door hangers, newsletters or event announcements out to agencies, apartment managers, businesses, schools and PTA groups, or other associations who don't know about the neighborhood association? Can you create events that attract people who might not feel comfortable or be interested in attending neighborhood monthly meetings but might come to a kid friendly, music or family oriented event..?
Mayor Stephanson has asked us to step up to the plate on this issue. We can do better on cross cultural awareness, including all neighbors and creating a welcoming city through the neighborhoods.
2) Building Up Crime Prevention Efforts, Block Watch and National Night Out
Feeling safe in your neighborhood and knowing you can count on your neighbors is important. Consider using mini grant funds to sponsor some National Night Out (NNO) small block parties or a central neighborhood picnic in your area for National Night Out to get neighbors talking and organized. (NNO is first Tuesday of August) Host a BBQ and crime prevention how-to session with Officer Paxton's printed materials on hand. Use funds to make door hangers for block watch organizing with Neighborhood info on one side and that block watch group's meeting info on the other. Coach people on the importance of calling 911. Celebrate successes with block watch organizing. Host fun events that knit people together, and create phone and email trees to strengthen communication between neighbors for crime prevention, mutual support and social connection. This is another area that is a priority for Mayor Stephanson and for many neighborhood residents.
3) Improving Emergency Preparedness
Help residents in your area think through and make preparations for handling a disaster. Host a preparedness fair in your neighborhood, invite the Red Cross and/or Everett Fire Dept and recognize your CERT grads. Map Your Neighborhood is a coordinated approach to identify needs and resources, facilities or people skills, etc that might be useful in a disaster. Recruit more CERT students from your neighborhood using events and newsletter info. Work with your local school PTA/PTO groups to talk about preparedness and family readiness for disasters. Coordinate with your CERT grads and the Fire Dept staff to plan possible activities to educate neighbors or plan a drill with Fire Dept. Emergency Management staff. Seek out partners for preparedness. Being prepared for disasters affecting Everett is important to Mayor Stephanson. Neighborhood residents and associations can play a big part in that effort.
4) Enhancing Open Space and Greening the Neighborhoods
As neighbors we can take steps to improve parks and shared open spaces in cooperation with City of Everett Parks, and private property owners. Consider working to develop a small neighborhood gathering place, clean up a park, work with residents and city staff to implement Master Plan Park improvements. To lighten our impact on the planet, consider that neighbors could share tools through a tool bank for the community, set up carpooling to the grocery, grow a community garden, educate neighbors about bus services to rely less often on auto trips. Our Mayor has taken steps to lead a carbon emissions reduction by City government, through conservation and lowering energy use. How can your neighborhood get “greener”?
Some additional notes:
We are mailing out the 2010 application as hard copy with guidelines for the types of projects that are eligible, etc. As always, if your project might involve city property, school district sites, need permits or city approval, please make an effort to contact city or school district staff now to explore feasibility rather than after submitting the application. Please get written estimates from vendors for projects that involve production of material goods (A-Boards, door hangers, translation services, facility rental, etc) so your mini-grant request will be adequate to cover your project costs.
Most of you have been discussing possible projects since September and are getting clearer about what you might want to do. Each project needs a dedicated leader and supporters who will follow through.
Please consider working with other neighborhoods on collaborative projects, for example, the four north end neighborhoods could work together on a North Broadway project. Newer neighborhoods such as Holly, Evergreen, Westmont, Cascade View and Everett Mall South may wish to collaborate on outreach strategies and submit a joint grant proposal.
Mini-grant Applications will be accepted until the January 30, 2010 deadline. If you have special circumstances, please call me as soon as possible.
I am happy to meet with you one on one to discuss your ideas if you need help or suggestions. If there is enough interest, I will offer a how to workshop in late November about applying for these funds, what we want to see on the application, etc. Please call and let me know if that is something your group would like.
Keep up the great work you are all doing to make your neighborhoods strong and Everett a great place to live.
Office of Neighborhoods
City of Everett
Mini Grant Guidelines 2010
What Is the Neighborhood Matching Fund?
The Neighborhood Matching Fund supports local grassroots action in neighborhoods. It is a resource provided to neighborhood groups by the City of Everett. The fund enables residents interested in doing projects that address a specific community need and that also build community to take action and move forward. Neighborhood-based groups can apply for and receive funds to carry out neighborhood-initiated planning, organizing, or improvement projects in partnership with the City of Everett. Neighborhood Matching Fund dollars are matched by the community’s contribution of volunteer labor, donated materials, supplies, services, or cash.
Mini Grant Information:
• Applications are accepted at least once a year. Deadline is January 30, 2010.
• Applications are reviewed by relevant City staff and evaluated by Office of Neighborhoods.
• Notice of award within 4 – 6 weeks
• Neighborhoods are eligible for up to $2,760 provided they can demonstrate a likely match for the funds.
• Projects must be completed within the calendar year of the award, usually by Dec 20.
Who Can Apply?
Applications are accepted from:
• Neighborhood Associations - The applicant group must have an open membership and must actively seek involvement from area residents and/or businesses.
• Neighborhood Association needs to discuss and plan project at their open meetings.
Awards are NOT made to:
• Individual persons or individual businesses.
• Private charitable organizations.
• Religious organizations, government agencies, political groups, district councils, citywide organizations, universities, hospitals, newspapers, non-local organizations.
• Applicants who have failed to successfully carry out projects funded in the two preceding years.
What Kinds of Projects Are Funded?
To be considered for funding, a project must:
• Provide a public benefit, resulting in a product that benefits a neighborhood.
• Emphasize neighborhood self-help; involve neighborhood people in the planning and implementation of the project.
NOT eligible for funding are projects that:
• Duplicate an existing private or public program.
• Provide ongoing services. The Fund cannot pay for ongoing operating budgets.
• Conflict with existing City policy.
Budget items NOT eligible for funding:
• Out of City travel expenses, donations to other organizations, or items for private gain.
• Expenditures or financial commitments made before a Mini grant has been approved.
1. Neighborhood Planning and/or Design Project — Produce a plan, design, or report outlining specific actions that will serve as a guide for future action in or changes to your neighborhood.
2. Neighborhood Organizing Project — Create, diversify, or enlarge the membership of a multi-issue neighborhood organization.
3. Neighborhood Physical Improvement Project — Build or enhance a physical improvement in your neighborhood.
4. Neighborhood Non-Physical Improvement Project — A community building activity or event such as a festival or celebration, a training session, an educational campaign, a computer literacy pilot program, or a workshop. A festival or celebration will only be funded one time. However, if a new community building component is proposed as part of the festival or celebration, then an award for the new component will be given consideration.
5. Public School Partnership Project — Pilot or start-up program that directly benefits a public school and the immediate neighborhood.
How Will Your Application Be Reviewed?
Neighborhood Matching Fund applications are reviewed in the following manner:
• Applications checked for completion and accuracy by Office of Neighborhoods Coordinator and various city staff.
• Applications are read by City staff from departments that have responsibility for that type of project.
• Application needs to demonstrate strong community support and open discussion of plans at neighborhood meetings.
For every dollar requested from the City, the community must provide a dollar of match, in the form of cash, donated professional services or materials, or volunteer labor. Applicants should be sure to keep records of all match expended.
Documenting match is very important and match pledge forms should be submitted with the application.
Following are requirements for eligible match.
• The total value of the match must equal or exceed the dollar amount requested in the mini grant. There are two exceptions: planning projects including design, and neighborhood organizing projects require match that equals or exceeds half the dollar amount requested from the Fund.
• The amount and type of match must be appropriate to the needs of the proposed project. The applicant must be prepared to justify that each element of the match, in the amount proposed, is required to complete the proposed project.
• At least 25% of the neighborhood’s match should come from the neighborhood preferably, or Everett area volunteers rather than from foundations, the County, School District, State, or other entities.
• All volunteer labor is valued at $20 an hour.
Eligible match contd.,
• Professional services are valued at the reasonable and customary retail value of the product or service.
• Projects may start counting match as soon as the application is submitted and, if an award is made, continue documenting expended match throughout the contract period. All match must be directly related to planning and implementation of the project. However, no purchases will be reimbursed if they cored prior to mini grant approval.
• Funds from other City of Everett sources, including staff time, cannot be counted as match except for funds from the Transit Department that are federal in origin, or from the Cultural Commission.
The best way to start thinking about match is to list all the resources needed to complete the project and then identify which items can be found in the neighborhood. Documenting match is a very important part of the process.
Volunteer labor is the resource most readily gained by neighborhood organizations. However, securing volunteer pledges can be time-consuming. It is important to make this investment early in your project so that you can rely on those volunteers as your project moves forward.
Volunteer pledge sheets, either in the form of a log signed by many future volunteers or individual pledge forms, should list each donor’s name, the number of hours pledged, address and phone, and the type of job they will do. All pledge sheets should be attached to the application.
Early on in developing a project, the applicant should discuss potential volunteer activities with affected property owners. A property owner may require some elements of the work to be completed by skilled professionals.
Volunteer time spent planning and putting together the application to the Neighborhood Matching Fund is allowable as a match for a maximum of up to 10 hours of application preparation time for a maximum of $200.
Professional services can be an important part of the match so long as the services provided are necessary to the project and valued in proportion to the needs of the project. Applicants should decide early on whether professional services will be donated or paid for with the award. An individual who will be paid for services cannot also pledge volunteer time to be budgeted as match.
The donors of professional services must document the hourly value of their services on professional letterhead. The Neighborhood Matching Fund will recognize the value of professional services at their customary rates.
Donated materials or supplies are valued at their retail price. Borrowed equipment can also be considered as part of the match and valued at the standard rental fee. Here as well, the donor must provide documentation of the value and quantity of the match.
Cash is probably the easiest match to use and to document. An organization that plans to raise cash match should attach a detailed fundraising plan with the application. The fundraising plan should specify fundraising activities, including how much money is expected from each activity, when each activity will occur, and which, if any, other grant makers will be applied to.
Cash donations may be secured with a written pledge signed by the donor rather than collecting the cash up front.
Some Points about Public Funding
If your project receives a mini grant award, you will encounter certain conditions that are attendant on public funding. Knowing a little about those conditions now will help you plan your budget and your timeline.
Use of Public Funds:
Public funds cannot be used for private gain. For example, you cannot use city funds to buy
T-shirts to give to volunteers. You cannot use the funds to improve private property unless it is in use as a public space such as a P-Patch. If food is to be provided (via City funds) at an event or work party, the event and availability of the food must appear in public notice such as your newsletter and the Herald.
Public funds cannot be “donated” to another group or non-profit organization.
Reimbursements: Award recipients get their money by means of reimbursements to a treasurer or lead volunteer or via payments to vendors through purchase orders based on estimates provided by vendors in writing. The money is provided to you in installments: as you incur costs, you bring us receipts for reimbursement of the money spent; we send a check for the amount you claim; then you pay all your vendors or reimburse volunteers. The City will pay vendors directly if a purchase order was obtained. See info sheet on how to obtain reimbursements and submit receipts.
You cannot begin to incur costs to be paid by Mini Grant funds before you have received notice that your grant is awarded by the Office of Neighborhoods.
Included with the invoice you send, you will report to us on the match you have expended and on the project’s progress. This recordkeeping is key to the project. If a volunteer handles this, remember to consider that recordkeeping as a match item.
An organization does not need 501(c)3 status — that is, an IRS-recognized private, nonprofit charitable organization— to receive City funding. However, donors cannot claim tax benefit for their donations to your project unless you are, or are affiliated with, a 501(c) 3. Foundations can make gifts only to 501(c) 3 organizations. Becoming a 501(c) 3 requires an IRS filing process, a fee, and a long wait, maybe a year, before you get your determination.
Insurance: If your project is funded, the City will require that you ask volunteers to sign hold harmless agreements for volunteers while they are at work on your project. However, you will be asked to purchase Commercial General Liability insurance for your project if there is considered to be risk, to limit the liability of your organization as well as the City. Depending on the project’s scope and your organization’s experience in purchasing insurance, you can expect the price to range from $300 to $1,000.
Multiple Estimates: The City is concerned that you give ample opportunity to a broad set of businesses to bid on the work you are generating. Three written estimates are needed for most projects of this scope. The City encourages opening that bid opportunity to women- and minority-owned businesses. It is important that you keep an open mind about which stores you purchase from and which consultants and contractors you hire. If you wish to secure consultant services, you must solicit at least three responses to a written scope of work.
Contingency: All construction projects must include a contingency allowance in their budgets equaling 15% of all capital expenditures. If you hit any unexpected problems, and chances are you will, you will have some fallback money, but there will be no other funding from the City to address cost overruns.
Steps in Developing a Project
1. Select a Project in Conjunction with the Neighborhood and Build Neighborhood Support.
Choose a project that will generate as much community support as possible and that addresses a known problem or concern or improves the neighborhood. Talk about the project with neighbors and with neighborhood organizations to build as much local support as possible. That support is crucial to the success of your application and your project. Seek approval of the Neighborhood Association for mini-grant submittal.
2. Gain Site Control and City Advice.
If your project involves use of or changes to property that your organization does not own, you must get written permission from the owner, e.g., Everett School District, Everett Parks and Recreation, Everett Department of Transportation, or private property owner. Obtain advice and applicable permitting information from City staff.
3. Develop the Project’s Scope.
Begin your work plan with simple goals and objectives. List the activities needed to accomplish your goals. Some initial research may be needed at this stage to get a handle on the steps involved. You may be able to consult with another neighborhood group that has done a similar project. Do any members of your group have professional experience that could be helpful? Does someone at the City know about this kind of project?
4. Determine Resources Needed.
Resources you will probably need could include expertise, equipment, supplies, postage, volunteers and services. You may also need liability insurance, permit fees, maps and technical studies, fiscal sponsor fees, construction management, and information about competitive bidding requirements. If you expect a City department to participate in your project by providing a service, be aware that there may be costs associated with that service. Your list will become a first draft of the budget in the application.
5. Develop a Project Budget.
After you list needed resources, you will need to estimate costs in order to do a budget. To ensure greater accuracy in your budget, get cost estimates for each budget item from more than one reliable source. Keep careful notes of all conversations with vendors or contractors which involve estimates. Those notes will be helpful to you later when you select contractors.
6. Determine the Match.
See “Match Requirements,” pages 3-4.
7. Research Regulations.
Many projects need permits, insurance, or design review before proceeding. Find out what regulations and permits apply to your project.
8. And keep in mind these suggestions to help you submit a competitive application...
• Review all application requirements before you start. Contact Office of Neighborhoods staff for help to make sure your application is clear and complete. We are happy to review drafts at least one week prior to application deadline.
• Plan for community participation before you develop the application. This will build support for your project and may avoid problems later on in the process.
• Create a timeline, starting with the application’s due date and working backward. Allow adequate time to publicize community participation events.
• Clearly describe the public benefit from your proposal.
• To have an effective project and a competitive application, neighborhood participation should involve a broad range of citizens, including representatives from many sectors of the neighborhood. Your application should clearly show how your project is “building community.”
• Consider maintenance for any types of capital improvement project. Who will water the garden, weed the planting, take care of cleaning a mural that gets graffitied, etc. Most types of capital projects require a written maintenance plan developed by the community and in consultation with the property owner. The City requires such agreements as well for city owned sites. Further, if a project results in increased maintenance costs, your organization and the property owner should decide how those costs will be covered.
• A complete application includes: any necessary attachments in 8½ x 11 format; and an original application signed by the chair of the neighborhood organization. Late applications will not be accepted, unless by prior written approval for an extension.
We welcome questions, before applications are submitted, during the award review, and after your project has begun. Please call or email with your questions. We are happy to arrange to meet with you in person. Call the office ahead to set a time to meet with us or when you wish to drop off receipts and match documentation, please let us know you are coming in. We can provide you with copies of all your original receipts.
Contact: Wendy McClure, Coordinator, Office of Neighborhoods 425 257-8717 or