2002 Old St Augustine Rd, Building A, Suite 50, Tallahassee, FL 32301

Ten More Small Nonprofits Selected for Funding in Second Round of SIPS

CSC Leon Intent to Award: SIPS, Round 2 (decorative logo)

CSC Leon hosted its last regular council meeting of the year on December 21. The agenda was packed with action items including the approval of a summer internship program, selection of a Family Resource Center Management partner, and a presentation by Mr. Shington Lamy from Leon County regarding a proposal to realign priorities for the Community Human Services Partnership (see preliminary analysis here). But the agenda item that received the most attention was the release of an “intent to award” for the second round of SIPS.

“SIPS” stands for “Small Investments for Program Success.” A SIPS award is a small, one-time, short-term investment awarded to small nonprofits to support very targeted service delivery and/or events during the next six months. In addition, the limited scope funding (maximum of $15,000) will allow recipients who have historically been excluded from funding opportunities for a variety of reasons to build their internal infrastructure to comply with reporting and budgeting requirements. For some, this may be the first public financial investment they have ever received. The Council’s goal is to ensure their operational success and, ultimately, to assist them in better serving children, youth and families in Leon County more effectively.

During the Council meeting, several members of the public – applicants for SIPS funding – spoke on the importance of the SIPS funding to build capacity and generate opportunity for organizations that would otherwise have none. The Council members, however, varied in their opinions on the necessity of the funding stream and expressed concerns on the accountability of the applicants. “The lack of capacity does not diminish the expectation of metrics,” stated Councilmember Darryl Jones.

In total, the Council received 20 applications requesting $236,011 for a period of six months. The majority of the proposals aligned with the CSC Leon impact areas of “supporting school-age supports” and “promoting youth development.” Each Council member reviewed all 20 applications and provided a basic ranking for each. With the results combined, ten applications fell into the top two tiers of “highly recommended” and “recommended.” While the remaining applicants fell into the categories of “consider” and “not recommended,” Councilmember Watts expressed that it means “not recommended right now” and urged those entities to try again.

A brief overview of the selected programs is provided below.

Success in School and Life (one program)

  • The Clean Start Initiative: Program funding to expand access to its mentoring program designed to prevent youth crime and reduce recidivism — $15,000

Healthy Children, Youth and Families (three programs)

  • KidSafe: Program funding to purchase of safety seats for infants and young children in low-income families — $15,000
  • The 850 Kings: Program funding to provide scholarships for a local athletics-based mentoring program — $15,000
  • Domestic Violence Coordinating Council: Developmental funding to expand a teen dating and domestic violence curriculum in high schools focused on building resiliency skills — $14,875

Stable & Nurturing Families & Communities
These programs are two-fold. One is focused on increasing the occupational skills, career pathways and economic opportunities for youth and the other two are focused solely on increasing food security for children, youth and families. Both of these objectives fall within this priority area.

  • Consulting Together Community Outreach, Inc.: Program funding to establish a financial literacy program that includes seed money to establish bank accounts for at least 20 youth — $9,500
  • Life Skills and Leadership Academy: Sponsorship of Spring Youth Conference with a youth development and resiliency theme — $5,000
  • Inclusion Cafe: Developmental funding to build a workforce development program in a restaurant setting targeting youth and adults with intellectual disabilities — $9,180
  • Community Carpentry USA, Inc.: Developmental funding to build an “afterschool” carpentry program to support workforce development for youth 16-18 — $15,000
  • The Foundation for Wealth Building, Inc.: Developmental funding to support a “music industry” workforce development program for youth 16-22 participating in specific community programs — $15,000
  • Youth Entrepreneur Program of Florida, Inc.: Developmental funding to kickstart a youth entrepreneurship program to enhance workforce development in specific neighborhoods — $15,000

In total, CSC Leon invested $128,555 in these ten programs. Implementation and impact reports for this investment will be shared in the Fall. The next application period opens early January.