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10 Small Nonprofits Selected for First Round of SIPS

Intent to Award: SIPS, Round 1

On Thursday, September 14, the Children’s Services Council of Leon County (CSC Leon) approved the intent to fund 10 applications from its first round of the “Small Investments for Program Success” (SIPS) Initiative. The objective of this one-time, short-term funding is to allow small, nonprofits access to funding outside of the more robust priority funding cycles 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, ultimately, to assist them in better serving children, youth and families in Leon County more effectively.

The selected programs address the three CSC Leon priority areas and deploy a wide variety of service modalities. A brief overview for each program selected and the amounts allocated are listed below.

Success in School and Life
These programs are primarily focused on increasing school performance and reducing juvenile crime among school-age children and youth.

  • Divine Revelations Ministries, Inc.: Elevate the Geeks & Gramps Program by piloting a co-mentorship component — $14,974.
  • Dream Builders Greatness Center, Inc.: Expand the number of children (and their families) able to receive training, tutoring, family counseling, and family building at the Center; also includes support for two specific community events — $15,000.
  • STEMS4Girls, Inc.: Support staffing needs of existing STEM Literacy program, compensating administrative facilitators and providing stipends to tutors — $15,000.
  • The Project Bridge, Inc.: Provide space, personnel, food, and materials for the tutoring program, special events and activities — $15,000.

Healthy Children, Youth and Families
These programs are primarily focused on increasing resiliency and reducing the number and consequences of adverse childhood events.

  • Indaba, Inc.: Implementation of Project Rising Stars, an arts-based initiative in under-served communities focused on building resiliency — $15,000.
  • Javacya Arts Conservatory: Expand the STEAM Youth Orchestra for students on Tallahassee’s Southside with a focus on increasing resiliency — $15,000.
  • Lincoln Center Foundation, Inc.: Support for youth boxing program and its ability to participate in additional competitions building youth resiliency and confidence — $14,450.

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.

  • TallyRobotics/Tallahassee LEGO Robotics Club, Inc.: Enhance the program’s ability to deliver quality training through the purchase of dedicated team laptops, tablets, projectors and screens, and be able to offer scholarships and cover event fees for teams — $15,000.
  • North Florida Community Development Corporation: Implement micro-grocery vending machines in food deserts — $15,000.
  • The Less Fortunate Still Matter Foundation: Provide a mobile commissary for families in targeted neighborhoods — $15,000.

This funding is round one of this program targeted at our small, nonprofit partners. The next application period opens October 1.

In total, CSC Leon received 34 applications and deemed 12 as “non-responsive” due to not meeting the application criteria or not completing the application correctly. Of the remaining applications, the total amount requested was greater than $277 thousand for a budget allocation of only $150 thousand. Council members reviewed each responsive application and selected their top candidates. Votes for each were tallied and applications groupings formed based on those votes.

  • Highly Recommended: Unanimous or Nearly Unanimous Support​
  • Recommended: Support from Multiple Council Members ​
  • Consider: Some/Mixed Support from Council Members​
  • Not Recommended: Did not stand out from the rest of the applications

Ultimately, the Governing Council approved all applications that fell into the top two categories. A listing of all applications and their assigned grouping is available to view here.

This methodology resulted in 10 applications being selected to move forward in the funding process, with a total requested of $149,424.

Those applicants not selected for funding will have the opportunity to receive group technical assistance to help understand the strengths and opportunities of their application and build capacity to make future applications more competitive.

To learn more about the original call for proposals and applications, click here.