Arizona's food banks are reporting demand higher than during the COVID pandemic.
Sky-high rents continue to displace families living paycheck-to-paycheck. Older adults are particularly at risk.
Even today, students struggle to overcome COVID-era gaps in their education. Dropout rates are too high.
Imagine wanting to escape a violent domestic situation and not knowing where to seek shelter.
For 30 years, the Arizona Republic-sponsored Season for Sharing campaign has provided grants to nonprofits statewide that provide the safety net for our neighbors in need. In total, Season for Sharing has raised and given away more than $73 million to organizations that help teachers and students, older adults and struggling children and families. Last year, Season for Sharing distributed $1.6 million to 158 charities.
Groups can begin applying for the next round of grants at 9 a.m. Monday, Sept. 11. The deadline is 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13. To apply, an organization must have an online profile with the Arizona Community Foundation. To create or access profiles and apply, go to azfoundation.org and click on "Grantee Login."
Applications are given an initial screening by the Arizona Community Foundation before being presented to a review committee made up of employees of The Republic, the Community Foundation and the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust.
Donations are accepted year-round, but the most focused period of fundraising is mid-November through Jan. 31, 2024. Grant recipients will be notified by April 1.
Grants are funded primarily with individual donations made by residents of every Arizona county. Subscribers to azcentral and The Republic have led the fundraising charge since the first campaign in 1993. The Pulliam Trust provides a matching grant.
Business support, matching challenges and sponsorships are welcome. If interested, contact Republic community relations director Stacy Sullivan at email@example.com or 602-444-8749.
Here are some guidelines for those considering applying for a Season for Sharing grant:
Children and families
Grants in this category will:
Help with emergency short-term shelter and long-term affordable housing.
Help prevent child abuse, find permanent placements and provide support for children in the foster care system.
Help with emergency shelter, housing, counseling and other services for domestic violence victims.
Solve short-term emergency needs, including personal care or hygiene items, clothing, rental or utility assistance or disaster relief.
Help with job training, and support underemployed youth and adults.
Offer free or low-cost food, including food banks and kids' meal programs.
Arts and education
Arts and education grants will support programs that:
Enhance K-12 curriculum, including tutors and academic after-school programs.
Provide back-to-school clothing, supplies and food programs.
Ensure that students graduate from high school prepared for college or work.
Support adult and family literacy programs.
Promote arts and culture education.
Grants in this category will support programs and services for the elderly, including supportive services, assisted living services, Alzheimer’s disease support, access to free or low-cost in-home or congregate meal programs, nutrition assistance and recreational services.
If asking for an amount larger than last year, the increase must not be more than 50%. First-year grants will be no more than $7,500. And no grant requests for less than $7,500 will be considered.
Priority is given to agencies that serve low-income and underserved families and children.
Primary geographic focus areas are Maricopa and Pinal counties, and all grants must be for programs in the state of Arizona.
The agency must be providing services in Arizona for a minimum of three years and have a minimum operating budget of $300,000 (can include in-kind support and must be reflected in profile budget or latest 990).
The agency must not request more than 5% of the total annual operating budget (including in-kind donations), and no more than 10% of total contributed annual income (excluding in-kind donations).
The agency must be receiving income for proposed projects from multiple sources; Season for Sharing cannot be the only source of funding.
Apply for one category only.
Requests that can show measurable results and outcomes are more likely to be funded.
Programs that primarily support a specific disease, disability, illness or addiction and with a mission of funding medical or scientific research.
Agencies that discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, medical condition, veteran status, marital status, disability, ancestry, sexual orientation or any other characteristic protected by law.
Religious organizations, churches and programs that are purely denominational in purpose.
Sports teams or sporting programs that are primarily recreational in purpose.
Schools, including charter schools.
Camps or other summer programs (which are supported separately through the Summer Youth Program Fund).
Projects that solely pay salaries or for capital projects.
Traditionally, pilot programs are not funded.
How to apply
Season for Sharing grants are submitted through theArizona Community Foundation grants portal. Season for Sharing is a collaborative fund of the Arizona Community Foundation (nonprofit tax ID# 86-0348306).
For assistance or questions about Season for Sharing, regarding the online application, contact ACF's Competitive Grants Management Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 602-381-1400.
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Arizona charities encouraged to apply for Season for Sharing grants