Beyond the Check: NCHT launches pilot program for grant writing assistance

Natrona County nonprofits are stretched thin, and it can be difficult to find the time, staff, and resources required for the all-consuming process of applying for state and federal grants.

“Many of us E.D.’s wear several different hats for our organizations,” said Jeremy Jones, executive director of the 12-24 Club. “Finding time to apply for state/federal/national grants is certainly an issue. Composing an RFP application at the state/federal level has always felt too difficult to pull-off without impacting my other responsibilities.”

With this feedback in mind, Natrona Collective Health Trust has launched a pilot grant writing assistance program with a select group of area nonprofits. The purpose of this pilot program is to capture state and federal grant money that is currently being left on the table. This funding can be used specifically for programmatic expenses as well as to increase internal capacity.

NCHT selected seven nonprofit partners to be a part of the pilot program based on their readiness to apply for state and federal funding. These organizations include Casper Youth Crisis Center, Children’s Advocacy Project, 12-24 Club, Casper Family Connections, Casper Pride, Self Help Center, and Seton House.

The NCHT team interviewed numerous grant writing consultants and selected a pool of grant writers appropriate for this program. Each nonprofit participant interviewed two grant writing consultants and had the opportunity to select the best match for them.

Throughout the nonprofits’ engagement with the consultant, they will work together to identify a scope of work specific to their needs, including but not limited to building a grant portfolio, researching and identifying funding opportunities, and completing funding applications.

This pilot program is slated to run for 6 months, with the goal of opening it up to the broader Natrona County community in 2023 after an evaluation of the program’s success.

NCHT acknowledges not all nonprofits are ready to apply for state and federal funding due to the specific requirements of these applications. Therefore, the Trust is working with Wyoming Nonprofit Network on offering a grant readiness program to help prepare organizations to participate in the grant writing program in the future. Those interested in participating should contact Anna Wilcox, Director of Learning and Development, at [email protected] or 307-772-9015.