by Federal Glover
Supervisor, District V
A Chinese proverb says, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
The state, county and cities are hard pressed to maintain public services in this down economy. It becomes imperative that we find new ways to patch the social safety net and create ways for people to improve their situation rather than to rely on government to bail them out.
This Feb. 29 I am scheduling an event that I hope will help our residents and the social safety net during these troubled times.
Four years ago, I saw that the County, which provides a vast array of services was going to be hard pressed financially to continue to fund much of the human services, healthcare, financial assistance, food assistance, care for the elderly, childcare and more. The county’s financial problems, exacerbated by the mortgage crisis and the state’s bewildering budget process have cut into the ability of agencies to provide aid just when that help is most needed.
Therefore, I began offering free workshops for the community-based organizations to seek grants from private foundations.
The annual workshops are “fishing lessons,” if you will. If the agencies can learn to sustain themselves or supplement their budgets, there will be less of a need to rely on government for their funding sources.
The response has been overwhelming. We have had to turn people away. To my pleasant surprise, it attracted not only the community-based organizations, but also local government agencies and school district personnel.
The strategy of holding grant workshops for nonprofits appears to be working. A number of nonprofit organizations and county departments that make up our social safety net have been able to secure grants after taking the one-day workshop.
Community-based organizations and local government agencies find their budgets stretched to the limit and the need to seek other revenue sources has grown more urgent.
This will be the first time this workshop is being held outside of east Contra Costa County. We are fortunate that Conoco-Phillips, long a member of our community, has come forth and volunteered to underwrite this workshop.
Every time I hold this workshop, I try to have a different grantor give a presentation. It also gives them a chance to expand their outreach. This year, the Y&H Soda Foundation will be the guest presenter.
The two main presenters have been grant evaluators in other programs so they know what the foundations are looking for when applying for grants. They are my chief of staff David Fraser and the county’s homeless services director Lavonna Martin.
The grant-application writing workshop will be held Feb. 29, 8 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Hercules Community Center, 2001 Refugio Valley Road. Lunch will be provided.
The seminar is still accepting applicants but seating is limited. Interested individuals or agencies must pre-register at my website: www.cccounty.us/supervisorglover
Grants have been a source of salvation for many agencies, but in this troubled economy, the application process for those grants has become more competitive than ever.
For more information about this workshop, call 510-262-8800.
I wish everyone: Good luck “fishing!”
Glover is the county supervisor for District V. Reach him at email@example.com