...The Dream Inside.
|On-Campus Grants for LTB University Chapters|
|Written by Rachel Quist|
|Wednesday, 16 May 2012 17:56|
As a fast growing tutoring organization it is crucial for us to get our name out there and bring in new volunteer tutors and needy students. We utilize postcards, banners, posters, t-shirts, and other forms of widespread advertising in order to build our brand image. Increased recognition of the Learn To Be name in turn draws attention to our mission which is to bridge the achievement gap by providing supplemental academic support to all those who need it. So how do we do this? Where does the funding come from?
It comes largely from on-campus grant writing.
At UT Austin, student governance organizations such as Student Government and the Senate of College Councils appropriate general program funds based on applications from registered student organizations like Learn To Be. Student groups also rely on more specialized support like the University Co-op which provides merchandise sponsorship, a Green Fee Committee that offers incentives for eco-friendly initiatives, the Student Union which helps to cover event budgets, and the University Residence Hall Association that will help fund projects aimed at on-campus residents. Each semester the members of our Grant Management Team at the UT chapter have earned hundreds of dollars for Learn To Be events, equipment, and day-to-day expenses.
Real industry experience
Members of our Grant Management Team gain a lot of transferable skills through their grant seeking and follow-through work. The volunteers assess our organizational needs, submit budgets, design report templates, run audits, generate progress reports, and even work with corporate sponsors through the university. These experiences are widely applicable for working at other non-profits, for finding sponsors for academic research, and for submitting all kinds of bids and proposals in general.
What are the benefits?
With the increasing number of requests for our online tutoring, we need more tutors at Learn To Be, so the money that goes toward advertising is especially important. This is because the more we publicize our group and our mission, the more we can expand our membership and reach out to underprivileged communities across the nation. The more resources we can spend on spreading the word, the higher the number of people who get introduced to Learn To Be. The more people we serve, the higher the returns for each dollar invested. The more we reduce our overhead per session, the more attractive we are to potential donors. All in all, money and service go hand in hand in a healthy, incremental cycle that continually broadens our reach and helps us make progress toward our mission nationally.
Our local funding philosophy
Following in the footsteps of other university chapter-style national organizations as well as networks such as the Boys and Girls Club of America, we have learned that a lot of the money for day-to-day operations of a non-profit really lies at the local level. We continue to seek opportunities to work with notable foundations and the federal government, but on-campus grants really are a significant pool amongst our other chapter-level funding sources such as business donations and professor donations.