The Vermont Community Foundation announced that the Innovations and Collaborations grant program awarded $169,500 to 11 nonprofit organizations in Vermont in the fall of 2016. One of a number of competitive grant programs at the Community Foundation, Innovations and Collaborations supports projects that help nonprofits collaborate across sectors and regions to develop common solutions to community needs. More than $80,000 of these grants were made possible by Giving Together, a program at the Community Foundation that shares grant proposals with fundholders and donors, giving them the opportunity to co-fund projects.
“Nonprofit organizations throughout Vermont continue to seek new ways of working together to solve our common challenges as Vermonters,” says Christopher Kaufman Ilstrup, senior philanthropic advisor for program and grants. “Our grantees are constantly learning, growing, and creating effective new responses to build community, increase civic engagement, and support individuals and families in need across the state.”
Grant awards ranged from $10,000-$20,000 for both new and continued funding. Eight new projects include a program aiming to reduce evictions, a network of organizations working together to create a culture of clean water across the state, and a project which aims to improve civic engagement with a focus on communities impacted by Acts 46 and 77. Three additional projects received continued funding.
Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation received $15,000 for Windham Region Workforce Center of Excellence, which will extend economic and workforce engagement programs to students with the intent of increasing the quality and accessibility of work-based learning opportunities.
Partners: Windham Southeast Supervisory Union, Windham Northeast Supervisory Union, Windham Central Supervisory Union, Windham Southwest Supervisory Union, Landmark College, Community College of Vermont, Vermont Technical College, Marlboro College, SIT Graduate Institute, Union Institute & University, Vermont Department of Labor, Southern Vermont Area Health Education Center, Windham Regional Career Center, Bennington County Regional Commission
ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain received $17,500 for a project aligning the expertise, assets, and activities of a network of organizations collaborating to create a culture of clean water in education, business, and public land use planning and policies.
Partner: All Souls Interfaith Gathering
Housing Vermont received $20,000 for work on Eviction Prevention for Affordable Housing Residents in Vermont, a program combining expertise in affordable housing management and individual and family case management to develop a comprehensive, replicable eviction prevention strategy.
Partner: Committee on Temporary Shelter
Pathways Vermont received $20,000 to pilot a follow-up service for individuals exiting the hospital following a mental health crisis. The University of Vermont Medical Center will identify willing patients and forward their information to the Pathways Vermont Support Line, which will complete a series of follow-up calls to assist patients in maintaining their health.
Partner: University of Vermont Medical Center
Public Agenda received $20,000 for a project that aims to improve engagement, citizenship, and local democracy for communities working to implement Acts 46 and 77. In its first phase, the partners will create a guide on best practices for public engagement and hold a workshop to support local engagement planning.
Partners: Vermont Council on Rural Development, the Vermont Institute for Government
Public Assets Institute received $17,000 to support the One Vermont Coalition, a project with the aim of reconnecting the state government’s budget process with Vermonters’ needs. The project will transform One Vermont into a solid, sustainable platform that collaborates for strategy, advocacy, education, and assessment.
Partners: Capstone Community Action, Disability Rights Vermont, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, Vermont Care Partners, Vermont Low Income Advocacy Council, Vermont-NEA, Voices for Vermont’s Children
Vermont Family Network received $15,000 for the New Horizons in Family-to-Family Support program, which aims to help social service providers better serve immigrant and refugee families in Chittenden County whose children need access to special education due to developmental or physical disabilities
Partners: The Vermont Department of Health, Howard Center, Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program
Vermont Foodbank received $15,000 to support the Caledonia-Essex Accountable Health Community (CEAH), a partnership of human service organizations using the collective impact model to address critical issues—health, poverty, housing, and food—facing the low-income community in the Northeast Kingdom.
Partners: Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital, Northern Counties Health Care, Northeast Kingdom Council on Aging, Rural Edge, Northeast Kingdom Community Action, Northeast Kingdom Human Services, the Urban Institute, Center for Rural Studies, University of Vermont, Feeding America
Second year of continued funding
Community Engagement Lab (CEL) received $10,000 to support the Creative Schools Initiative, which integrates creative projects into the core curriculum for K-12 students. Continued funding will support an assessment tool that will help teachers, teaching artists, and the CEL understand how to best shape the initiative for greatest impact on student learning.
Partner: Champlain College
Main Street Alliance of Vermont received $10,000 for the Paid Family and Medical Leave Outreach Program, which will facilitate the development and implementation of a statewide Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) Insurance Program in Vermont.
Partner: Vermont Commission on Women
Vermont Arts Council received $10,000 to support the Vermont Creative Network, a collaborative effort to strengthen the internal capacity and interactive effectiveness of Vermont’s creative sector. Continued funding will support training for Vermont’s sector leaders in practices of collective impact and Results-Based Accountability.
Partners: Agency of Commerce & Community Development, Champlain College Emergent Media Center, Common Good Vermont, Vermont Department of Libraries