Grants to Ignite Innovation and Advance the Mission of The Arc Maryland
Background and Purpose
The SpArc Tank is a unique opportunity and process through which innovative ideas for projects to advance the mission of The Arc Maryland are presented in competition for board-designated funding. The awarded funding is expected to be used to facilitate the success of the project or initiative within a prescribed timeframe and is intended to ignite change through new products, resources, studies, projects, training or other initiatives to enhance the lives of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Maryland.
The Arc Maryland, through its solicitation attempts, shall endeavor to award funds to projects that have either statewide impact or local impact with possible future statewide replicability. We encourage applications from throughout the state from organizations and individuals with and without disabilities. Please see the following FAQs for additional information about the opportunity.
What is the average Grant Award Amount?
While there is no average grant award amount, we anticipate that projects to be completed within the 6 month time frame (January to June) will range from $1,000 to $10,000 depending on scope, timing, personnel, materials, IT, and other factors. The project must be designed to be completed by June 30, 2020.
When is the Request for Funding Proposals open and when is the deadline for proposals?
The RFP is open now! The deadline for grant proposals has been extended to 5 PM on December 5, 2019.
What is the process for application and notification?
Applications are to be submitted to email@example.com by the above deadline. Incomplete submissions will not be reviewed. After the complete submissions are determined, they will be forwarded to the SpArc Tank grant review committee. Those applicants that are chosen for the second round of review will then be notified to attend a December 17, 2019, in-person presentation of their proposal to The Arc Maryland Board of Directors. Those who are chosen for funding will be notified thereafter, and must return their grant agreements by the end of the year. The funded work will begin on January 2, 2020, and finish on June 30, 2020.
When will decisions be made and awardees notified?
Applicants will be notified via email if they have advanced to the second round of review (advancing to in-person presentations to the Board of Directors) by December 13, 2019. Decisions made by both The Arc Maryland’s SpArc Tank grant review committee and Board of Directors are final.
The second-round review consists of invited applicants each giving a 5-minute SpArc “pitch” to The Arc Maryland Board members about their grant proposal and intended outcomes. This must be delivered in person and will occur on the evening of December 17, 2019 between 6 and 8:30 pm.
How will decisions be made about proposals?
All completed proposals received will be properly considered and evaluated. Incomplete and unsigned proposals will not be considered. All required attachments must be submitted with proposals for consideration. Following the second round of review, those who are selected for funding will be notified prior to the end of the calendar year for an anticipated January 2 project start date. Preference will be given to current Arc members.
What are some examples of activities that may be proposed under this grant program?
The Arc Maryland is interested in new products, resources, studies, projects, trainings, or other initiatives that will enhance the lives of children and adults with disabilities either directly (for example, a prototype for a new piece of adaptive equipment) or indirectly (for example, restaurant customer service training for ways to prepare for all customers, including customers with developmental disabilities, to have positive dining experiences).
What can the funds NOT be used for?
- Activities inconsistent with the mission of The Arc Maryland.
- Activities that benefit only one individual or family.
- Direct services for people with developmental disabilities.
- Food, unless necessary for the success of the activity.
- T-shirts, buttons or similar marketing materials.
- Purely social activities or events.
- Vehicles, but a small portion of funds may be used to cover accessible transportation/trip costs. (aka Transportation for individuals with disabilities in order to facilitate their participation)
- Activities with a religious focus/religious components or political focus/political components.
- More than 10% of overhead for a project.
Who is eligible to apply?
Individuals or community-based organizations with the requisite interest, skills, and demonstrated qualifications to meet the goals and honor the mission of The Arc Maryland. Preference will be given to current Arc members.
How do you submit the SpArc Tank Grant proposal?
SpArc Tank Grant applications and all attachments including the Small Grant budget form must be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 5 PM on December 5, 2019, for first-round consideration.
What is the time period for the grant project, activity, resource, training or event proposed?
All activities must be completed before the end of the fiscal year (June 30, 2020). This is currently a non-recurring, OTO grant with no opportunity for renewal from The Arc Maryland.
What agreements are required for funding and what are the reporting requirements?
Grant recipients will be required to complete standard affidavits and commitment documents for the use of the grant funding, as well as a contract for the use of the funding. The contract will define dates that interim and final reports are due and amounts of funding which may be drawn down/requested for reimbursement with the submission of the completed reports. Reporting dates are as follows:
- January 27, 2020
- February 24, 2020
- March 23, 2020
- April 27, 2020
- May 26, 2020
- July 15, 2020 (Final Report)
In addition, those whose proposals are selected for advancement within the process must commit to attend the in-person “pitch” of their proposal on December 17 in the evening (Columbia, MD) and also attend and make a short presentation about their projects at The Arc Annual Convention (Turf Valley, Ellicott City) on June 2, 2020 (daytime).
How are grant funds distributed?
Grant funds are generally paid in interim installments, net 15 days after completed interim or final reports are received and approved.
Who do I contact if I have questions about this opportunity or the grant process?
Please contact Kathy Swanson, Director of Education and Advocacy for The Arc Maryland. Kathy may be reached via email at email@example.com or by calling 410-571-9320.