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 below for additional information about the opportunity.
What is the average Grant Award Amount?
Based on submissions approved for funding last year, grants are expected to range from $2,500 to $7,000 depending on scope, timing, personnel, materials, IT, and other factors. The project must be designed to be completed by September 1, 2021.
When is the Request for Funding Proposals open and when is the deadline for proposals?
The RFP is open 11/23/20 with an optional information call at 10 AM on December 3, 2020. To participate in the information call, please contact Arylon Brooks at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than noon on December 1, 2020. The deadline for grant proposals is 12 PM on December 31, 2020.
What is the process for application and notification?
Applications are due by 12 PM (noon) on December 31, 2020 by email to email@example.com. 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 January 12, 2021, zoom 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 January. The funded work will begin after signing of grant agreements and must finish on or before September 1, 2021.
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 live zoom presentations to the Board of Directors) by January 5, 2021. 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 5-10 minute SpArc “pitch” to The Arc Maryland Board members about their grant proposal and intended outcomes. This must be delivered via zoom and will occur on the evening of January 12, 2021 between 6:30 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 January for an anticipated February 1st project start date. Preference will be given to current Arc member organizations.
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 disabilieis, 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.the activity.
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.
Note: Organizations and individuals who received a FY20 SpArc grant that is either still in progress or that is otherwise not completed (no final report submitted to The Arc Maryland) may not submit or request for an FY21 SpArc grant.
An exception may be made to this rule as long as:
- The FY20 SpArc grantee submits a report, detailing substantial progress on the FY20 grant-funded project and confirms the current project will be completed as per the COVID-19 extension agreement.
- The FY20 SpArc grantee is current with submitted interim OR final reports as of the date of the FY21 SpArc grant application submission.
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 12 PM (noon) on December 31, 2020, 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 September 1, 2021. 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.
In addition, those whose proposals are selected for advancement within the process must commit to attend the zoom “pitch” of their proposal on January 12th in the evening, and also attend and make a short presentation about their projects at The Arc Innovations Event (location and time TBD and announced by June 2020 but expected to happen mid-September 2021.
How are grant funds distributed?
Grant funds are generally paid as reimbursement, 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 Arylon Brooks at The Arc Maryland. Arylon can be reached via email at email@example.com.