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Re: Questions on grant sources; forming small non-profit

  • Subject: Re: [cg] Questions on grant sources; forming small non-profit
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Sat, 26 Jun 2004 21:12:10 EDT


With funding and all you want to do, the word "KISS" - Keep it Simple Stupid, works fine.

Here's what you do:

You get an attorney to create a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation for you called the "North Carolina Friends of Community Gardens." You get a small volunteer board to help corporate donors "save their souls" by donating to your group, and to review the grant requests of individual gardens from whom grant requests will be solicited.

You will have an annual report, which documents what the money has done, with nice photos and testimonial stores from the gardens to help solicit more donations. 

You will also work closely with local food pantries, so that the "rows for the hungry" that are produced and donated to them, are accurately and properly acknowledged.This is key in atracting hunger advocacy based contributions, as well.

Funder love stories of "self-sufficeincy" etc. so it shoud be a no-brainer to solicit contributions.

Adam Hinigiman

Subj: [cg] Questions on grant sources; forming small non-profit
Date: 6/25/04 9:21:50 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From: dboekelheide@yahoo.com
To: community_garden@mallorn.com
Sent from the Internet

Hi, everyone,

Two questions:

Suddenly, thereâs greatly increased interest in
community gardening in Charlotte. Long story, but good
news. The county governmentâs grant writing support
person suggests the following grant agencies to help
support a community-wide gardening/greening program.
Anybody funded by any of the following? Any comments,
pro, con, informative?

Ford Foundation
Kellogg Foundation
Knight Foundation
Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation
Rockefeller Foundation
America the Beautiful Fund
Harry Chapin Foundation
Merck Family Foundation
Oracle Corporation
Penniman Family Foundation

Second, we donât now have an âumbrellaâ non-profit
thatâs an advocate/coordinating group for community
gardening, community-wide.

We do have a 12-year-old organization that focuses
exclusively on the 6 inner-city gardens they sponsor
(a choice they made about 5 years ago, because they
were becoming over-extended trying to be the âclearing
houseâ). They are very nice people, but â in spite of
their decision to pull backâ they seem uneasy about
working too closely with other groups, and about the
potential of other groups to compete with them for
resources (right now, many decision-makers and funders
still view them as the only community garden group in
town). They are based in a wealthy white church and
view their project as a charitable effort to help poor
black folks. A small, dedicated but closed leadership
pretty much runs things their own way â though the
friendships formed between patrons and gardeners over
the years are deep and genuine, and a few long-time
black gardeners do have considerable influence, if
rarely the final word. So â

Do we try to get this group to join forces in a common
effort (not likely â it has been tried before and been
a dismal failure - frankly, thereâs that different
world view); or, do we try to put together a wider
coalition, then approach them about joining; or do we
ignore them and let them come to us when and if they
feel like it? Do we need to bother with forming an
umbrella group, or is it better for each garden to
stand on its own? How hard is it to start a small
non-profit community garden support network? Is it
better to try to find a âsponsorâ (United Way, Sierra
Clubâ???)? Could we form a âlocal chapterâ of ACGA,
and through that form a non-threatening umbrella group
that could do things like accept grant funding?

All ideas and opinions welcome.

Don Boekelheide
Charlotte, NC

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