CAMDEN — The Camden Education Fund announced the launch of a Youth-Serving Organization (YSO) Grant Program to provide outstanding, Camden-led organizations with additional resources.
YSO grants will provide funding to nonprofits that provide direct supports to students outside of the classroom, including mentoring, mental health services, academic tutoring, and opportunities in the arts.
â€œOpportunities for meaningful engagement and connection among our youth are now more important than ever. The pandemic has taken a devastating toll on young people, who have seen their academic and social lives disrupted for over ten months. Fortunately, Camden is home to many outstanding organizations with the drive and desire to support students at this tough time. We are grateful to be in a position to amplify their impact,â€ said Camden Education Fund executive director Naeha Dean.
Up to 10 organizations will be awarded $5,000; up to 5 organizations will be awarded between $10,000 and $25,000.
In developing the grant program, Camden Education Fund consulted with several local leaders, including City Councilwoman Shaneka Boucher. Councilwoman Boucherâ€™s input inspired an innovative element of the program: foundational sessions in nonprofit finance and accounting will be offered, at no cost, to all grant recipients.
â€œThis city has an abundance of social entrepreneurs and civic minded leaders who are committed to helping our young people reach their full potential. Whatâ€™s often missing is the access to expertise that will allow nonprofits to seek out more grant opportunities. I encouraged Camden Education Fund to consider providing support beyond funding, and Iâ€™m pleased to see that they incorporated my ideas into their program,â€ said Councilwoman Boucher.
Grantees will be invited to quarterly, optional sessions hosted by Holmes & Company, a local accounting and consulting firm, to aid their continued development and fundraising. Topics will include budget development, financial reporting, internal controls, governance, and state and federal reporting requirements.
â€œI am excited to partner with Camden Education Fund to support nonprofits in my hometown. Budgeting and finances can sometimes be intimidating for nonprofit leaders, but with the right support, organizations can quickly learn how to optimize their dollars and seek out additional streams of revenue to improve the quality of their program,â€ said Charles Holmes, Managing Partner at Holmes & Company.
To apply, organizations can visit www.camdenedfund.org/yso.
Applications are due Feb. 26. Grants will be awarded on a rolling basis.
â€œAs a parent and former member of the Camden Board of Education, I know that it takes a village to raise a child. I encourage anyone who is part of our â€œCamden villageâ€ to apply to this grant. Please spread the word widely because if you are supporting young people, we want to support you,â€ said Jose Brito, Camden Education Fund board member.
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