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1:40 PM Thu, Nov. 15th

Talk of the Town: Grants training opens new doors

Kudos to The Daily Courier for recognizing Grants to You's 19th free class. I am one of the 21 volunteers who took the nine-hour, two-day class to learn how to research and write grants to pay for non-profits. I highly recommend the class to anyone who wants to take their group to a higher level of organization, collaboration and funding.

With the community's support through participation and donations, Grant's To You will continue to provide this resource that has already benefited so many by providing money-raising knowledge and cooperation among local organizations. This is not just a "sit and soak it up" class. Led by Julie Watson, M.C. the workshop is non-stop a sharing and caring panoply of information.

As representatives from 21 agencies, we began by discussing the challenge of searching for alternative money sources in these turbulent times. We shared ideas on the basics of grant writing, which agencies apply, why we should apply, who are the grantors, fostering relationships and partnering, grant allocation cycles, and proposal components. Julie led us through personalized decision-making exercises to determine what our agencies need to do to obtain grants. We participated in group exercises to evaluate the process and give each other advice.

We had question and answer time with grant writing experts. Andrew Ferencak from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University was especially frank in his description of the hard work involved and the exciting benefits we could expect if we implement what we were learning over those jam-packed two days.

We used Northern Arizona University computers and classrooms were to access grant programs and databases that are not readily available to the public. We worked together to determine our agencies challenges and strengths. We honed our vision, mission which helped us seek grantors who share our agencies' goals.

I could go on. But I think you get the picture. So, if you represent a non-profit, "community benefit" organization, get yourself to a GTY class. The next session runs April 25 and May 2. Seating is limited for this free class.

GTY will be offering, for a nominal charge, a five-hour class beginning May 1 at grantstoyou.org for those who have transportation challenges, are home bound or prefer working on line for any reason.

GTY is certified for the Arizona Tax Credit for Charitable Contributions. Which means your monetary contribution may qualify for a 100 percent tax credit. Check with your tax advisor to verify your qualifications. Donations to GTY will help train people to generate money for many deserving organizations. If you are in the enviable position of having money to donate, please consider donating to GTY, whose volunteers have generated $400,000 which has entered the local economy, a worthy investment for all.

Already my organization generated enough money to pay operational costs for one year, using techniques in the class.

I thank the Prescott Evening Lions Club currently providing major money for the classes. Contact Program Coordinator Shirley Baskin at 928-776-7976, info@grantstoyou.org, for more information.

Kathy Lopez is president of the Morgan Ranch Park Association and a former quality analyst for GTE.