May 17, 2010

Kentuckians will soon benefit from a $250,000 federal grant designated to help nonprofit organizations enhance the nation’s economic recovery through outreach, training and targeted technical assistance.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded $46 million to grantees through the Strengthening Communities Fund, which was created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The Kentucky Nonprofit Leadership Initiative in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture was one of the 84 grantees selected from 933 applications.

Funds will be used to build the capacity of nonprofit organizations to address the broad economic recovery issues present in their communities, including helping low-income individuals secure and retain employment, earn higher wages, obtain better-quality jobs and gain greater access to state and Federal benefits and tax credits, including Recovery Act benefits.

Via executive order, Gov. Steven L. Beshear designated the Nonprofit Leadership Initiative as the state’s authorized entity for the application, recognizing the initiative as an asset to the commonwealth and a proven leader in providing training and technical assistance for Kentucky nonprofits. 

In the coming weeks, town hall meetings will be held across Kentucky to inform nonprofits of program opportunities and resources available to help them participate in their communities’ economic recovery and engage and encourage partnerships that strengthen their efforts. Town hall meetings are scheduled for May 25 in London and Russell Springs, May 27 in Lexington and Louisville, June 3 in Bowling Green and Owensboro, June 4 in Hopkinsville and Paducah, June 7 in Prestonsburg and Catlettsburg, June 9 in Morehead and Flemingsburg, June 21 in Hazard, June 22 in Highland Heights and June 25 in Elizabethtown. Nonprofit leaders are encouraged to attend and can visit for times and registration information. Participation is free, but pre-registration is required.

A SkillBuilders educational workshop series is also planned and will be offered free to participants. The workshops will comprise a wide range of topics covering board governance, finance, fundraising, volunteer management and more. Targeted technical assistance will also be available free of charge to select nonprofit organizations chosen through an application process.

“This grant and the programs it supports will enhance and expand the Initiative’s ability to serve Kentucky nonprofits,” said Danielle Clore, Kentucky Nonprofit Leadership Initiative director. “It is a tremendous opportunity for our nonprofit community. And in some of the toughest economic times our nation has ever seen, these capacity building efforts to strengthen organizations working to improve our communities are desperately needed.”

The Kentucky Nonprofit Leadership Initiative exists to serve, strengthen and support nonprofit organizations through education, technical assistance and outreach activities. The initiative is an outreach program of the Department of Community and Leadership Development in the UK College of Agriculture.