It's easier than you think!
The first thing you need to know about writing a UCEMC Cares grant is that there is very little writing involved. The downloadable and user-friendly CARES grant application makes it an easy process. Answer the simple questions about your organization, agency, or non-profit, and that's it!
Organizations that receive funds aren't required to have a formal 501 (c) status, but they do need to be operated as non-profit entities for non-profit activities. A bank account bearing the organization's name and Tax ID number is essential to have on hand before applying for the grant. Unlike other awards that may require page after page of testimonials and descriptive explanations, the UCEMC Cares grant allows you to get straight to the point.
The UCEMC Cares Board of Directors meets the second Tuesday of each month and chooses the grant recipients from these applications at that time. The Cares board is made up of a group of volunteers - community leaders from each district. It's their task to read your application and learn more about what your organization does for the community and how you're doing it. They want to know how much money you're requesting and exactly how you plan to use it. Do you receive other grants? You'll be asked to list those. What needs will be addressed upon completion of this project? Do you have enthusiastic volunteers who will put in a good word for the organization's work? The form asks for references, both inside and outside of your circle, who have witnessed the benefits the group brings to the community.
There's plenty of room for creativity on this application, so go ahead and express yourself! Getting the word out about your organization helps everyone. Here's what's good about that: if your organization isn't awarded a grant this month, you may reapply the following month. There are many opportunities to get the financial help your group needs. Send in applications by the first of the month and remember that patience and consistency are essential when applying/re-applying for any grant.
Grant money cannot be used for "capital improvements" on governmentally-funded buildings for permanent building or property renovations. These funds may not be used to support any candidate or political purpose, nor may they be used to pay energy bills or charges. Schools and churches are not eligible to receive funds; however, groups or initiatives within the school or church, such as chartered clubs, booster clubs, parent-teacher organizations, food banks, and youth groups are eligible.
Here are just a few of the examples of grants previously awarded to groups providing these services for the community:
Books and supplies for a children's library;
Fees and scholarships for a children's summer camp;
Cheerleading and band uniforms;
Cheerleading and band camp fees;
Athletic and safety equipment such as helmets, pads, harnesses;
Safety and firefighting equipment for volunteer fire departments;
Equipment to aid special needs children who are learning to ride horses;
Trip fees for students to attend leadership and academic conferences;
Children, whose families can't afford the high fees for summer camp, can now participate and join in the fun with their friends, thanks to a CARES grant. Special needs children who feel they will never play sports or ride a horse are experiencing the thrill of the game and the joy of inclusion, because of Cares. Those young football players are running for touchdowns with confidence because they know they're wearing gear protecting them from harm. Our firefighters can now call for backup and know that their transmission can be heard thanks to the latest radio technology and a Cares grant.
When UCEMC members choose to "opt-in" to the Cares program and round-up their bill each month, that small change can add up to significant change for the community with your help.
Thank you for all that you do to make the Upper Cumberland one of the safest, kindest communities in the nation. Please contact us through UCEMC's corporate office if you have any questions about Cares grants or the Cares program.