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llinois ResourceNet will hold a regional grant writing conference

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

llinois ResourceNet will hold a regional grant writing conference

Illinois ResourceNet: A Funding Access Initiative (IRN) will hold a regional conference at the Ramada Inn, Moline, IL on April 28th, 2011. The event, titled: Collaboration for Collective Impact, will focus on collaboration – working locally and countrywide to create functioning networks of community organizations and local units of government that provide services and produce quality grant submissions. It is being offered by University of Illinois Extension, Rock Island County with endorsement from the Quad Cities  Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). Now, more than ever, collaboration is necessary in nonprofit organizations of all types. Collaboratives run the gamut, from informal networks to formal entities, which combine the efforts and expertise of various organizations to supply communities with the diverse services needed to function more effectively and efficiently and create even greater differences for their communities. The conference will feature a broad range of presenters from local, state and federal agencies who can provide expertise on funding and initiatives in the areas of Housing and Urban Development; Workforce Development; Education; Disaster Mitigation; Health and Human Services; and Community and Economic Development.  

CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS

Morning Keynote Address:  Collaboration for Collective Impact

Anne H. Silvis, University of Illinois Extension Specialist in Leadership Development and Director of the Laboratory for Community and Economic Development, will describe practices that build collaboration at the community level and how collaborative efforts foster improved outcomes for individuals, organizations and communities. This plenary session will offer participants a chance to explore concepts and strategies with one another in small groups.

Luncheon Speaker, Social Entrepreneurship: Mobilizing, Innovating, and Collaborating for Social Change

Betsy Goulet, Adjunct Faculty and Doctoral Student, University of Illinois, Springfield, will discuss the importance of collaboration amid the new reality of shrinking budgets where agencies, nonprofits and social service programs are being forced to do more with less.  She will share information about the role of social entrepreneurship as an innovative strategy for social change in the development of partnerships among nonprofits, government, universities and corporations.

Breakout Sessions:

During each breakout session participants will engage in facilitated discussions on processes relating to securing and managing federal grant funds.  In these sessions, federal agency representatives will provide specific information in regard to Illinois funding opportunities.  Illinois agency representative will share processes, and identify entry points for grants.  Successful community recipients of federal grant dollars will share their best practices with each group.  Participants will have opportunities to ask targeted and specific questions and learn from others in the session.

Breakout Sessions will cover the following topics:

Livable Communities: It’s a Group Effort

Examines the inter-relationships among federal agencies to ensure the availability of quality of life issues, such as safe and affordable housing, energy conservation and efficiency, and walkable communities. Federal grants are available for communities with an integrated vision for connecting economic development, community development, and environmental protection to create greater livability.

Workforce Programs: Thinking Creatively to Realize Opportunities

Current economic and social challenges have encouraged a wide range of federal agencies to become more invested in the workforce component of their mission. Thinking innovatively helps build workforce programs that promote excellence and advance diverse social goals such as environmental sustainability and positive economic impact. Learn how to leverage workforce and education programs to reach other federal funding streams during this session.

Building Partnerships for Community Based Economic Development

In this economic climate, there is a necessity to work collaboratively to create strong, sustainable and inclusive communities. Detailed comprehensive plans and federal funding grants need some of the same elements to thrive. If a community identifies its needs as part of the planning process, it can, as part of a continuous proposal building process, pinpoint which grants will help meet those needs.

Integrating Hazard Mitigation into Local Planning

Hazard mitigation has increasingly become the responsibility of local decision makers who work with technical assistance providers to apply for federal funding. Understanding the disaster cycle: preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation; helps communities reduce risk from disaster. During this panel, the importance of understanding the need to adopt both structural and non-structural mitigation strategies will be covered.

The registration fee is $35 per person, includes workshop, handouts, continental breakfast, luncheon buffet, and snacks. Register online at:  www.extension.illinois.edu/rockisland.  For more information contact University of Illinois Extension, Rock Island County at (309) 756-9978 Ext 10.