Reading Success

Funder Collaborative for Reading Success

Springfield Family Engagement Grant Program

2016 Request for Proposal Guidance

Issued: February 19, 2016

Deadline: March 25, 2016


 

  • SUMMARY

The Funder Collaborative for Reading Success Family Engagement Grant Program

The goal of the Funder Collaborative for Reading Success (FCRS) is to strengthen and advance early literacy skill development in children from birth to age 8 to ensure children in Springfield are reading at a proficient level by fourth grade.  With this request for proposals, the FCRS will allocate grant awards to support high-quality family education and engagement focused on building families’ capacity to support their children 0-8 in developing language, emergent literacy, and reading skills. Our use of the term “family” is inclusive of parents, guardians and other caretakers raising young children.

FCRS is planning to award up to $400,000 in this RFP process. This program will provide maximum grants of $50,000 per year. Single year and multi-year grant proposals (for up to three years) will be considered. Given the limited resources available, this will be a highly competitive grantmaking process. Funding will be given to organizations with experience in engaging families and building their capacity to support children’s language, emergent literacy and reading skills. In making grant decisions, a heavy emphasis will be placed on the applicant’s ability to measure the impact of its work.

The Family Engagement Grants application – using the AGM Common Proposal Form, [Cover Sheet, Full Narrative, Budget, Budget Narrative, Resumes or Bios of Key Staff, and the Diversity Data Form, including additional attachments] — is due on March 25, 2016. Please see full submission guidelines on page 5.

2.         ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

To receive a Family Engagement Grant, an organization must:

  • demonstrate experience in successfully engaging families to support the language, emergent literacy, and reading skills of children birth through age 8.
  • be legally incorporated as a not-for-profit charitable organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue code; or operating under the fiscal sponsorship of a tax-exempt nonprofit organization. (see Section 8 for additional details regarding fiscal sponsorship).

3.         BACKGROUND ON FCRS

The Reading Success by 4th Grade initiative (RS4G) was launched in 2010 by the Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation. It has catalyzed cross-sector efforts by schools, community-based providers, faith-based organizations, the private sector, families, media and policy/advocacy initiatives to boost the third grade reading proficiency of Springfield’s children. The Funder Collaborative for Reading Success (FCRS) was created by Springfield grantmakers to support the goals of RS4G. In its first phase (2012-2015) FCRS awarded approximately $1 million to Springfield initiatives focused on:

  • Family education and engagement focused on building families’ capacity to support children’s language, emergent literacy and reading skills;
  • Increasing the capacity of early education and care, out-of-school time, and summer learning programs to provide high-quality support for children’s language, emergent literacy, and reading skills; and/or
  • Increasing children’s opportunities to access high-quality early education and care, out-of-school time, and summer learning programs that impact their language, emergent literacy, and reading skills.

FCRS members believe that ensuring Springfield’s children are successful early readers is the responsibility of the entire community and requires a multi-sector, interdisciplinary, and resource-intensive effort that is outside the reach of any single organization to adequately address. FCRS partners with philanthropic, non-profit, private sector, educational, and community-based organizations to empower Springfield’s families, schools and the community to create a culture of literacy from birth.

FCRS is embarking on a second phase of its work 2016-2019.

  • FAMILY ENGAGEMENT PRIORITY

A key priority for FCRS in its second phase is to support efforts to build families’ capacity to support children’s language, emergent literacy, and reading skills with a focus on children 0-8.

FCRS’ vision is that all Springfield parents of children 0-8 have the knowledge and resources they need to successfully support the growth of their child(ren’)s language and literacy skills and developmental and academic success. Family engagement efforts reach all families with valuable knowledge in culturally competent ways. Family engagement efforts recognize and build on the value and expertise all parents/guardians bring to supporting their children’s success, provide opportunities for parents/guardians to meet and learn from their peers, and help parents/guardians connect to relevant community resources.

FCRS is interested in funding efforts that:

  • Prioritize engagement of hard-to-reach, unserved and under-served families in Springfield.
  • Build parents’ capacity to:
  • support language/literacy skills and children’s overall positive development;
  • help their children make a successful transition to kindergarten and succeed in elementary school.
  • Build parents’ understanding of:
  • the importance of reading;
  • the importance of enrolling children in high quality preschool, out-of-school time and summer programming.
  • Build the understanding of family engagement professionals, early education, out-of-school time/summer learning program, and K-4 teachers and leaders to:
  • leverage the expertise and cultural knowledge of parents to better design and deliver family outreach and educational programs, in a collaborative effort to improve child outcomes.
  • Are designed with sufficient intensity, use effective implementation strategies to achieve impact, and engage in outcome measurement.

Activities eligible for funding under this RFP include but are not limited to:

  • Programs to assist parents and caregivers to understand children’s developmental milestones 0-8 and nurture their child(ren)’s language, emergent literacy, and reading skills.
  • Efforts by early education and care, out-of-school time and summer learning programs to link family engagement to children’s language, emergent literacy, and reading.
  • Efforts to enlist trusted messengers, such as leaders of faith-based organizations and other community organizations, as conduits for helping families build children’s language, emergent literacy, and reading skills.
  • Professional development for program administrators and staff – including site leaders, teachers, family child care providers, community health professionals, and others to build their capacity to successfully engage families in supporting the development of their children’s language, emergent literacy and reading skills.

Useful background reading includes:

  • Dr. Nonie Lesaux of the Harvard Graduate School of Education and colleagues authored the Lead for Literacy memo series with support from the W. Clement and Jessie V. Stone Foundation. Although we believe the entire series is important and useful, we recommend paying particular attention to Memo 10, Designing Family Partnerships that Make a Difference and Memo 11, Implementing Family Partnerships that Make a Difference. See all the memos here.
  • Dr. Karen Mapp of the Harvard Graduate School of Education authored Partners in Education: A Dual Capacity-Building Framework for Family–School Partnerships, which presents a framework for designing family engagement initiatives that build capacity among educators and families to partner with one another around student success.

5.         TIMELINE

Springfield Family Engagement Grants will cover the time period of July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017 (unless a multiple year grant is awarded).

Deadlines & Key Dates
RFP Released by

Friday, Feb 19, 2016

Proposals Due (Late Proposals Not Accepted)

Friday, March 25, 2016

Awards Announced by

Friday, May 20, 2016

Signed Memorandum of Understanding Due

Friday, June 3, 2016

Program Year Begins

Friday, July 1, 2016

Proposals will not be accepted past the stated deadline.  Please carefully adhere to all time and application requirements.

6.         MAXIMUM GRANT & ELIGIBLE USES

FCRS is planning to award a total of up to $400,000 in this RFP process. The maximum annual grant to be awarded under this RFP is $50,000. Single-year and multi-year grant proposals will be considered. Given the limited resources available, this will be a highly competitive grantmaking process. Funding will be given to organizations with experience in engaging families and building their capacity to support children’s language, emergent literacy and reading skills. In making grant decisions, a heavy emphasis will be placed on the applicant’s ability to measure the impact of its work.

Allowable Uses of Funding

Family Engagement Grants may be used to support:

  • Program operation and all reasonably related expenses
  • Salary and benefits of program personnel
  • Agency overhead not to exceed 15% of the overall program budget

Non-allowable Uses of Funding

Family Engagement Grants may not be used for the following purposes:

  • Capital projects and/or campaigns
  • Debt reduction
  • Endowments
  • Fundraising events, the purchase of tickets for benefits, courtesy advertising
  • Religious organizations except for programs that meet broad community needs
  • Projects that seek to directly or indirectly influence legislation or election campaigns

7.         REQUIREMENTS

Organizations that are awarded a Family Engagement Grant will be required to:

  • Implement the program in concert with the approved proposal and budget, or an agreed upon revised proposal and budget;
  • Submit an annual programmatic and finance report, in addition to a final report; and
  • Include appropriate recognition of FCRS funding in marketing and press materials.

8.         SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

Applicants are required to use AGM’s Common Proposal Form. Please apply electronically by emailing the following to ReadingSuccessFunders@gmail.com. Please make sure that the Full Proposal Narrative, Cover Sheet, and Budget Narrative are in Microsoft Word and not PDFs. Please also ensure that all of your file names include the name of your organization and the subject of the file. For example, Early_Reading_Inc_Cover_Sheet.doc.

  • AGM Cover Sheet (in Microsoft Word).
  • AGM Full Proposal Narrative. (in Microsoft Word). Please note, in answer to Question 10, explain:
  • How your program design is aligned with research and/or practice-based strategies to achieve your goals.
  • How you have engaged families and built their capacity to support children’s literacy development.
  • How your organization measures its impact.
  • Resumes or bios of key project staff (Word or PDFs).
  • AGM Diversity Data Sheet (Excel or PDF).
  • AGM Budget (If you are requesting multi-year funding, please provide a multi-year budget). (Excel or PDF).
  • Budget Narrative (detail all budget line items). (Microsoft Word).
  • List of governing board for your 501(c)(3) organization with names and affiliations (i.e. profession, community represented) (Word or PDFs).
  • Current, board-approved, annual operating budget for the 501(c)(3) organization for the current fiscal year reflecting projected income and expenses. (Excel or PDF).
  • Signed letters of understanding and agreement for all project collaborators necessary for the implementation of the project. (Word or PDFs).
  • Fiscal sponsorship agreement and additional materials, if applicable. Please contact Nancy Reiche at the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts for this form at nreiche@communityfoundation.org
  • Current IRS 501(c)(3) Determination Letter(s).  A copy of the most recent letter of affirmation from the IRS under Section 501(c)(3) and under Section 509(a). Name and address must be current. (Word or PDFs).
  • 501(c)(3) Organization’s most recent audit/review, including management letters.  The audit must reflect the organization’s most recent fiscal year or be accompanied by a copy of the board-approved income and expense statement for the most recent fiscal year.  If your organization is not required to complete an audit/review, a copy of the board approved income and expense statement for the most recent fiscal year is acceptable.  Please do not include IRS 990s. (Word or PDFs).

Access the AGM forms at: http://www.agmconnect.org/resources-tools/resource-center-agm/agm-common-proposal-form

Applications are due by 5:00PM ET on Friday, March 25, 2016. Any proposals received after this deadline will not be reviewed.  You will receive an email confirmation once your application is received.

Only one grant application per organization will be accepted.

This Request for Proposals is available online at www.communityfoundation.org.

Funding decisions will be announced by May 20, 2016.

9.         QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

If you have any questions about this application or the procedures, please contact Kathleen Traphagen, FCRS Project Coordinator, ReadingSuccessFunders@gmail.com.

During the period when this RFP is open, we will periodically post Q&As on the www.communityfoundation.org website at the end of this document.

10.       PAST AND PRESENT MEMBERS OF FCRS

Babson Capital

Bank of America, Charles Hall Foundation

Baystate Health

Berkshire Bank Foundation

Beveridge Family Foundation

Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts

Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation

First Niagara Bank

MassMutual Financial Group

Nellie Mae Foundation

PeoplesBank

Peoples United Community Foundation

TD Charitable Foundation

United Bank Foundation

United Way of the Pioneer Valley

SIS Fund at the Community Foundation

11.       SUMMARY OF CONTACT EMAILS/WEBSITES: