Community Service Partnership Grant Program

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Revamped, High-Impact Community Service Partnership Grant Program

Responding to Changing and Emerging Needs in Howard County

To ensure that all Howard County communities are connected, resilient and thriving, we must work together to equitably meet basic needs and support the safety, security and well-being of all residents.

In early 2020, the Office of Community Partnership engaged more than 260 diverse constituents to create an agile, high-impact community service grant program that responds to Howard County’s changing needs, challenges, and opportunities. Rooted in measurable results and collective impact, the redesigned grant program targets investments in nonprofit organizations that equitably and effectively deliver programs and support to under-resourced individuals and families in Howard County. adequate or are facing financial difficulties.

After months of data analysis, feedback gathering, and discussions with local community leaders, the Community Partnerships Office determined that it would distribute all of its CSP grant dollars to the following areas of focus:

  • Basic Human Needs: Equitably and collaboratively meeting the basic needs of Howard County residents to remove barriers to long-term well-being, safety and security
  • Safety and Security: Building the foundations for all residents to equitably access opportunities, grow and prosper, investing in the resources individuals need

To measure impact, each focus area has a set of progress indicators to help guide the assessment of our collective progress and inform performance at program and agency levels. You can see the full list of indicators in our Community Services Partnership Redesign Report.

In line with the two priority funding areas, CSP grants will be awarded under the following grant types:

  • Core Support Grants: Support day-to-day operations and long-term organizational sustainability. For the first time, multi-year funding can be requested for up to 3 years.
  • Program Support Grants: CSP offers three types of Program Support Grants:
    • Grants for safety, security and well-being: Supporting a specific program within an organization to meet basic human needs and/or safety and security.
    • Service Transportation Grants: To fund transportation services for adults with disabilities to access employment, health care and social services.
    • Plan to End Homelessness (PEH) Grants: Support priority services as part of Howard County’s plan to end homelessness.
  • Emerging Needs and Opportunities Grants: One-time grants to address unexpectedly emerging needs and opportunities that impact the delivery of essential human services to individuals and families in Howard County. Can be used to support the following:
    • Emergency needs: Provide financial resources to maintain service delivery in the event of an emergency, crisis or natural disaster.
    • Capacity Building: Improve an organization’s effectiveness for measurable impact by strengthening management and governance, planning, processes and infrastructure.
    • Collective impact: Design, build and manage collaborations between and among relevant sectors and organizations/entities to equitably address complex community challenges.

We recognize that elements of the revamped CSP grant program will require our grantees to acquire new or additional skills, tools, and competencies. With the help of partners inside and outside of county government, we will work to provide training and support to nonprofit organizations to build their internal capacity. In December 2021, marking the launch of the FY2023 grant process, we will begin to gradually roll out our redesigned, high-impact Community Services Partnership Grant program.

CSP redesign report

One page overview of the CSP redesign report

If you would like to learn more, please contact Megan Godfrey Jackson, CSP Program Manager, at [email protected].

Data Summary

To inform the CSP redesign process, a data summary was developed in early 2020 based on the analysis of quantitative data from over 20 sources and qualitative information gathered from surveys. Please Click here to access the data summary.


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