Grant Services Make The Difference Securing Mission Critical Funding

Is your organization considering grants as a potential funding source to aid in fulfilling your mission? Grants can offer organizations a powerful means to grow, build capacity and achieve mission related goals. Having the right partners can make all the difference both in terms of securing funds and ensuring your organization is able to meet grant maker compliance requirements.

Symphony Advancement offers decades of experience working across all aspects of the grant life cycle. Our expert teams have aided in grant proposal review on behalf of government agencies, fought to ensure equal access to funding, and worked to secure millions on behalf of the client agencies we serve.

When it comes to selecting an agency to represent you, you want an advocate who will fight to ensure your organization has the best possible chance of securing funds. Our consultants understand winning grant awards is more than preparing an application which meets scoring criteria and formatting guidelines. Experience in scoring grants and working with government agencies gives us unique insight into the program requirements government agencies want grantees to meet. We will not only prepare the best application possible for your organization, we’ll also advise you if we believe a grant is not a good fit for your mission.

From identifying and preparing your grant applications to online submission, compliance and day-to-day management Symphony’s team of advisors are well qualified to assist your organization. Contact us today to learn more.

Grant Management Services Aid Non-Profits Achieve Growth & Service Goals

Recent economic trends and over $1 trillion in federal ARPA relief funding have resulted in grants becoming a critical focal point for many non-profits nationwide. Schools, faith-based & community organizations, government entities and social service or healthcare providers are increasingly turning to grant funding to relieve short term financial pressures, aid in organizational growth and achieve their missions. Knowing how to secure the funding you need in a highly competitive marketplace is crucial. Understanding how to manage awarded funds is necessary for compliance purposes and to ensure your organization does not incur any negative consequences.

Symphony Advancement is a nationwide leader in aiding non-profits identify, secure and administer grant funding. Our expert advisors have decades of experience working with federal, state and local funding programs across the country. Our relationships and familiarity with funding programs ensure your organization has every advantage available to secure mission related funding you need.

Put our team of experts to work representing your organization. A partnership with Symphony Advancement allows your team to focus on quality program and service delivery while we assist in compliance, management and administration. Contact us today to learn more.

Symphony Continues to Aid Private Schools in Securing Federal Grant Funding

Symphony Advancement Managing Director Jeffrey Robb reflected on more than a decade of work aiding private schools in securing federal grant funding. Robb says on average Symphony has been able to secure upwards of $1.5 million per client organization. The majority of his clients receive federal grant funding aligned with several priorities. These include grants designed to: increase physical safety and security, enhance daytime academic performance by ensuring students have access to before and after school resources, provide resources for special education, enhance technology, offer arts and music programming, and provide transportation.

“Many private schools don’t realize the type of resources that are available to support the work they engage in, there’s kind of this pervasive myth that if I’m a private school, I somehow don’t quality for federal funding,” Robb said. “In fact, some of the oldest and most substantial government partnerships have always been between government agencies and Religious organizations. Think of hospitals, social service and healthcare providers, many of these organizations were founded by Religious orders.”

Robb adds that government grants often require very formal practices, but he argues these are measures successful organizations would likely be doing already. “Most large grants will require formal bid and procurement processes, quarterly or annual reporting and documentation to support expenses,” he says. “There needs to be accountability when it comes to how taxpayer dollars are being spent, but I would argue it’s not that different from the type of accountability individual donors would want.”

He also says in many cases conflicts around Religious beliefs or practices simply aren’t present. “Just because your organization receives federal funding doesn’t mean you can’t practice or express your faith freely. What it means is you can’t use tax dollars to promote your beliefs. When we’re talking about adding security doors, or planning a crisis response these issues largely don’t come into play.”

Contact Symphony Advancement today to learn more about how your faith based organization could benefit from a wide range of available federal, state and local funding resources.

FEMA Grant Resources To Enhance Safety & Security At Churches

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security Center for Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships have announced forthcoming grant funds designed to improve safety throughout the nation’s Churches, Religious Sites and Faith Based Organizations.

As part of the nation’s preparedness goal, FEMA seeks to secure, prevent, mitigate and protect against threats and hazards posing risk to the American people.

Churches, Religious and Faith Based Organizations are specifically eligible for grant funding designed to improve the overall safety and emergency response capacity. This includes physical improvements which increase safety or reduce the threat of emergencies. Examples include: 1) Controlled access or door entry systems, 2) Safety glass, 3) Alarm, Emergency Response and Communication Systems.

Churches may also seek assistance in emergency response planning, funding for private security services, security cameras and a variety of other technology improvements.

Interested applicants must complete a security assessment in partnership with local law enforcement or experienced consultants. If your organization is interested in learning more about this FEMA program please feel free to contact us for a free consultation. Symphony has assisted organizations around the country to secure over $70 million in federal funding. We specialize in aiding Churches, Religious Organizations and Faith Based Groups.

St. Andrew’s Parish Receives Security Grant to Update Church Entryways

St. Andrew’s Catholic Parish in Delavan Wisconsin was awarded a security grant to improve security and safety throughout the parish facilities. The grant award in excess of $100,000 will go along way to increase accessibility, improve exits and improve safety. St. Andrew’s is just one of several Catholic Churches Symphony has assisted in security grant funding.

If your parish is interested in exploring ways to improve physical security, prepare for emergency scenarios or develop a crisis response plan please contact us today.

Carmelite Sisters Featured in article

The Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus offer their service as a gesture of love, but the Sisters have received national recognition for some of the work they are doing.

John Burger of featured the Carmelite Ministry of St. Teresa in a recent Aleteia article.

“While persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities who cannot live independently face many challenges in our world, some are fortunate enough to find homes that provide a safe, secure place to live, as well as care and daily activities.

The Carmelite Ministry of St. Teresa in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, offers that and something more – care for the spirit.”

Continue reading the Aleteia article here.

Green Bay Packers Community Foundation Awards Wauwatosa Nuns Grant for Serving Disabled Women

The Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus are celebrating a different sort of Packers victory today. The Packers Community Foundation announced a grant to help support the Sisters in their work serving women with disabilities.
For over 100 years the Carmelite Nuns have lived, worked and prayed in the community of Wauwatosa Wisconsin. In 2018 the Sisters felt called to meet a pressing community need – offering support services for adult women with disabilities.
The new Carmelite Ministry of St. Teresa was launched. In October of 2019 the Sisters held a grand opening ceremony with presider Milwaukee Bishop James Schuerman. The new $4.5 million dollar facility quickly began accepting resident applications.
Then came COVID-19.
Today the high risk population the Sisters serve has caused a slight delay in plans. While the facilities remain open, the Sisters have paused accepting any new residents. This October, the Sister plan to reopen community workshops and classes with appropriate safety and social distancing measures in place.

The Green Bay Packers Community Grant will help provide athletic and physical fitness programming to residents and community members.
If you are interested in learning more about the Carmelite Ministry of St. Teresa or making a donation please visit our website:

They Inspire Us Every Day

For 100 years, the Carmelite Home for Boys in Wauwatosa functioned as an orphanage and then a residential treatment facility for juvenile offenders from Milwaukee and other nearby communities.

But in 2019, the sisters changed course.

They’re now nearing the one-year mark of functioning as a home for women with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“We thought, we nuns, we are the simplest people in the world,” said Sister Mary Brigid. “But these ladies teach us a lot. They teach us humility and simplicity. Sometimes we can make things in life so complicated, but their lives are just so simple.”

In recent years, the sisters said several problems with some of the juveniles the home served led them to look for a new mission.

They demolished the old home for boys and built a $4 million complex with 15 living units for women. The Carmelite Ministry of St. Teresa, 1215 Dewey Ave., Wawautosa, then began welcoming the women in October 2019.

‘A lot of joy’

Becca Fazio moved into The Carmelite Ministry of St. Teresa nine months ago. She said she loves talking and hanging out with her friends.
The women participate in a variety of activities throughout the day, including science class, music time, sewing class and a Zumba class.

Becca Fazio, 25, said her favorite activity of the day is sewing class. She also likes playing Jenga and talking with her friends.

“I also like that I get to hang out with the sisters and hang out with my friends here,” Fazio said.

Fazio moved into the facility in January from Cedarburg. Her parents visit frequently. But Fazio said she loves the independence of living alone.

Another of her favorite activities is cleaning her room and doing her own laundry.

“It’s pretty good being independent because it gets me to actually be able to do stuff,” she said.

To make it all happen, the sisters share roles and wear many different hats.

Sister Mary Brigid handles the classes and activities. She also helps with the maintenance of the facility and sleeps in the same building as the women.

Sister Miriam Teresa is in charge of the faith component of the ministry, as well as fitness classes and housekeeping.

Sister Rose Therese is the cook, and also helps with finances and fundraising.

Sister Mary Brigid teaches a class to the five women who live in the home.
Sister Rose Therese said the day is structured for the women, but they can also choose what to do or not do. Every day is different. The sisters said they are still learning from the women on a daily basis.

One of the main lessons they’re learning: Don’t take life too seriously.

“It made me realize those things that I take for granted, and I made things complicated, but it made me realize that life can be simple,” said Sister Rose Therese.

The women bring her “a lot of joy,” she added.

“Sometimes we make life so complicated, but they inspire us,” she said.

Sister Mary Brigid added that the goal of the home is to teach the women real-life skills.

The sisters said they focus on skills for their work life, social life, creative expression and spiritual growth.

“Nobody is telling them what to do, because here, they actually are free, but if they need something or if there’s a skill that needs to be worked on, we help them,” said Sister Mary Brigid.

“Everyone is so nice and kind, and they want to get to know you better and talk with you, and once they get to know you better, and you get to know them better, they’re awesome and good to be around,” she said.

Still open
Currently, 10 of the 15 units are still open. Three women are waiting to move in because of concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We didn’t expect COVID … nobody did,” Sister Rose Therese said.

In the spring, however, they’re planning to open a fitness center for both men and women with intellectual and developmental disabilities. There will be a fee for use of the center, but it’ll be open to the public.

The sisters are also still seeking donations for costs related to the new building.

Donate to the Sisters at –

Evan Casey can be reached at 414-403-4391 or Follow him on Twitter @ecaseymedia.

Carmelite Sisters Reflect on Year of Service (Catholic News Agency Report)

Carmelite sisters serve women with disabilities 

By Mary Farrow
Denver Newsroom, Oct 5, 2020 / 03:01 am MT (CNA).- When asked what life is like in a new home for women with intellectual disabilities, run by the Carmelite sisters in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, Sr. M. Rose Therese laughs affectionately.

“To quote Forrest Gump,” she said, “‘Life is like a box of chocolates. Every day – you never know what you’re going to get!’”

“They give us so much fun and inspire us every day,” Sr. Rose Therese said.

For 100 years, the Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus in the Milwaukee suburb ran a home for boys that first served as an orphanage, and then as a residential treatment program for juveniles. After a difficult past 5 years, with the boys’ needs surpassing what the sisters could meet, the sisters decided to chart a new mission for the space.

After a meeting with their neighbors and local officials, Sr. Rose Teresa said they realized they were well-positioned to serve adult women with special needs.

The old boy’s home was demolished, and last fall, the sisters opened a home for women with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The home is open to women ages 21 and up, and offers life skills classes on things like budgeting and sewing, as well as science classes, faith formation classes, and Zumba or other fitness activities. There’s also a daily rosary and rest time in the schedule, as well as weekend activities and night classes for the women who work outside the home during business hours.

These classes and activities provide structure, Sr. Rose Terese said, but the women are free to choose what they do or do not want to do.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, the women also had the option of attending daily Mass at the sister’s convent. Because of social distancing restrictions, that isn’t an option right now, Sr. Rose Therese said, but they are hoping to have them back as soon as possible.

The women’s favorite classes are the science classes, she said.

“They like to do the experiments. For the geography classes, they like to go to different places.”

The past year has been a difficult one to navigate, given everything that has happened with the coronavirus pandemic, Sr. Rose Therese added. The home has spots for 15 women, and only 5 of them are currently filled. Three women are on a waiting list, and will join the home once their families believe it is safe.

Sr. Rose Therese said the sisters have been mentored by another local ministry that has been serving people with intellectual disabilities for many years.

“Every day we learn something new, as each of them is different and each of them has very specific needs and disabilities,” she said of the residents. “We are here to help with whatever they need.”

She said the sisters are happy to be able to offer their residents a sense of independent living, especially after the age of 21, when many other services for people with intellectual disabilities end. Many of the sisters help out with the apostolate during the day, and one sister is always staying on campus overnight.

These women come from good families, Sr. Rose Therese added, who would otherwise worry what would happen to these women once their families are gone.

Dianne Schellinger, whose sister Janis is a resident at the home, said she found out about the home from a feature about the mission on local T.V.

“If anything happened to any of us we knew she would be extremely safe,” Dianne told WTMJ-TV Milwaukee.

“Just being with them, learning more about them, they bring us so much joy,” Sr. Rose Therese said. Resident Becca Fazio, 25, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that she likes the sewing classes offered, and she also likes to play Jenga and spend time with her friends.

“I also like that I get to hang out with the sisters and hang out with my friends here,” Fazio said. The sisters are planning to open up the classrooms and fitness center at the home to men as well as women, for faith formation classes and as a fitness center, once coronavirus restrictions are lifted.

Things Every Non-Profit Can Do Now

As the impact of the Coronavirus continues to unfold around the world many non-profits are wondering what they can and what they should be doing.  Symphony Advancement has gathered input and ideas from our non-profit clients around the country.  Here’s what many of America’s leading non-profits are doing right now.

  1. Cancel or Suspend – With many states across the country moving toward “emergency” or “shelter in place” directives, organizations in areas with widespread prevalence of the COVID-19 virus, or a standing order from government health officials should cancel, suspend or plan on rescheduling any events or group activities occurring prior to May 4th, 2020.
  2. Communicate With Your Constituents – Every non-profit needs to be in communication with your client or constituent base as soon as feasible.  If your organization has a disaster or crisis response plan it’s time to put it into action.  If you’re handling things on the fly, our recommendation is to make use of: a) the web, b) social media, and c) email to contact supporters, community members, staff and volunteers.  Even if you aren’t currently planning on making changes to your operations, it’s important to reach out to the community and let people know your current status, says Jeffrey Robb, Symphony Managing Director.  
  3. Be Proactive – School district closures and shelter in place directives have many Americans staying at home for at least the next few weeks.  With many of our clients unable to hold physical gatherings, we’re seeing an explosion of creative though around how non-profits can connect with the community using the web, social media and online platforms.  New York’s Metropolitan Opera and the Paris Opera are offering free broadcasts of previously recorded Opera’s.  The Berlin Philharmonic has also opened it’s digital vaults.  Video productions, Facebook live broadcasts and digital content downloads are great ways to offer people something to do while keeping your organization in the community, said Robb.
  4. The Golden Rule for Non-Profits – ASK!  It’s an old saying among fundraisers, you won’t receive a donation unless you ask.  It’s time to ask!  American’s are the most generous people in the world, giving by individual donors is the single largest source of non-profit income nationwide.  In times of crisis, whether hurricanes or economic recessions American’s respond to people and organizations in need.  Nearly all of our non-profit clients are conducting widespread emergency appeals.  Activities range from appeal donation buttons on home pages, to electronic appeals, social media campaigns and GoFundMe pages.
  5. Explore New Revenue Opportunities – In many instances, community outreach can result in new ways for organizations to generate donations or income.  The Milwaukee Repertory Theatre is currently making previously recorded content available (as suggested in number 3) for a fee of $15 per viewing.  First Stage is encouraging donors and community members to purchase gift cards which may be redeemed later for Education Program tuition fees.  The Pabst Theatre has created an employee emergency relief fund which has already generated an excess of $30,000.  Jeffrey says, “The challenge for non-profits is to think differently about how you deliver your services.  Are there mission related opportunities that can be leveraged with little or no investment,” he continued “I certainly wouldn’t advise groups to be making large investments at this point, but if there are ways you can leverage in-house resources, services and content – that’s certainly worthwhile to explore.”