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.