Community organizations may have a new avenue for grant applications

Community organizations may have a new avenue for grant applications

MARQUETTE — Grants are a great way for small organizations to get money for development, or a big project, but sometimes getting the grants is challenging.

Northern Michigan University wants to change that. The Grants and Contracts Office on campus mainly deals with students and faculty but they’ve been so successful they want to extend their services to other organizations in the community as well.

“We had some discussions about what we could do as a university to support the many non-profits in our community,” said NMU President Fritz Erickson, “If you’re involved in grants at all, then you know that most grants done today are done ‘in partnership.’ The more partnerships, the more collaboration, the more opportunity for success with grants. So, ‘win-win’ means we all benefit by working together,”

Erickson, along with members of the Grants and Contracts office hosted a forum tonight to see if there was any interest in the expansion, and plenty of organizations turned out. With the new and improved Grants and Contracts office, community organizations could get help finding and writing grants as well as navigating the complicated rules.

“Even if you’re very small [and] thin staffed non-profit organization, you have to follow all the rules and regulations that a big institution does, so it’s really complicated. So, we have the expertise to help with that. We know the rules off the top of our heads and those sorts of things,” said Erica Goff, Director of Grants and Contracts at NMU.

“It was a difficult process and it’s difficult just trying to write grants. I believe that we could do some of it on our own and maybe seek out some other grants and maybe get educated on how to find some more grants to help our community,” added Tami Dawidowski, who works with the Marquette Beautification and Restoration Committee and attended the forum.

The details of the expansion haven’t been hammered out yet, but the university is considering finding an off-campus location for the new office.