Educational Opportunity Fund
October 28, 2014
The Melville Trust is issuing a Request for Proposals for the 2015 Employment and Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) program. The EOF provides modest, highly flexible support for the employment related expenses, educational and training aspirations of homeless or formerly homeless individuals. Grants are made to Connecticut nonprofit providers on an annual basis, up to $7,500. Through the issuance of this RFP we hope to continue to expand the reach of this program to organizations within Connecticut. We anticipate awarding 10-12 EOF grants by the end of the year. The deadline for applications is December 5, 2014.
The EOF has its origins in queries from activists and providers who had been unable to obtain the relatively small sums that would enable those experiencing or exiting homelessness to cover costs related to attendance and participation-e.g., day care, transportation, tools, uniforms, training/conferences, certificate/licensing fees, and books.
Since the EOF was launched in 1994, more than 100 EOF grants have been awarded to 35 community organizations in Connecticut – totaling over $850,000. The uses of these funds have been creative, diverse, and cost-effective, serving adults and youth. The decision-making structures created to determine grant recipients at each organization have been equally inventive – from mini grant proposals to peer review processes. Those groups that have broadly advertised and removed barriers to accessing funds, emphasized accountability and offer staff support and follow-up typically have the most success.
The EOF criteria remain simple. All funds:
- Must finance an individual’s employment related, educational or training expenses;
- Should be used to fill in gaps not provided by other assistance programs;
- May be applied to any related cost that could keep someone from realizing his or her employment or educational pursuits;
- Cannot be used to cover any of the sponsoring organization’s administrative or programmatic costs.
Application Guidelines: Only those agencies already providing services to those experiencing homelessness or those recently exiting homelessness in Connecticut may apply. Please submit a narrative proposal, no longer than two pages, describing how the funds will be used, along with your organization’s budget and proof of tax exempt status to Rebecca Allen, Program Officer, email@example.com by December 5, 2014.