Educational Opportunity Fund
Request for Proposals
Deadline: December 6, 2013
The Melville Charitable Trust’s Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) provides modest, highly flexible support for the educational and training aspirations of homeless or formerly homeless individuals. Grants are made to Connecticut nonprofit providers on an annual basis up to $10,000. Through the issuance of this RFP we hope to expand the reach of this program to organizations within Connecticut that may not be aware of the availability of these funds. We anticipate awarding 10-12 EOF grants in 2013.
The Fund has its origins in queries from activists and providers who had been unable to obtain the relatively small sums that would enable people who are homeless or formerly homeless to cover costs related to attendance and participation – e.g. day care, transportation, tools, uniforms, and books.
Since the EOF was launched in 1994, more than 100 EOF grants have been awarded to 30 community organizations in Connecticut – totaling over $800,000. 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 emphasized accountability and offer staff support and follow-up typically have the most success.
The EOF criteria remain simple. All funds:
- Should finance an individual’s 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 educational pursuits;
- Cannot be used to cover any of the sponsoring organization’s administrative or programmatic costs.
On applying: Only those agencies already providing services to those experiencing homelessness, or those recently leaving 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 by December 6, 2013 to:
Aimee Hendrigan, Senior Program Officer