Neighborhood Grants for Growth

Posted in: Fairground
Fairground Neighbors for Community Improvement Association needs to get ready for next year's Neighborhood Grants for Growth.

I see that last year the Capitol East Assoc. got money to do a monthly newsletter to ALL residents in their neighborhood to promote activities and help increase participation.

Others got money for stone planters, welcome signs, public green space, block parties, bikes for neighborhood youths.

Perhaps we should address trying to apply next year to improve neighborhood involement improvements with several projects for everyone.

One of the best ways to attract attention and form group unity is to focus on an important issue in your neighborhood. Neighbors do not attend meetings or become interested in your association unless you are doing worthwhile projects for their benefit or the benefit of their area. It?’s important that you determine the needs of your neighborhood and focus on those needs until you demonstrate success.

Determine the needs of your neighborhood through meetings and personal discussions with neighbors during a walk-through. After you construct a list of possible needs, discuss them in reasonable depth to identify the issues. When you have identified the issues, discuss each one and agree on the priority of each issue. Sort the issues into short-term or long-term projects and begin to evaluate how your association would like to approach each issue.

In developing your neighborhood projects, focus on a specific issue that will demonstrate action and results and that will be visible in the neighborhood. Get the whole community behind the project by promoting the issue as much as possible. This will provide lots of participation for you to establish a large membership base. If you are successful in achieving your goals or effecting change on a single issue, it demonstrates that your association is an effective group. This establishes the credibility and worthiness of your association, characteristics which are important to long-term survival. Unfortunately, one problem with concentrating on a single issue is that when that problem is solved, everyone leaves. Therefore, it is important to introduce other issues at the same time and get people to work on them in addition to the main issue. As each issue is resolved, focus on new, short- and long-term projects.

In planning projects, keep the ball rolling with a list of projects and activities that will maintain participation and interest. This requires a lot of anticipation and organization by association members. The best approach is to plan around a calendar. Do not suffocate your members with more projects than time will allow. Choose a pace and stay consistent. Slow progress is often better than no progress at all, but keep in mind that one large gap in activity could cost you the participation of a large majority of your membership because of lack of interest. Be careful how you plan and coordinate all projects. Keep people involved in all levels and give people specific jobs (with specific time frames) to do. Everyone is willing to contribute a little bit of time. Do not give too much responsibility to one person when it can be easily delegated to several.
Sounds nice

Sounds great, we would enjoy a newsletter. How do we apply for that grant? I want to know more about helping the neighborhood but I don't have time to go to meetings and protest. Also I went to a meeting a few years ago and all they did was whine about stuff. There wasn't any postive things going on. A real Downer. Any ideas?

By Dave
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