By Mike Nichols
Mayor, Solana Beach
The Community Grant Program enables the City Council to provide financial assistance to community service and youth organizations that serve the Solana Beach community.
Since its inception in 2004, the program has provided numerous nonprofit organizations funding for a variety of efforts, including after-school programs, educational day camps, performing arts programs, community gardens projects and youth sports activities. In many cases, the funding from these grants can make the difference between an organization's ability to offer a program to our residents, or not.
In these tough economic times, the importance of these grants goes without saying. That's why the City Council made it a priority to maintain the annual appropriations for this program, despite the current budget crisis. Again this year, the City Council has a total of $25,000 available for community organizations, with $10,000 of the available grant money being provided by generous contributions from EDCO and Waste Management as a part of their efforts to support service organizations in our community.
Applications and guidelines for the 2009-10 Community Grant Program will be available starting on Sept. 28 at City Hall or by accessing the city's Web site (www.ci.solana-beach.ca.us). A maximum of two grant applications may be submitted per organization, with a maximum potential award of $5,000 per application.
Preference is given to new programs or those providing a new or unique twist to an existing program that focuses on enhancing community. Applications are also evaluated on fair and justifiable program costs, use of matching funding sources and collaborations or partnerships with other organizations. Funds are also available as one-time seed money to augment the start-up of a new community project.
To be eligible, the applicant must be a nonprofit 501 (c) 3, community-based organization serving Solana Beach. Excluded entities include the following: county of San Diego, municipal organizations, special or water districts, church-affiliated organizations, school districts or schools (but not their supporting organizations) and private individuals. The deadline for filing a Community Grant application is Oct. 29.
One of the great pleasures of serving on the City Council is the annual award and distribution of funding for the these grants. It is wonderful to see the grant proposals come to fruition, and this program is a true reinvestment in the quality of life in our community. We look forward to this year's applications.