March 23, 2009

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009

Research into Funding Opportunities

President Obama recently signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) into law. The package includes a whopping $825 billion in stimulus spending, $550 billion of which is in the form of targeted investment. Much of that targeted investment will be used by non-profit agencies to stimulate or preserve jobs, help the vulnerable, and advance the nation’s workforce, technology, and industries.

As foundation and individual giving continue to decrease, non-profit agency leaders are realizing that they need to start tapping new resource bases in order to continue their work. While the charitable giving climate is the harshest we’ve seen in a long while, the government contract and grant environment is experiencing unprecedented growth.

The speed with which this funding is being doled out is dizzying. Agencies are facing pressure to deploy much of the stimulus in days and weeks rather than months or “FY’s.”  We began researching the allocations in ARRA as it wound its way through Congress. The general guidelines in the legislation are now firming into specific solicitations and program budgets in a wide spectrum of areas. At this point about 20 Federal agencies/departments with dozens of sub-departments are coordinating fund disbursements; much of which is then broken down into sub-awards by countless state, county, and municipal government agencies.

In looking at these funding administrators we are learning that ARRA funds aren’t always where you expect to find them. A non-profit with work most closely aligned with the Department of Health and Human Services may easily find opportunities within programs by the Department of Labor, the Department of Justice, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and others.

For clients wishing to undertake their own opportunity search, a good place to start is a listing of Federal agency recovery sites, such as the one at We have a few other tips in our most recent newsletter. Given the tight timing and complexity of a comprehensive ARRA funding search, you may instead prefer to outsource this task. We are offering ARRA-specific profile searches for New Mexico non-profits.

We comb through the ARRA funded initiatives looking for programs that fit your existing or planned services and projects. For potential matches, we give you program descriptions, funding level information, contact information, and – most importantly – we tell you what near term steps you need to take. We also include information and advice for all agencies seeking ARRA funding.  Best of all, these profiles are completed within a week, so you get the fresh information that you need, and you get it fast.

Whether you conduct your own search or have us assist, we urge all of our clients to keep apace with ARRA funds and act quickly to make sure submission deadlines do not pass by. The breadth of funding solicitations is diverse enough that there are opportunities matching most agencies. Change is certainly afoot and we know that many leaders for this national recovery and investment initiative will come from non-profit organizations. Leadership and guidance should, in fact, come from this sector; from those who are most in touch with the needs of our communities, our citizens, and our environment.

To find out more about our ARRA funding source profiles or to get assistance in preparing your ARRA funding proposals please contact:

Erin Hielkema, Vice President,

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