Can a 4-H group apply for a grant?

A few tips for 4-H groups that are considering applying for a grant.

If your 4-H group has ever considered applying for a grant, Michigan State University Extension has a process that must be followed. First, make sure you are applying for a grant and that it isn’t a gift or donation. A gift is a voluntary transfer of funds or property by a person or organization to the 4-H group without compensation. It may be for a stated purpose, but has no contractual requirements. The gifting organization has no control over the funds, and does not require funds that are not spent be returned.

If you determine outside funds are a grant and not a gift or donation, you must work with your local 4-H program coordinator prior to applying. Any 4-H group that is applying for a grant will have to follow the university policies for seeking outside funds. This is a process you will have to complete through the MSU Grant Application and Management System. Your 4-H program coordinator will work with you to determine if the grant is appropriate for the 4-H mission and fits MSU’s submission parameters, and will assist the group in determining how the group will ensure the deliverables are met.

Staff will help 4-H groups write and then submit the grant through the university’s system if it is determined it is a good fit. Please note that this process can be time-consuming, so working with your 4-H staff member as soon as you learn of the grant opportunity is crucial.

If your club is considering seeking outside funds to support the groups programming, a great place to start is the Michigan 4-H Foundation Mini Grants. These funds are an opportunity for 4-H groups to look at expanding local programing. The mini grants are designed to encourage program planning and participation by 4-H members and volunteers in partnership with MSU Extension 4 H program staff. For 2018, grant applications will be available April 1 and are due June 1. Just as in the case of any grant a 4-H group is looking to apply for, they must work with local 4-H program coordinator to submit the grant.

For more information on financial management in 4-H groups, the “Financial Manual for 4-H Volunteers: Leading the Way to Financial Accountability” and the “Financial Manual for 4-H Treasurer: A Guide to Managing Money Wisely support 4-H leaders and youth officers in their important fiscal roles.

Michigan State University Extension and Michigan 4-H Youth Development help to prepare young people for successful futures. As a result of career exploration and workforce preparation activities, thousands of Michigan youth are better equipped to make important decisions about their professional future, ready to contribute to the workforce and able to take fiscal responsibility in their personal lives.

To learn about the positive impact of Michigan 4-H youth career preparation, money management and entrepreneurship programs, read the 2016 Impact Report: “Preparing Michigan Youth for Future Employment.”

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