MLK Day of Service mini-grants to fund projects at southern region campuses

October 2, 2015

mlk2005_nolineNorth Carolina Campus Compact — in partnership with Iowa Campus Compact and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) — is pleased to announce a request for proposals (RFP) for the 2016 MLK Day of Service Community Partnership Project.

This mini-grant project is focused on service that alleviates hunger and/or supports veterans. All state and national Campus Compact member institutions are eligible to apply for mini-grants ranging from $500 to $2,000 to support MLK Day of Service projects.

North Carolina Campus Compact will administer the mini-grant process for state and national Campus Compact schools in the 10-state southern region, including: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Interested applicants can view RFP details and the application on the program’s website. Applications are due by 1 AM EST on Saturday, October 31, 2015 (midnight CST on Friday, October 30.) Applicants will be notified no later than Monday, November 15, 2015.

Iowa Campus Compact, the lead agency on the grant, will host two technical assistance webinars for interested applicants. Attendance is strongly encouraged. Both webinars will be recorded and made available on the program website shortly after. The webinar dates, times and registration links are:

  • 11 AM EST (10 AM CST) on Wednesday, October 7, 2015 (Register)
  • 11 AM EST (10 AM CST) on Wednesday, October 21, 2015 (Register)

The purpose of the MLK Day Community Partnership Project is to mobilize college students, community members, and community organizations to observe MLK Day not as “day off” but a “day on.” Colleges and universities will plan service projects to support community-based organizations working to mitigate food insecurity. These volunteers may collect donations for food banks, help establish community gardens, package meals for donation, and more. Mini-grantees may also support veterans by connecting them with community or campus services, or working with community organizations that serve veterans.

Southern region grants are available in three amounts, with each level corresponding to an expected number of volunteers. Applicants from the southern region should include the grant level for which you are applying in the Project Description section of the application, as well as on the project budget.

  • $500  = minimum of 50 volunteers
  • $1000 = minimum of 100 volunteers
  • $2000 = minimum of 150 volunteers

NC Campus Compact has years of experience managing MLK Day of Service mini-grant programs. From 2012-2014, our compact served as the Southern Cluster Region Lead — under Wisconsin Campus Compact — to provide $40,000 in CNCS funding to 36 campuses in 10 states. During these years, grantees mobilized more than 13,500 volunteers to complete 637 service projects.

Between 2008-2011, NC Campus Compact – working with other national partners – managed a $300,000 CNCS grant to support MLK Day of Service events. Through this grant, NC Campus Compact engaged over 56,000 volunteers from campuses representing 38 states plus the District of Columbia.

During these grant cycles, NC Campus Compact created two toolkits for campuses planning MLK Day service, including a toolkit for implementing the “MLK Challenge” approach developed in North Carolina by Appalachian State University.

The 2016 MLK Day of Service Community Partnership Project will also work through other state Campus Compact partners as regional leads: Campus Compact of the Mountain West, New York Campus Compactand Wisconsin Campus Compact. Our coalition expects to distribute at least 50 mini-grants. Total project costs – including matching and in-kind funds—are expected to exceed $450,000.