Speaker: Matthew Laborde, Program Officer – Healthy Communities – The Rapides Foundation
What is the mission of the Rapides Foundation?
Matthew Laborde: The mission of the Rapides Foundation is to increase the health status in Central Louisiana. The way we do this is by deploying resources in areas that address those key factors of health.
Why is the Rapides Foundation partnering with LAFA to conduct the Grant Expo?
Matthew Laborde: Through our Community Development Works program, the Rapides Foundation seeks to increase the capacity and leadership skills within our nonprofit organizations. We see this grant expo as a great way for our local municipalities to get the skills and knowledge they need to write grants to help increase the quality of life in their communities.
What two tips would you give anyone seeking a grant from the Rapides Foundation?
Matthew Laborde: The first tip I would give someone seeking a grant from the Rapides Foundation is to thoroughly read the request for proposals, sometimes called the RFP, and make sure that aligns with your grant's mission and the organizational activities that you have going on at the time. It also gives you important things like key dates and some certain funding guidelines that may be specific to that one individual grant. The second tip I would give is to make sure that you write your grant as if the person who's reading it has no context of your community, your programs or the population that you're serving. A lot of times we get proposals that assume we know more about their communities than they do and they miss a great opportunity to really tell us why their project is needed. So make sure you write those proposals as if the person who is reading it has no idea about your community.