Increase the capacity of Arkansas's rural organizationsRATIONALE
Deep and chronic poverty intensify the needs for rural organizations. Although many areas of Arkansas prosper through increased economic development, low per capita incomes and high unemployment figures continue to plague rural Arkansas. On-the-ground organizations, such as nonprofits and small municipalities, are typically the first responders to a community's citizens. For this reason, it is imperative that such organizations have the capacity to deliver quality services.
The overall goal of the Nonprofit Improvement Program Phase VIII is to increase the capacity of Arkansas's rural organizations by giving them the tools to improve life for themselves. Winrock's incomparable capacity building approach brings together group training and mentoring to provide educational opportunities at all levels to reach all organizations, regardless of their level of sophistication. WINIP activities mean that nonprofit organizations and small municipalities have a better understanding of how to improve their organizations, expand or enhance current programs, and develop new ideas for new challenges.
The Winrock International Nonprofit Improvement Program (WINIP) Phase VIII will provide training and mentoring to two new nonprofit organizations and four new rural municipalities while also providing access to continuing education to 40 previous WINIP recipients.
Five group training activities will take place during the 18-month project period. Three classroom workshops will take place in Little Rock, Arkansas, a central location easily accessible from all parts of the state.
Winrock will host one capacity building tour to a previous WINIP recipient location and one National Study tour to Washington, DC.
Winrock will track, on a recipient-by-recipient basis, a myriad of benchmarks, including, but not limited to: 1) how many training sessions are attended by each recipient, 2) how much time each mentor spends with each recipient, 3) the number of grant applications submitted—individually and totally, 4) the amount of funds raised—individually and totally, 5) interaction with public officials, 6) events and outside training, 7) improved relations between boards or city councils, expanded or enhanced programming, 8) energy programs implemented, and 9) energy efficiency or renewable energy systems goals reached.
During the course of WINIP, Winrock has tracked the success of recipients. In eight years, 45 participating communities and nonprofits have brought home more than $24.6 million in federal, state and private funding. This funding has supported various projects including fire stations, sewer systems, walking trails, value-added agriculture facilities, and local festivals. Grant applications producing this funding were written by the recipients themselves, not Winrock International, proving that with grant writing training, direct mentoring and tours, rural communities can see great success.