Who is Katherine Johnson?

Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson was an American mathematician who worked for NASA for 35 years. Her calculations of orbital mechanics were critical to the success of the first and subsequent U.S. crewed spaceflights. Katherine Johnson mastered complex manual calculations and helped pioneer the use of computers to perform the tasks.

Mrs. Johnson’s was responsible for calculating trajectories, launch windows and emergency return paths for Project Mercury spaceflights, including those for astronauts Alan Shepard, the first American in space, and John Glenn, the first American in orbit, and rendezvous paths for the Apollo Lunar Module and command module on flights to the Moon. Her calculations were also essential to the beginning of the Space Shuttle program, and she worked on plans for a mission to Mars.

Katherine Johnson
Aug. 26, 1918, to Feb. 24, 2020

10 Things you need to know about Katherine Johnson

  1. Katherine Johnson is one of the first African-American women to work as a NASA scientist.
  2. She was one of three black students to integrate West Virginia’s graduate schools.
  3. She graduated with B.S., Mathematics, and French from West Virginia State College in 1937.
  4. Mrs. Johnson was a school teacher prior to working at West Area Computing section at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics’ (NACA’s) Langley laboratory.
  5. In 1957, she provided some of the math for the 1958 document Notes on Space Technology, a compendium of a series of 1958 lectures given by engineers in the Flight Research Division and the Pilotless Aircraft Research Division (PARD).
  6. Katherine Johnson worked on the Space Shuttle and the Earth Resources Satellite (later renamed Landsat) and authored or co-authored 26 research reports. 
  7. In 2015, President Barack Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
  8. In 2019, Mrs. Johnson was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal
  9. She was portrayed by Taraji P. Henson as a lead character in the 2016 film Hidden Figures.
  10. She died on February 24, 2020. She was 101 years old.

Featured Grant

21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) Grant. Grants to Virginia Schools, Nonprofits, For-Profits, and IHEs for Out-of-School Academic Enrichment Programs. Funding is intended to support programs that help students meet standards in core academic subjects, such as reading and mathematics; offer enrichment activities that complement regular academic programs; and offer literacy and other educational services to the families of participating children. Special emphasis is placed on programs serving low-performing schools, and schools with a high-poverty student body.

Why Do I Need a Professional Grant-Writer?

Grants can greatly enable a nonprofit organization’s ability to provide services, create innovative programs, and fund operations. Finding and winning grants can prove to be a difficult challenge. Finding grant opportunities and preparing proposals takes time and skill. Grant guidelines and requirements can be confusing and difficult to navigate. The biggest challenge of all is that applying for grants is a competition and the competition is stiff.

Professional grant-writers are experienced in the grant-writing process and know what it takes to create a winning proposal. They can assist your organization in understanding the application process and prepare you to be successful. To win a grant, the funder must have confidence that the program being funded is going to successful and sustainable. Professional grant-writers can use their experience to objectively present your program’s successes and sustainability and thus increasing your potential for winning the grant.

Most importantly, a professional grant-writer is a member of your team. They are invested in your organization’s success and exist to help you help others. They are there to work alongside you as a resource and as one of your biggest supporters. The professionals at grantwriterteam.com have won millions of dollars in grant funds for organizations just like yours. They are knowledgeable of every step of the grant-writing process and are eager to assist you in acquiring the funding you need to continue your success.

Black History Month 2020

Black History

What is Black History Month and Why is it Important?

Black History Month (also known as African American History Month) is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of blacks in U.S. history.

Celebrating Black History allows us to pause, acknowledge, and remember the sacrifice and suffering that Civil Rights and other Historic leaders endured for the sake of racial equality.

Educating those outside the black community was always a central focus of the celebration of Black History Month. The belief is that if the country understood the contributions and sacrifices made by black people who served in the military during the second world war, it would provide a powerful argument that would undermine the notions of black inferiority. Focusing on these contributions and sacrifices would serve to create an environment that was more conducive to combating racism.

historian Dr. Carter G. Woodson
Historian Dr. Carter G. Woodson

8 things you should know about Black History Month

  1. The story of Black History Month began in 1915, half a century after the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in the United States.
  2. Black History Month grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Dr. Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. 
  3. Negro History Week was celebrated in the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.
  4. The event inspired schools and communities nationwide to organize local celebrations, establish history clubs and host performances and lectures.
  5. In the late 1960s, thanks in part to the civil rights movement and a growing awareness of black identity, Negro History Week evolved into Black History Month on many college campuses.
  6. President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976, calling upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”
  7. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month.
  8. Every year there is a different theme that is endorsed by the US President. 2020’s theme is, “African Americans and the Vote,” is in honor of the centennial anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment (1920) granting women’s suffrage and the sesquicentennial of the Fifteenth Amendment (1870) giving black men the right to vote.

Featured Grant

Black History Month Celebration 2020 Award Awards to New Jersey African American Individuals in Eligible Regions for Contributions to the Community. Awards are intended to honor individuals who have made significant contributions in the areas of professional achievements, general good deeds, or community service that have impacted favorably on the citizens of Gloucester Township.

Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR)

What is the Small Business Technology Transfer?

The Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program is an initiative that is coordinated and monitored by the Small Business Administration (SBA), to provide small businesses with greater access to funding in the federal innovation research and development arena. According to the SBA, the goal

“is expansion of the public-private sector partnership to include the joint venture opportunities for small business and the nation’s premier nonprofit research institutions. STTR’s most important role is to foster the innovation necessary to meet the nation’s scientific and technological challenges in the 21st century.”

The STTR program is a cooperative research partnership between small business concerns and research institutions. It places emphasis on a company’s potential for commercial success. The program also requires that universities, federal laboratories, or nonprofit research centers team with businesses to get their product(s) into the marketplace. These research partnerships between small businesses and nonprofit institutions enable participants to combine entrepreneurial initiative and creativity with the expertise, equipment, and other assets of nonprofit research laboratories.

How can an organization qualify for STTR?

In order to be considered for the STTR program, small businesses must meet several criteria including:

  • They must be American-owned and independently operated for-profit enterprises.
  • The size of the company may not exceed 500 employees.
  • They must be principally located in the United States.
  • The organization must be a nonprofit college or university, domestic nonprofit research organization, or federally funded research and development center.

According to the rules of STTR, the Departments of Defense, Energy, and Health and Human Services, along with the National Science Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration—must reserve a portion of their research and development funds for the program. These five federal departments and agencies also designate those subjects suitable for additional Research & Development and determine whether to accept or reject STTR proposals. They make STTR awards based on the following factors:

  • Qualifications of the nonprofit research institution and its small business partner;
  • Degree of innovation;
  • Future market potential.

Once a small business secures STTR funding, they are then routed through a three-phase program.

  1. The Startup Phase: Awards of up to $100,000 are given to pay for approximately one year’s worth of study and research into the scientific, technical, and commercial feasibility of an idea or technology.
  2. The Development Phase. During this period, business/research partnerships engage in research and development work with an intention toward commercial potential.
  3. Introduction to Market. During this phase, the completed project is introduced into the commercial marketplace to succeed or fail. This phase is not supported by STTR funds. Instead, participants must secure funding from private parties or other federal agencies that do not allocate STTR monies.

Small businesses can secure alternative or additional funding by subscribing to and searching for grants at www.GrantWatch.com. As of the writing of this article, the following STTR grant was available – America’s Seed Fund – Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program Phase I.

New Year’s Resolution For Nonprofits

New Year Resolutions

It’s almost 2020, and many people are starting to draft resolutions that they’ll use to try and build new habits for the New Year.

Science tells us that by February, the second month of this year, most of those resolutions will fall by the wayside, and people will return to their scheduled programming of whatever they had done the year before. And it’s hard to stick to these habits, for many reasons, including that people will set lofty goals in the hopes of creating all-over change, not realizing that they need effective systems to be able to accomplish that feat. And since here at GrantWatch we care about our readers, I’m going to help make creating New Year’s resolutions just a bit easier by sharing my five best pieces of advice for drafting, and following through on those resolutions. Hopefully, by reading, and executing this list, it really will be New Year, New You. 

Five New Year’s Resolutions for Nonprofit Organizations & Professionals

  1. Be Realistic: When mapping out your goals for the New Year, try not to be overzealous in your ambitions, to the point where it’s near impossible to actually accomplish the things on your list. If your fundraising goal is $1,000,000, start by dividing the sum into quarterly goals and plan your fundraising events accordingly. The objective is to keep you, your donors and your team from being overwhelmed. You may find that you do even better than the original goal laid out because you did not set your organization up for failure.
  2. Plan Ahead: If you are not receiving our newsletter, sign up today! Grants are a huge part of a nonprofits annual budget, but getting a grant is a waiting game that requires strategic planning. You need to find a grant or grants that fulfill your organization’s needs, then you need to follow the specific requirements listed by the funder. If you start the process in January or Q1, in some cases, your organization may not be funded until March or April (Q2). If you plan ahead, you can distribute the budget accordingly. Planning ahead allows you to ensure that you have the tools and the money you need.  
  3. Have an Accountability Partner: Keep the members of your organization in the loop regarding your goals. They will essentially be your accountability partners. Have regular meetings and talk about specific issues with your progress, but also discuss mini victories.
  4. Reward Nonprofit: One of the ways to keep pushing through when times get tough is to have rewards set up along your path. Setting mini-goals along the way towards a larger goal helps with this and allows you to reward yourself as you accomplish smaller steps. Reaching a certain monetary goal should be celebrated. Have a potluck lunch or dinner and share your success on social media, or give your team members an extended lunch period or a short workday. 
  5. Shake It Off: You will have good days, and less than good days. Sometimes you will meet your goals, and sometimes you will fall short – that’s okay. Take a heads up, eyes forward approach. Take stock of what went wrong, fix it and move on, don’t dwell. Double down on the things that worked well. Implement a stress reliever in your day – Go outside, do some pushups, walk around the block or the parking lot, stretch, breath. Do something other than sitting at your desk. A walk or quick stretch can help you refocus and get back on track when you are finding it hard to stay on task or when you are having a not-so-great day. Shake it off, take a deep breath and move on. Don’t give up because of one failure, just view it as a sign that things are changing, and allow yourself to grow from it.

We hope that these little tips and tricks help you this New Year as you work on accomplishing new things in 2020. Remember that there are so many new possibilities in the New Year and that staying consistent with what you wish to accomplish. Progress is key to having your New Year’s resolutions become permanent habits.  

Art Basel & the grants that can get you there

Art Basel?

Art Basel is an annual international art fair that takes place in Basel, Switzerland; Miami Beach, Florida; and Hong Kong. The event connects collectors, galleries, and artists. Art Basel’s fairs are the impetus in supporting galleries as they nurture the careers of artists. While Art Basel provides a platform for galleries to show and sell their work to buyers, it also attracts a large international audience of art spectators and students.

© Courtesy of Tau Lewis and COOPER COLE, Toronto

Galleries that participate in Art Basel can spend between $50,000 for a small gallery to as high as $400,000 for a large gallery located on the bottom floor of the event space. These costs include booth fees, travel, lodging in town, shipping costs for the works, gallery dinners during the fair, and other expenses accrued during the week. This is a considerable investment for a 6-day event.

We’ve Got a Grant for that!

To defray expenses, artists and galleries alike seek out sponsors and benefactors. But, too few people seek out grants. GrantWatch.com has over 500 grants listed for people in the arts. Just in the state of Florida alone, we have 197 grants listed (at the time of this article). Grant amounts are as little as $250 to as high as $50,000 or more.

Take a look at these Florida grants for arts and culture:

  • Grants to USA Nonprofits and Artists to Support Live Public Performances
  • Grants of up to $50,000 to USA and Territories independent producers and production companies to fund the production and post-production of non-fiction programs about indigenous Pacific Islanders.
  • Grants to Florida Nonprofits, Agencies, and Businesses to Promote Tourism in Miami-Dade County
  • Grants to USA and Territories individual artists and artist collaborators for creative artistic endeavors across the arts disciplines.
  • Grants to USA, Canada, or International Artists to Support Professional Development in Visual Arts

Start researching grant opportunities now! It may be too late to secure a grant funding for 2019 Art Basel, but before you know it, 2020′ Art Basel is here and every artist should have an opportunity to experience the exposure that this art event affords them.