The LAURA JANE MUSSER FUND would like to promote mutual understanding and cooperation between groups and citizens of different cultural backgrounds within defined geographical areas through collaborative, cross-cultural exchange projects. Projects must be intercultural and demonstrate intercultural exchange, rather than focused on just one culture.
PRIORITY IS PLACED ON PROJECTS THAT:
- Include members of various cultural communities working together on projects with common goals
- Build positive relationships across cultural lines
- Engender intercultural harmony, tolerance, understanding, and respect
- Enhance intercultural communication, rather than cultural isolation, while at the same time honoring the unique qualities of each culture
PROJECTS MUST DEMONSTRATE:
- Need in the community for the intercultural exchange project
- Grassroots endorsement by participants across cultural lines, as well as their active participation in planning and implementation of the project
- The ability of the organization to address the challenges of working across the cultural barriers identified by the project
- Tangible benefits in the larger community
LIMITS OF GEOGRAPHY:
Only programs in Colorado, Hawaii, Michigan, Minnesota, Texas (Hidalgo, Cameron, Willacy, and Starr counties only), and Wyoming may apply.
FUNDS WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR:
- Planning (up to $5,000) - These funds may support costs like: consultant or staff time, meeting costs, mailings, secretarial support, refreshments, local travel, childcare, etc. Note: This stage is optional and not a required phase prior to applying for or receiving an implementation grant. If an organization receives a planning grant from the Musser Fund, this in no way implies a commitment on the part of the Musser Fund to provide the organization with any subsequent implementation support after their planning activities are completed.
- Implementation (up to $25,000) - These funds are available to implement collaborative cross-cultural exchange projects. Capital campaigns will not be supported. The projects should result in a tangible outcome within at least the first 18 months.
PROJECTS ELIGIBLE FOR SUPPORT:
Intercultural Harmony projects can be carried out in a number of areas, including (but not limited to):
- Community service
- Youth activities
- The arts
OUTCOMES SHOULD INCLUDE:
- A demonstration of intercultural exchange between cultures
- Increased comfort in interaction between the groups and individual citizens addressed by the project
- Harmonious shared use of public space and community facilities
- Continued cooperation by the participants or communities addressed by the project
WHAT THE PROGRAM WILL COVER:
- New programs or projects within their first three years
- The planning or implementation phase of a project
- Grants are typically in the $8,000-$25,000 range
WHAT WILL NOT BE FUNDED:
- Capital Expenses
- General Operating Expenses
- Ongoing Program Support
WHO CAN APPLY:
- Nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations
- Local units of Government
HOW TO APPLY:
Proposals will be accepted starting September 19, 2017 and must be submitted online by October 19, 2017. Funding decisions will be announced by February 2018.
Please construct your application with the following attachments (see below for inclusions). We suggest you read through the inclusions below, prior to going online.
Note: If you have received a grant from the Musser Fund in the last year, please also include an update on the progress made to date on that grant in the narrative section of your application.
To apply online please click here.
- Proposal Narrative (5 pages or less)
- Personnel Lists
- Budgets (as listed below)
- Letters of Support
- IRS Status Letter
Proposal Narrative (5 pages or less):
- Intercultural Participants: Describe, using qualitative and quantitative descriptions, the identity of the cultural groups participating in your project.
- Need: Provide a synopsis of the need or cultural situation in your community that the proposed project will address.
- Community Members and Institutions: Describe the community members actively involved in this project. Please indicate the intercultural community members and institutions that will participate in the project.
- Goals and Activities: Describe the overall goals of this project and the activities planned that will accomplish these goals; provide the timeline for the activities that include the schedule and completion date for the project.
- Process: Describe the process you will use to implement your project. How does the project engage active participation across cultural lines? Please be specific about how the different cultural groups in your project are involved in the planning and implementation.
- Organizational Ability: Describe the organization’s ability to address the challenges of working across the cultural barriers identified by this proposal. Identify the project leader's qualifications in this area. Identify the specific experience the organization has in this area.
- Outcomes: Describe the specific outcomes expected, and the tangible benefits for the community at large that are expected to result from your project.
- Replicability: Please describe any plans for replicating your project or sharing your outcomes.
- Previous Grant Update (if applicable): Provide a brief update on the Musser grant if one was made to your organization in the last year.
- Staff - Please include a staff list identifying the organization's leaders and the experience they bring to the organization.
- Board of Directors - Please include a list of the Board of Directors, their affiliations, and their terms.
- Organizational Budgets – For the previous year and for the current year. For the previous year, please submit your actual budget expense and revenue detail. For the current year, please submit a projected, board approved organizational budget that includes expense and revenue detail, revenue sources, and amounts. If your organization is a very large institution, you may submit departmental information instead.
- Project Budget – Please provide a complete budget for your proposed project, including expense and revenue detail, also include revenue sources, amounts, and what is secured and what is pending.
- Balance Sheet – Please upload your organization's balance sheet from the most recent completed year. If your organization does not create a balance sheet, please upload your organization's most recent 990 tax form.
Letters of Support:
- Please include letters of support from at least two (but not more than four) community members and institutions outlining their support for, knowledge of, and role in your project.
- If you are actively collaborating with another organization as part of your proposed project, please include a letter from that organization describing their role in the project.
- Please ensure that the letters are signed and, when appropriate, on letterhead. Only letters submitted as a part of the proposal will be considered in the review of your proposal.
IRS Status or Local Unit of Government Letter:
- Please include a copy of your 501(c)(3) letter, or if you are a unit of local government, please provide a detailed letter of endorsement for the project on agency letterhead, signed by the lead officer of your unit of government, indicating awareness of and support for this proposed program.