Last week, Keep Philadelphia Beautiful
(KPB) released a new RFP
for community nonprofits looking to nab seed funds for their anti-litter initiatives.
"You can have all the ideas in the world but not secure the funds to do it," explains Michelle Feldman, the organization's director. "At Keep Philadelphia Beautiful, we're not the only ones with good ideas."
The new program consists of three microgrants: two of $1,000 and one of $500. A former CDC employee herself, Feldman knows how far even a small amount of money can go for a community group trying to get a new idea off the ground.
Keep Philadelphia Beautiful "believes that communities know their challenges and opportunities best," says the RFP of working through grantees on litter abatement. "We want to provide community-based organizations with the resources to help solve neighborhood beautification concerns, and the space to experiment and test new ideas."
Successful applicants will need to demonstrate measurable, collaborative, sustainable and scalable impact, says Feldman (she expects at least ten to 15 applicants for the inaugural round). The organization will consider brand-new proposals or expansions of existing programs that meet the criteria.
Empirical data proves that tackling litter can have a direct impact on factors like the growth of small businesses, property values, crime, and perception of the neighborhood both inside and outside the community. According to Feldman, a good example of community innovation on the issue is the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation
's $1-A-Day program -- participating businesses each contribute $365 a year toward daily litter clean-up.
It turned into "a great way to help fund the daily cleaning and involve the community, and give them ownership over the cleaning effort," she explains.
The hope is that this year’s participants will be help model best practices, inspiring and informing other groups in the future.
Proposals are due on March 1; the winners will be selected by March 15. The project cycle will run through December 15, 2015.
Writer: Alaina Mabaso
Source: Michelle Feldman, Keep Philadelphia Beautiful