It’s true that the economy has dried up some funding for grants and scholarshipsthat has been available in the past.
It’s also true the application process for the funding that does exist can be exhausting and maddening.
The Clark County Public Library and the Springfield Foundation recognize the former and aim to solve the latter. They have partnered to provide a new computer at the library’s main branch downtown that will be used solely to access a service that streamlines the application process through the Foundation Center.
“They have branches at libraries across the country,” said Ted Vander Roest, executive director of Springfield Foundation. “What it means is if someone locally wants to research a grant for funding, they can go to the library and do it.
“Right now, they can only go to the Foundation Center website and can do basic research. This will allow them to go more in-depth.”
The service will be available after the first of the year, said Sally Rizer, director of the Clark County Public Library.
“We have submitted the application, and we’re just waiting for everything to be finalized,” said Rizer.
The collaboration pulls from the strengths of both organizations.
“Their part is they are going to provide the computer and the help, if there are any questions. Our part would be to pay for the service,” said Vander Roest. “We just saw the need.”
So did Rizer. The service is already available at libraries in Dayton, Xenia and Urbana.
“We’ve had some requests to have that here in Clark County, so we’re happy to provide that for the people of Clark County,” said Rizer. “We heard people in the area were having to go to Urbana (to get the service).”
The service will be available for free to the entire community, from the individual who might be seeking scholarships to non-profits who are on the hunt for grant funding. There will be workshops available throughout the year that will help applicants use the resources, according to Joan Elder, director of Grants and Scholarships for the Springfield Foundation.
“Finding grant resources is always a challenge, but I think it will help other organizations find funding from other grants (that they currently aren’t getting),” said Elder. “It will help on the educational angle, that’s really the big plus.”
The service will be available only on-site.
“The folks at the library are hoping this will also increase foot traffic for them,” said Elder.