Announcing changes to the Neighborhood Matching Fund

SEATTLE – In its continuing efforts to make the Neighborhood Matching Fund (NMF) more accessible and simpler for residents, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods has made key improvements to this nationally recognized program. The Neighborhood Matching Fund Program provides cash awards to community organizations for neighborhood-based projects, and these changes not only make the structure and process easier, but reflect the changing economy. The changes take effect now for applications requesting 2010 funds.

Highlights of the changes include new electronic application forms, clearer guidelines, increased award amounts, and technical assistance workshops. The NMF website has also been revamped to make it easier to navigate and apply for the four funding categories: Large Projects Fund, Small and Simple Fund, Small Sparks Fund and Tree Fund.

Here is a more complete overview of the changes:

NMF Guidelines:
•NMF guidelines are now clearer and easier to navigate. In fact, all four funds are covered under the same document.
•The value of volunteer time has increased to $20 per hour keeping up with Independent Sector research on average volunteer time value.

Fund Changes:
•The Outreach Fund is now combined with the Small Sparks Fund, which will continue to provide support for community building projects with small funding needs, along with new flexible guidelines.

Award Amount:
•To reflect rising costs, fund request limits have increased to up to $1000 for the Small Sparks Fund and up to $20,000 for the Small and Simple Fund.

Application Forms:
•The forms are designed to be easier to use, along with simplified questions, fill-in electronic formatting, and simpler work plan and budget forms.
•Signatures documenting community match pledges are no longer required for the application.

Technical Assistance and Website:
•To increase our outreach and assistance to projects, the NMF staff will hold one to two technical assistance workshops every month at various locations around the city. There are two workshops in December and three occurring in January.
•The website has been revamped to ease navigation and provide clearer information with the inclusion of a “Frequently Asked Questions” section. It also has enhanced features and links to other funding opportunities.

The deadline for Small and Simple Projects Fund is January 11, 2010 (next deadline in July) and the Large Projects Fund Letter of Intent is due February 8, 2010. For more information, visit www.seattle.gov/neighborhoods/nmf/

The Seattle Department of Neighborhoods works to bring government closer to our residents through civic engagement, community empowerment and involvement by all residents for the betterment of their community.