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Each year through the budget process, operating grant funds are awarded to support community development activities carried out by organizations directly serving low to moderate income youth and their families, residents living in neighborhood revitalization areas, persons with special needs, and the elderly. The funds are generally used for start-up operating costs with the expectation that the organization will have a plan to locate other sources of funds for the program in the future.

Am I eligible for an Operating Grant?

To be eligible for an Operating Grant, you must be organized as a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization. Additionally, as federal funds have many requirements and administrative guidelines that must be met, a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization must demonstrate the capacity to administer a program targeted to a low and moderate income population or a neighborhood revitalization area. Past recipients have included the Boys & Girls Clubs of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County, Catholic Charities, Inc., the YWCA, Chesapeake Arts Center, Anne Arundel County Community Action Agency, and Vehicles for Change, Inc.

How do I apply for an Operating Grant?

Activity Recommendation Forms for operating grant funds are made available to the public through the overall budget process in early October. Anyone interested in applying for funds is encouraged to attend a public hearing in late October and present ideas to our Board of Directors for programs to be funded, the need for the services being recommended, and the population to be served. Information about the grant process will be available at the October hearing, and Activity Recommendation Forms are typically due in early November. ACDS staff will review all submitted activities and present their funding recommendations to the ACDS Board of Directors at a public hearing in late January. This public hearing is another opportunity for our Board of Directors to hear from all applicants. The ACDS Board of Directors reviews and approves all projects before submitting the funding recommendations for review and approval to the County Executive and County Council. If awarded funds, funds are available after July 1.

If you are interested in applying for an Operating Grant, we encourage you to call (410) 222-7600, ext. 155 to discuss your request. An ACDS staff member will help you determine if you are eligible for funding. You may also e-mail info@acdsinc.org to request an Activity Recommendation Form.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What types of programs are eligible for funds?
  2. What is the priority for awarding funds to new programs?
  3. What other criteria are used to evaluate proposals?
  4. How many years will a project be eligible to receive funds?
  5. What types of funds are available?
  6. What types of activities are eligible for CDBG funds?
  7. What types of activities are eligible for ESG funds?
  8. What types of activities are eligible for HOPWA funds?
  9. What types of activities are not eligible?

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1. What types of programs are eligible for funds?

The types of programs eligible for funding may include homeownership assistance, crime prevention, child care, drug abuse and other health needs counseling, and educational and recreational activities. These programs may serve our County’s at-risk youth, residents of neighborhood revitalization areas, homeless, seniors, and underemployed adults.

Some examples of activities funded in the past include: providing scholarships for low income youth to participate in art classes; providing used vehicles to assist low income families in need of transportation; preventing low income families from being evicted from their housing; sheltering the homeless; and providing youth recreation and after school activities.


2. What is the priority for awarding funds to new programs?

In general, priority for funds are awarded to programs that address the County’s priorities and funding guidelines as outlined in the Anne Arundel County Consolidated Plan: FY 2011 - FY 2015. First, public service dollars are targeted to (i) new start-up programs that support housing activities and (ii) new start-up programs that benefit those living in neighborhood revitalization areas. The County’s designated neighborhood revitalization areas are Severn, Brooklyn Park, and Glen Burnie. Second, the activity must address a goal and strategy defined in the County’s Consolidated Plan.

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3. What other criteria are used to evaluate proposals?

ACDS staff evaluates each proposal to ensure the activity provides maximum public benefits relative to cost. Additionally, activities must constitute a new or substantial increase in services. The activity may not duplicate services available from the County or services being provided by another organization serving the same service area/population as the proposed activity. Finally, all activities are reviewed to determine if the project leverages other funding sources to the maximum extent possible. The operating funds being requested from ACDS should not be the only source of funds for a project.


4. How many years will a project be eligible to receive funds?

As there is not a set time frame, each program or project will be evaluated individually. Activities requiring multi-year funding are required to provide a detailed plan for securing permanent funding with a timeline outlining the eventual reduction and elimination of the ACDS operating grant.


5. What types of funds are available?

Operating grants are funded with Anne Arundel County’s allocation of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG), and the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program funds. Each of these programs has federal guidelines and eligibility criteria. In addition, ACDS applies to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development each year for Supportive Housing Program (SHP) funds on a competitive basis.

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6. What types of activities are eligible for CDBG funds?

To be eligible for CDBG funds, projects and programs must meet a national objective which include benefiting persons with low and moderate incomes or be located in an area that is predominantly inhabited by low and moderate income residents, or persons who are disabled, homeless, elderly, or persons with special needs. CDBG funds may pay for activities such as, but not limited to, homeownership assistance, crime prevention, child care, drug abuse and other health needs counseling and educational or recreational programs.


7. What types of activities are eligible for ESG funds?

To be eligible for ESG funds, any proposed activity must provide housing or services to homeless persons or persons who are at risk of becoming homeless.

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8. What types of activities are eligible for HOPWA funds?

The HOPWA program was created to provide housing and supportive services for low and moderate income persons who are medically diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and their families. Eligible activities may include activities such as housing information services, fair housing counseling, lease and repair of facilities to provide housing, project or tenant based rental assistance, short-term rent, mortgage, and utility payments to prevent homelessness, supportive services, and operating costs for housing.


9. What types of activities are not eligible?

In general, activities such as routine operation, maintenance, and repair of public facilities or assistance to churches to support inherently religious activities, such as worship, religious instruction, or proselytization are not eligible.

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