WHO MADE THE LIST? CSC Leon selects 10 nonprofits in first round of "SIPS" funding

Eight-member board invests to support targeted service delivery
Posted at 4:13 PM, Sep 19, 2023
  • Children’s Services Council of Leon County said it's investing $150,000 to support local organizations.
  • The selected programs address the three CSC Leon priority areas.
  • Those areas include: success in school and life, healthy children, youth and families and stable & nurturing families & communities.


On Thursday, September 14, the Children’s Services Council of Leon County (CSC Leon) approved the intent to fund 10 applications to receive funding from its first round of the “Small Investments for Program Success” (SIPS) Initiative. The objective of this one-time, short-term investment is to allow small, nonprofits access to funding outside of the more robust priority funding cycles to help support very targeted service delivery and/or events during the next six months. In addition, the limited-scope funding (maximum of $15,000) will allow recipients who have historically been excluded from funding opportunities for a variety of reasons to build their internal infrastructure to comply with reporting and budgeting requirements.

“For some nonprofit applicants, SIPS may be the first public financial investment they have ever received,” explains CSC Leon Executive Director, Cecka Rose Green. “The Council’s goal is to help ensure these organizations’ operational success, ultimately, to assist them in better serving children, youth and families in Leon County more effectively.”

The selected programs address the three CSC Leon priority areas and deploy a wide variety of service modalities. A brief overview for each program selected and the amounts allocated are listed below.

Success in School and Life

These programs are primarily focused on increasing school performance and reducing juvenile crime among school-age children and youth.

1.                   Divine Revelations Ministries, Inc.: Elevate the Geeks & Gramps Program by piloting a co-mentorship component — $14,974.

2.                   Dream Builders Greatness Center, Inc.: Expand the number of children (and their families) able to receive training, tutoring, family counseling, and family building at the Center; also includes support for two specific community events — $15,000.

3.                   STEMS4Girls, Inc.: Support staffing needs of the existing STEM Literacy program, compensating administrative facilitators and providing stipends to tutors — $15,000.

4.                   The Project Bridge, Inc.: Provide space, personnel, food, and materials for the tutoring program, special events and activities — $15,000.

Healthy Children, Youth and Families

These programs are primarily focused on increasing resiliency and reducing the number and consequences of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).

5.                   Indaba, Inc.: Implementation of Project Rising Stars, an arts-based initiative in underserved communities focused on building resiliency — $15,000.

6.                   Javacya Arts Conservatory: Expand the STEAM Youth Orchestra for students on Tallahassee’s Southside with a focus on increasing resiliency — $15,000.

7. Lincoln Center Foundation, Inc.: Support for youth boxing program and its ability to participate in additional competitions, thereby building youth resiliency and confidence — $14,450.

Stable & Nurturing Families & Communities

These programs are two-fold. One is focused on increasing occupational skills, career pathways and economic opportunities for youth, and the other two are focused solely on increasing food security for children, youth and families. Both objectives fall within this priority area.

8. TallyRobotics/Tallahassee LEGO Robotics Club, Inc.: Enhance the program’s ability to deliver quality training through the purchase of dedicated team laptops, tablets, projectors and screens, and be able to offer scholarships and cover event fees for teams — $15,000.

9. North Florida Community Development Corporation: Implement micro-grocery vending machines in food deserts — $15,000.

10. The Less Fortunate Still Matter Foundation: Provide a mobile commissary for families in targeted neighborhoods — $15,000.

In total, Council Members reviewed 22 applications with a total amount requested greater than $277,000. A listing of all applications and their ranking after Council Member review is available on the CSC Leon website [cscleon.org].

During the meeting, Paul Mitchell, who serves as the treasurer for CSC Leon, stated, “This is an excellent opportunity for 10 small nonprofits to hopefully get to the next level of service delivery.” He also offered this reminder to unsuccessful applicants, “This is not a one and done. Those not selected have a chance to try again next quarter.”

Those applicants not selected for funding will have the opportunity to receive group technical assistance before the next application period opens on October 1.

For more information about CSC Leon, visit www.cscleon.org [cscleon.org].