From providing families with food and clothes to assisting teens in crisis and sheltering domestic violence victims, nonprofits provide critical resources for the Goodyear community.
To support these programs and services, the city encourages nonprofits to apply for a grant as part of the city’s Community Funding Program.
“We recognize that the city of Goodyear doesn’t deliver any direct human or social services,” said Christina Panaitescu, Goodyear’s grants and neighborhood services supervisor.
“We want to make sure that our most vulnerable population have access to the resources they need. So, this is one way we go about doing that.”
The Goodyear Community Funding Program’s aim, Panaitescu said, is to give financial support so that the organizations can continue their work for the community. This financial support is anticipated to come to the tune of $214,400 that is. Expected to be in the city’s 2024 fiscal year budget, individual grants can range anywhere from $1,500 to $15,000.
With a subcommittee in city leadership, the Community Funding Program takes in application requests, reviews each request thoroughly, and then creates a full funding report that is sent off to city council to get the approval needed, something that the councilmembers have been eager to assist in.
“They are incredibly supportive,” Panaitescu said. “Up until before (the COVID-19 pandemic), the annual amount budgeted was $114,400. Then, when COVID struck, and they added $100,000 to be available for distribution, recognizing the increased needs in the community, and the potential for resources being needed by our nonprofit community.”
This boost following the COVID-19 pandemic was an initiative that has allowed for more organizations to get involved with services around the community as well as have the efforts of the city to keep the circle of positive work going throughout Goodyear. The process has become streamlined, making it as accessible as possible to any organization that qualifies for assistance.
“In the world of grants, this is a pretty easy grant application to submit or to complete, so it’s very approachable for a newer nonprofit organization,” Panaitescu said. “But they do need to be a nonprofit organization and they need me to be serving Goodyear residents or be able to demonstrate how they are going to be serving Goodyear residents.
“They need to be able to be tracking how many Goodyear residents are being served so that we can measure the impact of our investment. But otherwise, I would say it’s a very approachable grant opportunity that is that can serve all kinds of nonprofit organizations, small and large.”
The ability to have an easily accessible grant process, as well as the opportunity at impactful funds, is something that Panaitescu and the Community Funding Program take pride in.
“I am very proud and very grateful for the work that they’re doing to serve our community,” she said. “We recognize that there’s a need, and however we can support them, using these resources and meeting the needs of our residents, that’s what we hope to do.”
The application deadline for this year’s Community Funding Program is Wednesday, May 17. For more information about the grant application process and prior years’ data, visit goodyearaz.gov/communityfunding.