Helping Veterans Come Home to a Home

veteransFor many, it’s easy to take for granted a roof over the head, a comfortable and safe place to lie down at night and heat in the winter.  But, for the nearly 400,000 United States veterans who are estimated to find that they are homeless in the course of a year, this “American Dream” is illusive.  

In 2014, The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) spent $1.4 billion on efforts to help house homeless vets.  This resulted in a 33% decline of homeless veterans, proving that investing in this problem makes a big difference to thousands of war heroes.  

This knowledge has been recognized by many organizations. has a large selection of funding opportunities to help nonprofits and government agencies improve the standard of living for veterans with new opportunities posted daily.  We would like to highlight one of the special companies who keep veteran needs at the forefront of their charitable work.  

Most Americans have shopped at or are at least aware of the wide range of building materials and helpful information offered at The Home Depot.  Since their opening in 1979, The Home Depot’s goal is to be a one-stop shop for all the do-it-yourselfer’s home improvement projects. Their associates undergo rigorous product knowledge and training.  They also offer workshops to customers on “how to do” home improvements themselves.

A natural outgrowth of The Home Depot’s mission to “improve homes and improve lives” led to the creation of The Home Depot Foundation.  Established in 2002, The Home Depot Foundation partners with local nonprofits offering grants and the labors of the associate-led volunteer force called Team Depot. The Foundation focuses its philanthropic efforts on improving the homes and lives of U.S. military veterans and their families.

“The Home Depot Foundation is placing a special emphasis on U.S. military veterans who are facing growing financial and physical hardships at home as they return to civilian life. In 2011, the Foundation made a three-year, $30 million pledge to veterans' housing initiatives, which was completed more than a year ahead of schedule.

In September 2012, the Foundation announced an additional $50 million commitment to veterans' nonprofits. As of December 2014, The Home Depot Foundation has invested more than $82 million to provide safe housing to veterans and, along with the help of Team Depot volunteers, has transformed more than 15,000 homes for veterans.” 

With millions of dollars available to nonprofits who specifically address veterans’ housing needs, The Home Depot is providing an outstanding opportunity to those who focus on repairing, remodeling, and maintaining affordable housing for deserving veterans and their families.  For further details about eligibility, award amounts and contact information, please visit:

How To Get Funding For Media Equipment?

media equipmentDear Libby:

We need to install a screen, projector, microphones and support equipment in our church sanctuary. This will be used primarily by our youth and senior citizens programs. 

Where may we get a grant of up to $15,000 for this purpose?


Christian Church Subscriber

Wanamaker, IN

Dear Subscriber:

Thank you for contacting with your question.  I am sure that there are many institutions with similar needs who will gain from the following information. 

Though you require equipment for your Church, the focus for your grant search should not be for grants which specifically fund the installation of a screen, projector, microphones and support equipment. The best way for you to achieve your goal is to focus on grants that support the programs you wish to provide for, i.e. youth and/or senior citizens.

If your nonprofit status is under a religious institution, I recommend searching for grants given to faith based institutions.  This information will be included in the grant’s eligibility requirements.  Additionally, searching for intergenerational programs might also be helpful.

I recommend that you check the following grant categories at

Once you find the grants that might be appropriate for funding your equipment, you will need to create an attractive proposal which will help you secure the funding that you need.  The focus of your proposal should be that in order to run your youth and senior citizen programs successfully, you require the acquisition of specific equipment such as a screen, projector, etc.  Be sure to describe the equipment usage in your application objectives, goals and activities and include equipment costs in your excel budget and budget narrative.

If you do not have experience with writing a grant proposal, it might be worthwhile to retain the services of a professional to either assist with writing the entire proposal or review the proposal which has been created.  Professional grant writers are experts in determining the best way to present information so the application is accepted and the grant is awarded.  For further information, please visit

Another possibility for you to receive the equipment you need is to ask the Executive Director of your organization for assistance.  He/she should network and set-up private meetings with the CEO’s of your local stores or corporations.  A request can be made for these companies to donate surplus or open box equipment.  They may even be able to get a tax deduction for their donation to your church.

I hope that this information will be helpful to you. We wish you much success in not only acquiring your needed equipment but also in implementing quality programs to benefit all the members of your church. 

All the best to you and yours, 

Libby Hikind

CEO & Founder



This Friday- Hear Libby Speak at the College of Staten Island

This year, Grantwatch, Inc. is pleased to be joining the Neighborhood Technical Assistance Clinic (NTAC) as it continues its 18-year tradition to bring neighborhood and faith-based organizations together for Dialogue between Funders and Nonprofits.  The forum, in collaboration with the Staten Island Not For Profit Association, Inc., will include a symposium and capacity building workshops on the topic of Rebounding in a Down Economy- Leading in Times of Uncertainty.


Libby Hikind​, founder and CEO of, has been invited to present on the topic of Seeking New Partnerships and Resources for Nonprofits.


If you will be in the Staten Island, New York City area, don’t miss this opportunity to hear Libby speak about searching and locating the best funding opportunities for your nonprofit as well as how to connect with and create valuable partnerships with other nonprofits and funders in your area.  In addition, municipal agencies and grantmaking organizations will learn about new resources to promote their funding opportunities and ensure their activities receive the attention of nonprofits with shared interests and missions.  


Come join Libby and meet other individuals in the nonprofit sector working to promote lasting positive change and learn about the many new tools and resources available to them today. 


Looking forward to seeing you there!


Friday, January 23, 2015

9:00 AM – 3:00 PM


College of Staten Island, CUNY

Center for the Arts

2800 Victory Boulevard

Staten Island, New York 10314


For additional information, contact: or

(718) 455-3784

Staten Island Program Flyer






Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – Celebrating Nonprofits and their Volunteers

 “Even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Most of us are intrigued by dreams.  On that rare occasion when we remember a dream had while sleeping, we might ask ourselves, “What was that all about!?” or “Is there a message in my dream for me to act on?”

Then, there are “goal dreams”, which are light years ahead of night dreams or even day dreams.  Goal dreams occur when we are awake.  They might come to us while sipping our morning coffee, driving in traffic, listening to a tragic news story or any number of other ways.  Goal dreams get our juices flowing.  “If I do this, I can change the world!”

One of the greatest goal dreamers in our time was Martin Luther King, Jr.  A pastor by trade, he managed to shake up a nation by bringing his dream of equality for all to the forefront of our consciousness.  Yes, this is written clearer in the U.S. Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”  But, somehow, nearly 200 years after our forefathers signed this infamous document, people were still not being treated properly.  Martin Luther King, Jr. decided to take action.

On August 28, 1963, more than a quarter of a million people from all ethnicities and walks of life gathered to declare that it was time for our forefathers’ assertion to become a reality for all.   This was the largest gathering of protesters in Washington, D.C.'s history up to that point.  As the saying (almost) goes, “Dream it and they will come.”

For those dedicated to the nonprofit sector, turning dreams into realities might have been mixed into their baby food.  Not everyone has the vision, passion and energy to take action on the hopes for a better world.  By choosing to use your time to help friends, communities and nation, you become part of a great historical team of leaders who took their dreams and created real solutions to real problems.

Last year, over 571,000 people participated in a “day of service” in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy.  Backed by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the idea is to start the New Year off right by giving to those in need.  This year’s date for service is January 19, 2015.  Each year, more people participate.  For many, volunteering on this day is a springboard for continuing a life of service, whether on an individual basis or through nonprofit organizations.

For those who are already nonprofit staff and volunteers, would like to take this opportunity to commend you for acting on your hopes and dreams.  Though there may not yet be a day named after you, your efforts are still celebrated by those touched by your devotion.   Surely, our dreams for a brighter future are materializing with every great deed you perform.  May all your dreams come true!