The Double Edged Sword of Grant Funding: With Jason Kempthorne

Almost daily, I’m asked the question, “How do grants work?” Since our recent growth is obvious, many donors automatically presume, “Wow, Love INC is doing well!” Outwardly, this may seem to be the case, but internally, things are very different.

Our volunteers have helped thousands of Tanana Valley residents with rent and utility assistance throughout the COVID crisis. The skilled and dedicated work of our volunteers caused Alaska Housing, GVEA, and HUD to ask Love INC to administer even more grant-funded assistance programs. While this is a great opportunity, the need became greater than the volunteer’s workload could sustain, and we were forced to hire additional staff.

Our Volunteers and Staff make grants work.

Love INC’s volunteers and staff have been able to assist over 6,000 households. That’s a whopping 600% increase over the annual average over the past 10 years. Grants can connect more people to the church and through them, we can offer hope, compassion, and assistance to so many in our community.

Grants can also keep the doors open! If Love INC had not secured these grants we would simply be closed, another casualty of COVID. Grants help with some areas of the balance sheet and can add to the income ledger but they don’t cover it all. They only cover the scope of work assigned under the terms of each specific grant. While one area of our organization may be doing well, another area outside the scope of the grant may be suffering.

Today, Love INC is doing well within our Clearinghouse Helpline Pro-gram and through our Rent and Utility Assistance Program. Converse-ly, we are struggling to mobilize the Church. Many churches have lost 30-40% of their congregations. We continue to struggle to offer our Loving Families Program in a COVID safe environment while at the same time we continue to struggle to fund our administrative and utility costs because we have lost our fundraising events that help pay these expenses.

Outwardly, Love INC has the appearance of substantial growth and is very visible in the community, yet internally we are struggling. We need your financial support today. As we strive to Help Alaska, please consider donating to our ministry.