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Keeping Communities Safe

Illinois Youth Court Association:
Funding Your Program


(From an article featured in the Fall 2002 IYCA newsletter)

According to an IYCA survey, Illinois youth court budgets range from $0 to $60,000. The average budget was $10,700. However, many youth courts need funds for a coordinator, office space, supplies, and services for offenders. Programs operated by schools, courts, probation, law enforcement, or existing non-profit agencies may be able to utilize existing staff and resources to run their youth court. In addition, volunteers can be used to aid in operating a program.

Funding Tips:

• When writing a grant proposal, review the application guidelines carefully to ensure that you have complied with all directions, rules and regulations.

• Use simple, jargon-free language.

• Make sure there is a clear relationship between the budget and the projected activities.

• Proofread for errors and have others, including an outside person, review the proposal.

• In addition to grants, programs can receive money or in-kind donations, such as office supplies or refreshments for youth volunteers, from local businesses and major chain stores.

• Have clearly articulated and measurable goals, objectives, and strategies.

• Evaluation is important! If you want others to give your program money, you need to prove that it achieving its goals. In addition, evaluation can guide program improvements and modification.

Other sources of Funding:

• Private grants: visit www.fdncenter.org

• Part of an existing agency’s budget is allocated for youth court.

• Local community support and fund-raising.

• Require those respondents participating in the program to pay a nominal fee to help fund the youth court.

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