Friends of the COA 2018 Bright Idea Grants

Bright Idea Logo

Do You Have a Bright Idea?

Friends of the Council on Aging Mini-Grant Program

The Lexington Friends of the Council on Aging (FCOA) is again offering a mini-grant program in 2019 to encourage innovation in Senior programming, to enrich and enhance programming for Seniors at the Community Center by giving voice to our Seniors, providing opportunities outside of budget to Senior Services staff, and incentives to new providers.

Two Bright Ideas grants were made in 2017. The first was awarded to establish a publication to showcase creative content from Lexington Seniors (aged 60+), such as short fiction, essays, poetry, photography, and cartoons. The third edition of that publication, named “Lexington LifeTimes,” was released in January 2019 and the fourth edition is underway. The second 2017 grant was awarded to fund the purchase of assistive hearing devices to be used by Lexington organizations serving the Senior community. The grant was requested by “Lexington At Home,” an aging in place social support network for Lexington residents. The devices were purchased and are available from the Cary Library’s “Library of Things” for use by the Lexington community.

One grant was made in 2018 to the Lexington Field and Garden Club to pay for sensory garden planters that will be installed at the Community Center and tended by the Field and Garden Club.

The Friends of the Lexington Council on Aging are pleased with the success of this grant program, and hope that future grants will encourage ALL members of the Lexington community to consider new ways of providing stimulating, enriching activities for Lexington Seniors.

Program Description

Maximum grant amount: $3000.

Type of eligible projects:

We hope the grant proposals will be to fund new innovative programs or enhancements to existing programs, purchase of equipment to benefit Seniors at the Community Center, and salaries for a limited time. This can include operational expenses, such as extra time for a Volunteer Coordinator, equipment such as computers for Senior use, or researching new technologies to serve Lexington Seniors.

Who can apply?

Grant proposals can be made by Lexington residents and Lexington organizations, including Lexington Senior Services and Community Center staff. Non-Lexington residents who are currently providing services to Seniors at the Community Center are also eligible to apply.

How to apply:

Download the grant application form or pick up a hard copy of the form at the Community Center. Completed applications forms can be submitted at the Community Center or online to BrightIdeas@friendsofthecoa.org.

Important dates:

  • October31, 2019: Deadline for submission of applications
  • Early December, 2019: Grant awards determined and applicants notified
  • Grants requiring use of Community Center resources will be scheduled by staff for FY2021 (7/1/20 through 6/30/21)

How will projects be chosen?

A five-person working committee made up of a Human Services staff member, COA representative, and members of the FCOA board will manage the program, review grant proposals, present possible proposals to Senior Services staff regarding feasibility of implementation, and recommend suitable grantees to the COA for approval.

Grant projects will be monitored by the working committee, to ensure that they are being carried out according to the grant proposal description and budget.

Evaluation of the grant projects will be carried out immediately after the end of the project by the working committee and results reported back to the COA and Friends of the COA.