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Section 4: Meeting Logistics

SART Formation SART Operations  

SART Formation

Strategic Planning

A strategic plan will help to crystalize a SART’s purpose and operations. These plans are organizational blueprints that provide guidance in fluid, unpredictable environments. [1] Strategic planning is ideally an ongoing process that often drives agencies and individuals to focus on the highest-impact actions that lead to the most important outcomes. [2]

SARTs should start the strategic planning process by creating a vision statement that defines the SART’s purpose in one sentence. You can then expand the vision statement into a mission statement, which is a paragraph that lays out what the SART will do in your community. Then you can expand the vision and mission statements to become goals your SART will develop at an agreed-upon interval, usually yearly. From these yearly goals, your SART can create objectives, which expand the goals into actionable items the SART will complete throughout the year.

SARTs, like organizations without a strategic plan or long-term vision, tend to be task-based and may lose momentum after completion of a large project or mitigation of a crisis. SARTs with a strategic plan seek to incorporate each task or project into a larger plan. Thinking long term enables SARTs to plan differently for each project, including follow-up, monitoring, and evaluating efforts, and maintaining momentum after projects and when there are no crises.

This section of the SART Toolkit covers aspects of strategic planning, including forming vision, mission, goals and objectives, and will be important to creating a logic model later in the SART Toolkit.

Strategic Planning Resources

The Community Toolbox

The toolbox offers step-by-step instructions, checklists, and related resources to help in the strategic planning process.

Harvard Business Review

This site provides a search function that links to current information related to many aspects of business.

Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) Functioning and Effectiveness: Findings from the National SART Project (PDF, 73 pages)

Section five of this report discusses implications for SARTs, including membership, infrastructure, and coordination.

Strategic Planning Toolkit

This toolkit developed by the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) covers preparation, implementation, communication, and evaluation.

Developing Vision and Mission Statements

The strategic planning process begins with the team defining the value and purpose of coming together as a SART. Defining value and purpose informs vision and mission statements. Vision statements are a single sentence that encapsulates what the SART aspires to do long term. The mission statement is usually a paragraph or two that summarizes the SART’s purpose. Vision and mission statements serve equally important but different roles in defining and planning for the success of an organization. [3]

Vision Statements

Vision statements are one-sentence statements that encompass the aspirations of an organization and what effects it hopes to have long term. A vision statement serves as the foundation for mid- and long-term strategic planning and the future decision-making of an organization. [4], [5], [6] Vision statements are not roadmaps or prescribed plans of how an organization will achieve success, but instead define what success will look like in the future.

Vision statements —

  • are future-based,
  • align with the values of the organization,
  • inspire members of the organization,
  • illustrate where the organization aspires to be in the future,
  • provide perspective of the impact an organization will have on the community,
  • are short in length and preferably one sentence, and
  • answer the questions —
    • what is the long-term change that will be realized because of this organization?
    • where is this organization going?

Writing a Vision Statement

When drafting a vision statement, think big. Be creative, ambitious, and concise. SARTs should discuss the purpose of each agency’s role in the SART and determine the core values of the SART. [7]

As you craft your vision statement — [8], [9]

  • contemplate where your organization will be 5 to 10 years in the future, and if that is a timeframe in which the agencies want to participate in a SART;
  • be passionate and ambitious;
  • focus on what success will look like;
  • use simple, clear language to express the message;
  • be specific and avoid organizational or discipline-specific terminology or jargon; and
  • align the statement with the values the agencies have agreed upon for the SART.

Mission Statements

Sample mission statement: “The mission of the SART is to empower, support, and promote healing of persons of all racial, social, religious, and economic groups, ages, gender, disabilities, lifestyles, or sexual orientation victimized by sexual assault.” [10]

Effective mission statements are inspirational. Mission statements succinctly explain the purpose of an organization in a paragraph or less. They declare what an organization does, how it is accomplished, whom they serve, and what value they provide. Mission statements are for the members of an organization and the customers and consumers. [11]

Mission statements —

  • are present-based;
  • provide answers to why an organization exists for community members, in and outside of the organization;
  • offer framework, structure, and direction for the SART;
  • define the purpose and what it will achieve;
  • are one to two sentences long and generally do not to exceed 250 words; and
  • answer the questions —
    • what is going to be done?
    • who will be served?
    • why does this organization exist?

Writing a Mission Statement

Successful mission statements meet the following objectives: [12]

  • Reflect the long-term vision of the organization,
  • Summarize the organization’s priorities,
  • Have specificity,
  • Convey the values of the organization,
  • Are written in the present tense,
  • Are concise,
  • Are memorable,
  • Are developed by the entire team, and
  • Evolve with the organization.

In writing a mission statement, it can be helpful for a SART to think — [13]

  • who are the people we serve?
  • what services do we offer?
  • in what environment do we operate?
  • what is the basic technology being utilized?
  • how will we grow and be sustained for financial success?
  • what are our basic beliefs and core values?
  • what are our greatest strengths and advantages?
  • what is our public image?
  • what is our attitude towards our team members?

Vision and Mission Statement Resources

How to Write a Good Vision Statement

This guide by Cascade covers the process of developing a vision statement and includes examples.

A Step-by-Step Exercise for Creating a Mission Statement (PDF, 17 pages)

This resource from Nonprofit Hub guides a group through the process of writing a mission statement. It includes exercises, with the approximate amount of time needed for each exercise.

Planning: Defining Goals and Objectives

Once a SART develops vision and mission statements, the next step in the strategic planning process is to drill down to define goals and objectives. Goals provide a framework for more detailed levels of planning. Objectives, on the other hand, are specific, quantifiable, and time-bound statements of tasks you want to accomplish or results you want to achieve.


Goals are more specific than mission statements. One of the most important questions to address in creating goals is "Will the goals support the SART's vision and mission?" In addition, you may want to address priorities synthesized from community needs assessment surveys.

Goals encompass a relatively long period or have no stated time period. They should address gaps between the current and desired level of service. According to the Strategic Planning Toolkit, goals and objectives are often used interchangeably, but they are different. [14]



Are broad.

Are narrow.

Include general intentions.

Are precise.

Are intangible.

Are tangible.

Are abstract.

Are concrete.

Are not tied to a timeframe.

Are always tied to a timeframe.

The statements below are examples of real goals that a Baltimore SART developed and documented in their SART Annual Report dated Oct. 5, 2011: [15]

  • Creation of a protocol for addressing and transferring calls made to the helpline from Turn Around to the Baltimore Police Department.
  • Request and review of a legal opinion regarding inclusion of external parties in the audit.
  • Development of training for Baltimore City Police’s audit team, as well as for the sex offense detectives.
  • Exploration of case management software to aid in tracking and managing cases across agencies.
  • Submission of a grant to support SART activities to the Governor’s Office on Crime Control and Prevention through the Edward J. Byrne Memorial.

Your SART should examine your own needs and develop goals based on those needs.

Goal Resources

Sample Organizational Goals (Microsoft Word, 1 page)

This is a sample, developed by The Management Center, of how to structure clear, measurable, organizational goals.


The crux of writing realistic objectives is learning what changes need to happen to fulfill your mission and goals. It is generally best to start with objectives that have short-term action steps that are attainable and tangible. This strategy gives you early and positive results from which to build your SART's next steps. Objectives should be — [16]

  • specific: Objectives should reflect specific, desired accomplishments. They need to be detailed and compatible with sexual assault response policies, protocols, and state, local, tribal, or military ordinances and statutes.
  • measurable: Objectives must be measurable so that SARTs can determine when they have been accomplished.
  • achievable: Objectives are standards for achievement. They may be challenging, but they should not demand the impossible.
  • relevant: Objectives need to specify a result; for example, "provide private waiting areas for victims at exam sites."
  • timed: Objectives need to specify a relatively short timeframe—from a few weeks to no more than a year.
  • challenging: Objectives stretch the SART to make significant improvements.

When developing your objectives, include problems to be resolved within social, legal, economic, political, and policy contexts. In other words, brainstorm what is being done to address sexual violence and by whom and whether there are recent events or social or economic trends and policy shifts that could affect your objectives.

In addition, consider past efforts to respond to the same or closely related needs, the consequences and lessons learned from those efforts, and what additional knowledge is needed to proceed successfully. For example, are there innovative practices in other jurisdictions that are relevant to your objectives? To what extent could you adapt and incorporate them into your own?

Setting attainable objectives requires a system you can follow to prioritize them. To start, consider using the following chart:


Priority Rationale

Must Do

Objectives that are important and feasible.

Important to Try

Objectives that are important but will be difficult to accomplish.

Easy to Do

Objectives that are easy to accomplish but may not be very important. Making these objectives a priority provides speedy benchmarks for success.

Last Resort

Objectives of low importance that are difficult to complete.

You also may want to consider completing a self-assessment grid — a tool that allows you to score organizations on their organizational capacity, determining where they are strong and where they need work. In other words, the grid can help you identify infrastructures that support your objectives, thereby enabling you to identify those objectives that are most feasibly accomplished.

Action Plan

Action plans lay out the main steps in carrying out a specific objective. In addition to the steps, action plans can include the responsible persons, completion dates, and resources required. Your plan also should document potential barriers and potential allies to engage so that you can address challenges proactively.

Action Step

Persons Responsible

Date Completed

Resources Required

Potential Barriers or Resistance


What will happen?

Who will do what?

Timing of each action step.

Resources and support (what is needed and what is available).

Individuals or agencies that may oppose the plan.

Who else should know about or be involved in this action?

A sample action plan showing the mission, goal, and two objectives follows:

Mission: To ensure the coordination of a consistent, competent, respectful, victim-centered response to sexual violence.

Goal: To promote collaborative partnerships.

Objective 1: Establish a SART comprising an investigator, prosecutor, health care professional, forensic laboratory specialist, victim advocate, and civil legal attorney.

Action Step


Date Completed




Set an introductory SART meeting time and location.


Invite potential team members.


Host introductory team meeting.


Obtain commitment from members.


Decide future meeting times.


Develop vision and mission statements.


Develop core team values.


Define team members' roles and responsibilities.


Objective 2: Develop multidisciplinary protocols. For more information, see the SART Protocol section of the SART Toolkit.

Action Steps


Date Completed




Determine which problems or barriers impede victim participation in the criminal justice system.


Obtain statistics — the rate and types of sexual violence.


Compile records of existing resources.


Survey victims and the community.


Write a report from survey data.


Identify which policies, procedures, or laws need to be changed or introduced.


Identify and prioritize issues to address.


Complete role and responsibility matrix for each agency.


Create a SART protocol based on roles and responsibilities.


Create written interagency agreements or MOUs.


Train agency staff on SART protocols and guidelines.


Monitor implementation of protocols.


Evaluate effectiveness of protocols.


SART Sustainability

Sustainability, or maintaining momentum, is an important aspect of SART work. Keeping your SART engaged and working productively over the long term is critical to achieving its ultimate goals. SARTs that make or maintain progress are likely to have support from agency leaders.

SARTs often experience challenges that are reoccurring complications, rather than a one-time challenge. For example, SARTs that focus on sustainability, answering “How do we make this decision last?” are likely to develop processes that can be replicated, allowing team members to focus on the next concern. Implementing formal processes ensures that SARTs can move away from a constant loop of reinvention toward a solid line of progress.

Resources outside of SART literature can also provide insight into sustaining team engagement. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, [17] the following characteristics are necessary for teams to function efficiently:

  • A deep sense of purpose and commitment to the team’s members and to the mission.
  • More ambitious performance goals than average teams.
  • Mutual accountability and a clear understanding of members’ responsibilities and obligations to the team.
  • A diverse range of expertise that complements other team members.
  • Interdependence and trust between members.

The Society for Human Resource Management’s Developing and Sustaining High-Performance Work Teams Toolkit, as well as the SART Meeting Dynamics and Relationships section of the SART Toolkit, provide resources in each of the areas listed above.

Specific to SARTs, existing research identifies the following challenges: [18]

  • Organizational barriers
  • Acquiring broad-based participation
  • Conflicting goals
  • Role confusion and conflict
  • Confidentiality

SART sustainability is often connected to sexual assault forensic examiner (SAFE) sustainability. Although the two are interrelated and both impact the SART, the two are distinct concerns and should be treated as such. For example, SARTs may be instrumental to providing services to victims, procuring funding, or advocating with the hospital for a SAFE.

For additional information on SAFE sustainability, refer to the SAFE/SANE Sustainability section of the SART Toolkit.

Sustainability Strategies

Given the different ways SARTs can organize, as well as the different opportunities and challenges present in their communities and the communities they serve, there is no single answer for how to keep a team engaged and effective. A solution that fits for a team at one stage of its development may not fit at another stage.

Throughout the SART Toolkit, there are resources to create, sustain, or revise effective team habits. Consult the relevant sections in the SART Toolkit:

In addition, you might consider the following strategies: [19], [20]

  • Identify local and national technical assistance (TA) providers that can problem-solve and tailor strategies with you and your team.

  • Seek training on SART-related topics or specifically for SART leaders to get tools and ideas for strengthening the team.
  • Secure funding to support the SART’s work. Funding may support a team coordinator, help fund team projects, support training for individuals or the team, support a collaborative team project, or provide a means to contract for expertise or additional assistance. For more information, see the Funding a SART section of the SART Toolkit.
  • Look for opportunities to network and share information with other SARTs. Find the person or agency that coordinates support for SARTs in your state or territory and join the National SART Email Group hosted by the NSVRC.
  • Investigate whether more formalization of your team’s work might strengthen the team. In addition to the SART Toolkit sections identified above, see Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) Functioning and Effectiveness: Findings From the National SART Project for a place to start.
  • Evaluate or assess your team’s work or its work together. See the Evaluation or Promoting Teamwork sections of the SART Toolkit.
  • Consider whether SART involvement in community education or prevention activities might bring energy to the team. According to one survey, SARTs are involved in rape prevention in the community (23 percent of SARTs), in schools (15 percent of SARTs), and with peer education in colleges (16 percent of SARTs). [21] If funding rules do not restrict SART involvement with prevention, SARTs can invite local sexual violence prevention specialists to identify useful points of collaboration.
  • Use the SART Toolkit as a resource and incorporate recommendations from the SART Toolkit into your team’s ongoing work.
  • Identify challenges other SARTs experience and develop a means to address those challenges before they occur.
  • Develop an onboarding training for new members that covers protocol and information related to your team, response, and community.
  • Identify legislation that presents barriers for victims, agencies, or the community. The SART Toolkit provides examples, such as in the Strangulation section.
  • Identify and implement ways to recognize and address vicarious trauma.
  • Recruit volunteers or interns to support SARTs with specific tasks or ongoing struggles.

Sustaining your team through all its growth phases can be challenging but is worth the effort. SARTs that stay effective over the long haul are much more likely to see their improvement efforts sustained.

Both the National Protocol for Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examinations Adult/Adolescent 2nd Edition and the National Protocol for Sexual Abuse Medical Forensic Examinations — Pediatric recommend coordinated team approaches as the best practice for response to sexual assault. This reinforces the necessity for communities to support these teams’ efforts.

SART Sustainability Resources

Be a STAR: A Tool to Assess and Improve Team Effectiveness

The tool is based on the STAR Model developed by complexity scholar Brenda Zimmerman, Ph.D. The STAR Model includes four features that allow teams to work effectively: same and different, talking and listening, authentic work, and reason for being.

Are We Making a Difference? Resources for Sexual Assault Response Teams Assessing Systems Change

This interactive website from the Sexual Violence Justice Institute at Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault includes resources on the basics of SARTs and evaluation.

Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) Functioning and Effectiveness: Findings From the National SART Project (PDF, 73 pages)

Section five of this report by Megan Greeson, Rebecca Campbell, and Deborah Bybee discusses implications for SARTs, including membership, infrastructure, and coordination.

Collaboration Resources

Collaboration Assessment Tool
This tool by the Prevention Institute (PI) allows multidisciplinary coalitions to identify strengths and areas of growth and enables them to gauge progress over time.

Collaboration Framework — Addressing Community Capacity
Using this tool by the University of Minnesota can help individuals and practitioners who are either starting collaborations or need help in strengthening an existing collaboration.

Collaboration Multiplier
This tool by the Prevention Institute helps multidisciplinary coalitions evaluate each partner's skills.

Community Organizational Assessment Tool
This tool by the University of Wisconsin–Extension guides a group discussion about how a team is functioning and includes easily adaptable questions regarding the amount of improvement needed.

The Tension of Turf: Making It Work for the Coalition
This resource developed by the Prevention Institute discusses common types of turf struggles and reasons they occur and lists recommendations for limiting the negative aspects of "turf."

Wilder Collaboration Factors Inventory
This inventory assesses the factors that influence the success of a collaboration.

Nonprofit Management Resources

Alliance for Nonprofit Management
This organization provides links to publications that describe nonprofit capacity building and includes a searchable database of resources for nonprofit organizations.

Center for Nonprofit Management
The Center for Nonprofit Management provides Southern California nonprofit organizations with employment news, a resource library, a compensation and benefits survey, technology surveys, a fundraising database, and a free e-newsletter.
This site provides links to a community action center, tools for organizations, a volunteer management resource center, and a nonprofit human resources center. It also includes an FAQ section.

Managing Your Nonprofit's Finances and Taxes
These tips offered at the Free Management Library by Authenticity Consulting, LLC help organizations understand financial management and build the basic systems and practices needed in a healthy nonprofit organization.

Management Center

The Management Center develops and provides resources and trainings that are useful to a variety of organizations, including SARTs. They have a focus on inclusive tools that focus on various kinds of learning and diverse backgrounds.

Program Planning and Management
This guide offered at the Free Management Library by Authenticity Consulting, LLC contains guidelines for program planning, management, marketing, and evaluation.

Team Capacity-Building Resources

Capacity Building
This resource by Carter McNamara, MBA, Ph.D., Authenticity Consulting, LLC includes links to articles on capacity building and publications and tools on organizational management, program designs, volunteer management, and business planning.

Community Tool Box: Analyzing Community Problems and Solutions (Chapter 17)
This chapter discusses the decision-making process, critical thinking, and how to come up with solutions.

Community Tool Box: Choosing and Adapting Community Interventions (Chapter 19)

This chapter covers how to choose and adapt community interventions.

OVC Strategic Planning Toolkit
The OVC Strategic Planning Toolkit serves as a guide for the strategic planning process.

Rural Health Information Hub
The Rural Health Information Hub helps rural stakeholders access the full range of available programs, funding, and research that can enable them to provide quality health and human services to rural residents.

Toolkit for Program Sustainability, Capacity Building, and Volunteer Recruitment/Management (PDF, 45 pages)
This toolkit by the Corporation for National and Community Service defines sustainability, provides guidance on developing a sustainability plan, and gives recommended strategies for capacity-building activities.

Volunteer Resources

Developing and Managing Volunteer Programs
This resource, developed by Carter McNamara, MBA, Ph.D., Authenticity Consulting, LLC reviews staffing analysis, job and task descriptions, recruitment, screening, orientation and training, and supervision.

e-Volunteerism: The Electronic Journal of the Volunteerism Community
e-Volunteerism serves as a quarterly e-newsletter for the volunteer community.

Internship in a Box (PDF, 12 pages)
This resource from Campus Philly gives step-by-step instructions for organizations to create meaningful internship programs and apprenticeships. It includes a planning guide, instructions for implementation, best practices, evaluation forms, and more.

Volunteer Management Resource Library
This list developed by Energ!ze Inc. provides selected articles on volunteering.

Who's Lending a Hand: A National Survey of Nonprofit Volunteer Screening Practices (PDF, 28 pages)
This document by the National Center for Victims of Crime covers the current volunteer screening practices of human services nonprofit organizations in the United States.

Working With Volunteers
This resource by Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children (CASA) describes ways to recruit, screen, train, and retain volunteers.

Funding a SART

Funding can provide crucial support to a SART’s efforts. Without funding, SARTs solely depend upon the time and resources of team member organizations to support their work. Understandably, when resources get tight or demands for services are high, this often means less time and money is devoted to the team and to the collaborative work of making systems change. SART sustainability is enhanced when the team develops a strategic plan that includes advocating for funding and identifies long-term goals that require resources.

Assessing the community’s needs and developing an evaluation process can enhance a SART’s ability to advocate for funding using community-specific information and trends in grant narratives as well as in a SART’s ability to accurately report the results of their efforts to funders.

If the SART’s work is successful, pressure on resources increases as more victims disclose to one or more of the team member’s agencies, as victims become more confident they will get the support and assistance they need. In this way, successful SART collaborative work often leads to more agency work. A SART that has allocated funding for its efforts can better support this growth and ensure that time and money are not diverted from other important services. [22]

Common ways that SARTs use funding include —

  • financing a SART coordinator position,
  • developing new training or covering costs of team members to attend training,
  • reimbursing for team members’ time or mileage to attend team meetings,
  • covering costs associated with focus groups or engaging community and victim feedback,
  • translating materials,
  • conducting community education, and
  • contracting for outside help or expertise in evaluation or another team project.

Discussions about funding sources, fundraising, grant applications, and grant requirements may be a trust-building exercise for some SARTs, particularly newer SARTs, SARTs with less formal structures, or SARTs that are not an independent entity.

When discussing funding, SARTs need to consider —

  • what needs to be added or improved to strengthen our sexual assault response or prevention efforts?
  • what do we need resources for? How much money is needed?
  • if we need to write a grant application, who has the time and expertise to do this? Do we need to hire someone? Who will cover this cost?
  • who will serve as the fiscal agent? Will that person be compensated? Where will funds be held? Which organizations will have access to the funds?
  • if cooperative agreements are required, are the agencies involved supportive of this effort?
  • if monetary matches from member organizations are required, is that possible for them to do?
  • if positions are created, who gets the position for their agency or program?
  • what is the sustainability plan? Once the grant or funding support ends, how will we continue doing the work?

Answering these questions and preparing a grant application, or conducting fundraising activities, may take a year or longer to complete. Most federal agencies will host pre-application conference calls to walk applicants through the RFP/solicitation process. Get involved in these invaluable calls to receive additional information for successful grant writing.

There is no best way for SARTs to manage their current or future finances other than to develop a sustainable plan that includes accountability. Giving the team time to work through concerns, creating a sustainable plan and taking actionable steps will help ensure accountable, successful plans.

Potential Funding Sources

The National Sexual Assault Response Team Survey 2009 found that SARTs receive money from federal, state, and local government sources, corporate and foundation funds, and fundraising. The percentage of funds for SARTs from a given sector can vary. In 2009, the largest percentage of survey respondents reported receiving federal funding, while in 2005, the largest percentage reported receiving state funds. [23]

The Office of Victims of Crime (OVC) and the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), both at the U.S. Department of Justice, are significant sources of funding for multidisciplinary collaborations such as SARTs. The following are some of the grant funds most commonly used by SARTs: [24]

  • OVC provides Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) formula grants to state agencies designated by the governor to administer the VOCA victim compensation and assistance programs. VOCA funding allows for multi-system, interagency, multidisciplinary response to victim needs. Activities that support a coordinated and comprehensive response to crime victim needs by direct service providers include, but are not limited to, payment of salaries and expense of direct service staff serving on child and adult abuse multidisciplinary investigation and treatment teams; coordination with federal agencies to provide services to victims of federal crimes; and participation on statewide or other task forces, work groups, and committees to develop protocols, interagency, and other working agreements. SARTs can form, expand, and apply for VOCA grant opportunities on direct service programs as partnerships.

  • The OVW has several funding streams:
    • The STOP Violence Against Women Formula Grant Program (federal funds awarded to states and territories).
    • Nationally, VAWA 2013 enabled STOP funds to support “developing, implementing, or enhancing Sexual Assault Response Teams, or other similar coordinated community responses to sexual assault,” although how these funds are administered and who is eligible to use the funds can vary by state. [25]
  • Improving criminal justice responses to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking grant program (also known as grants to encourage arrest policies and enforcement of protection orders).
  • · Rural sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking assistance program.
  • Tribal governments program.
  • Grants to reduce sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking on campus program.
  • State and territorial sexual assault and domestic violence coalitions program.

These grants and more can be found at

Your SART’s application for grant funding — especially from foundations — may compete with requests by local service providers. It is important for teams to discuss who will apply to what source for what purpose. Organizations and SARTs may be able to leverage their collaborative agreements for increased impact and stronger applications, depending on the funder.

Private Grant Funding Sources

Often sexual violence organizations, including SARTs, are almost exclusively government funded. This puts SARTs in danger of losing funding when administrations or fiscal priorities change.

Foundations can play a critical role in addressing gender-based violence and often have fewer restrictions on how grant funds can be used. While there are some national foundations, SARTs might be more successful securing funds from state, local, and community foundations.

Diversifying funding sources will make SARTs more economically self-sufficient and sustainable. Many foundations only provide grants to nonprofit organizations (IRS determination of 501(c)(3) status). SARTs should discuss and consider the advantages and challenges of becoming a 501(c)(3) organization. The following resources are examples of national and local foundations that support programs addressing gender-based violence:

As a national grant maker, Ms. Foundation supports organizations at all levels, from grassroots to state and national organizations. The organization believes that women most directly impacted by an issue are the real experts and they select groups that are of the community they work in. Ms. Foundation provides grants in the area of women’s safety and is committed to ending gender-based violence.

The Community Foundation’s General Operating Support cycle provides nonprofits with unrestricted funding to achieve their missions. The Common Good Fund is an unrestricted fund that focuses primarily on general operating support for nonprofit organizations.

The Communities Foundation of Texas manages the W.W. Caruth, Jr. Foundation Grants, which funds projects in public safety for nonprofit organizations in Texas.

Fundraising Activities That Educate and Inform

Fundraising is a great way to achieve multiple objectives: raise money, engage the community, and offer information on services and supports. Nonprofit agencies are often adept at hosting these kinds of fundraisers, but governmental organizations can host them as well, or throw their support to the efforts of their nonprofit partners.

Fundraising is an opportunity to be creative, tell your story, and relate to your community. Network for Good has 72 Fundraising Ideas [26] and offers an active blog called The Nonprofit Fundraising Blog [27] for best practices.

Many fundraising efforts focus on the local community. Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) campaigns often hold fundraising efforts asking local coffeeshops, stores, and restaurants to collaborate and hold local events with discounts, proceeds for purchase, or donations of proceeds from their sales.

Accessing recreational activities likes walks and 5K runs and local creative arts such as live theater, music, art exhibits, and book or poetry readings are also ways in which communities tend to organize fundraising events. [28]

Below are some examples of community-wide fundraising activities:

  • Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC) holds a community walk for change. [29]
  • Getting community members to ask for donations on their birthdays instead of receiving gifts they may not need is one way the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) engages in online fundraising. [30]
  • Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR) raises funds with the Vision of Hope Fund and Gala. [31]
  • Many communities participate with local judges, police officers, military personnel, and community members in the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event. [32]

Funding Opportunities for SARTs

The Center for Nonprofit Excellence

This organization provides education, consulting, and resources to create strong leaders, effective managers, and healthy collaborators, to ensure that nonprofits have the tools they need to be competent, operate with integrity, and maximize their impact.
This site enables users to find and apply for federal grants and to sign up for email notifications about upcoming funding opportunities.

It Happened To Alexa Foundation
While this organization does not provide funding for SARTs, it may be good for members to know about as one of the only sources known that assists rape victims' families with travel expenses during the criminal justice process.

National Sexual Violence Resource Center
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center provides access to an online database of funding announcements.

National Victim Assistance Academy Textbook, Chapter 22, Section 8: Funding for Victim Services
This chapter describes major sources of federal funding for victim service programs, fundamental concepts and challenges to fundraising, grant writing, grant seeking on the internet, cause-related marketing, fundraising skills, funding sources, and promising practices in fundraising for victim services.

Network for Good
Network for Good provides information about online fundraising and other support for nonprofit organizations.

State Legislative Approaches to Funding for Victims' Services
This OVC Bulletin includes information on offender-based funding, including surcharges for specific crimes, restitution, funding through fees, and state-facilitated funding.

Grant Writing Resources

Best Practices Guide for Grant Writing (PDF, 8 pages)
This document by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) describes the typical content of grant proposals and includes tips on planning, writing, and formatting grant proposals and finding funding resources.

The Grantsmanship Center
This organization includes links to resources and publications for grant seekers.

Grant Proposal Writing

These resources listed by UW-Madison Libraries provide tips on writing grants for federal, non-governmental, and research funding.

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