Starting a Domestic Violence Program
by riverasierra, Window Shopper
- Created: August 29, 2010, 6:14 pm
Many offline questions out of the transitional housing thread have asked me about setting up a domestic violence shelter or counseling service as a government contractor. So, here goes.
Domestic violence programs throughout the United States are governed by State law but funded by both federal and state sources. Almost universally, a domestic violence program is a nonprofit activity and, therefore, requires a nonprofit corporation with a 501(c)(3) tax exemption (IRS Form 1023).
At the state level, many of the providers have been providers for years so, when the state RFP comes out, they are often assured of funding and it seems impossible to 'break in.' That said, the environment is changing and many of the old line DV agencies are getting it. DV agencies can no longer just provide SAFETY and SUPPORT FOR SAFETY and expect continued funding forever. The government is now requiring a third 'S' and that stands for SUCCESS. This means that, increasingly, government funders are seeing DV programs as trauma based case management programs that need to do more than just shelter and support and must be involved in fully preparing a survivor for effective participation in the real world of employment and the like. So, if you are interested in setting up a program and are willing to coordinate your counseling with the local one-stop center or workforce development agency, you may have found a hole in the armor.
Generally, the three funding sources are the state (through their office for domestic violence), the feds (through their Violence Against Women office) and foundations.
While this is business.gov and we are talking about nonprofits, you should understand that the subtle difference between a for profit and a nonprofit is that the nonprofit has to put excess revenue back into the activity. The salary, however, can be the same.
Let's see if this stimulates a thread.
José A. Rivera, JD
President & CEO
Rivera, Sierra & Company, Inc.
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