Nine local non-profit organisations recently received a combined CI$250,000 as the recipients of the 2019 Dart Grants.
Launched earlier this year, Dart Grants is a new programme of fixed grants intended to optimise Dart’s positive impact on the local community by providing targeted support to well-run, registered non-profits with high-value work in the areas of youth development, education or the environment.
Dart Chief Executive Officer Mark VanDevelde said developing the local community is central to Dart’s purpose in the Cayman Islands.
“Dart Grants is intended to help well-run, local non-profit organisations scale their positive impact and improve quality of life in the Cayman Islands,” he said. “Either directly or indirectly, education, the environment and youth development underpin a sustainable economy.”
Special Needs Foundation Cayman received this year’s CI$50,000 Dart Grant in support of its Inclusion Programme, while the Alex Panton Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Cayman’s Acts of Random Kindness, the Cayman Islands Sailing Club, Literacy Is For Everyone and the Stingray Swim Club each received CI$25,000 Dart Grants.
Special Needs Foundation Chief Executive Officer Susie Bodden said the Foundation’s Inclusion Programme is the product of a partnership with U.S.-based The Haring Center, a leader in inclusive education.
“This CI$50,000 Dart Grant will enable us to increase the number of school places available in mainstream education for children with special needs, improve the stability and success of placements where they already exist and deliver professional development and coaching to local educators,” she said.
In total, the Dart Grants programme received 50 applications from local non-profits this year. After being checked for basic eligibility requirements and alignment with the three areas of focus, 30 applicants were shortlisted for further consideration. The shortlisted applications were evaluated by two separate teams of internal reviewers against six criteria chosen to ensure objectivity.
Dart’s approximately 400 employees were then invited to vote for the recipient of the CI$50,000 Dart Grant from the three top-scoring finalists.
“I would like to thank all applicants to the 2019 Dart Grants programme for supporting this new initiative and congratulate all applicants who made it through the competitive, two-stage application process,” said VanDevelde. “Working together we can better our community.”