tep 9 in the text provides an overview of the organizational background component. In 200-300 words, write up a background on the organization you have selected for your project, addressing some of the following components (addressed on page 88 of the text):
a. A brief description of the organization and its mission and vision, as well as a description of how it came to be (its history).
b. The demographics of the community your organization serves, followed by the ways in which both the board members and the staff reflect those demographics. This information is growing steadily in importance to funders, as they want to make sure that the nonprofit is in the best position to truly understand and connect with the community it strives to serve.
c. A description of the organization’s position and role in the community. Who are the organization’s collaborating partners in the community?
d. A discussion of the ways the organization is unique in comparison to others providing similar services.

Winning Grants Step by Step88

Sample Organization Background Component
Swim 4 Life was established as a 501(c)3 organization in 2008 by 2000 Olympic swimming hopeful
Jane Swimmer, who emerged as one of the brightest female swim stars in the United States at the 2000
Games. The mission of Swim 4 Life is to empower youth in underserved communities, through high-
quality programs, to utilize the discipline of swimming to improve physical fi tness, nurture self-esteem,
and acquire the confi dence to advance their lives.

Jane was an eleven-time U.S. National Champion and two-time USA Swimmer of the Year. In 2005,
she started for-profi t swim schools at various community centers in two other counties in Any State.
Inspired by the results achieved at her for-profi t schools, Ms. Swimmer began to explore the idea
of bringing a high-quality program to youth in underserved communities that would off er the
same standard of excellence found in the best private club programs, such as her own. However,
she continued to focus on the for-profi t schools until January 2007, when she conducted a pilot water
safety program at the West Hanover Swim School with fi fty middle and high school students who were
bussed in from ABC Youth (ABCY), a nonprofi t organization that provides enrichment programs in the
Gathentown School District. The results clearly demonstrated that the program could be replicated
eff ectively in a nonprofi t setting.

Because the school lacked the capacity to accommodate growth of Swim 4 Life programs, and
considering the cost of recruiting and transporting youth across the city to the selected site, it was
determined that the optimal pools to use for program sites would be those located in the communities
where the target population lived. The fi rst site chosen was Arthur Schomburg Middle School in South
Spring, where a pool that had been out of service for fi fteen years was about to re-open. In 2008, a
second site was added at the Rockmore Education Complex, a high school near downtown Abbington.
The Adapted Learn-to-Swim program began at the high school in summer 2008 to meet the needs of
students with disabilities.

As of 2006, the Gathentown Unifi ed School District must comply with a statewide mandate to
include aquatics programs in all high school physical education curricula for 9th and 10th grade
students. However, because of poor staff training and long-term cutbacks in funding for physical
education, the district was ill-prepared to teach students to swim despite its large investment in
building nine new high schools with competition-size pools.

Too often, youth in the communities our program targets lack the opportunities, guidance, and/
or family support equal to that of their surrounding counties to provide them the foundation to help
guide them in the right direction. By providing these kids with valuable access to swimming via the
Swim 4 Life program, we endeavor to empower these kids to learn

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