In a landmark initiative to embolden nonprofit organizations with leadership training and organizational capacity building, the national association for leaders of Down syndrome organizations, Down Syndrome Affiliates in Action (DSAIA), has already awarded grants in excess of $11,000 to seven organizations whose missions focus on supporting individuals with Down syndrome.
"DSAIA is committed to building organizational and leadership capacity for Down syndrome support groups, and this funding will help these organizations make a greater impact improving the lives of individuals with Down syndrome and their families in the areas they serve," said DSAIA Executive Director Deanna Tharpe.
Those organizations include: Centre Region Down Syndrome Society, Down Syndrome Association of Greater Toledo, Down Syndrome Association of the Valley, Down Syndrome Network of West Virginia, F.R.I.E.N.D.S. of Frederick County, Lancaster Down Syndrome Advocates, and Miami Valley Down Syndrome Association.
The awarded organizations receive a registration to DSAIA's national leadership conference in St. Louis (Feb. 28 - Mar. 3, 2019) as well as access all DSAIA trainings,tools and resources, including an online library of more than 1,000 templates, documents, samples and how-to’s; monthly professional development webinars and archive of past webinars; discounts on popular products and services; mentoring; accreditation check lists; and more. Additionally, awarded organizations join the DSAIA membership network, which consists of more than 85 other Down syndrome affiliates.
Initial funding for the grant program came from FirstEnergy Corp., one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems, serving more than 6 million customers in the Midwest and mid-Atlantic regions. In turn, DSAIA developed the grant program for organizations that support individuals, families, and communities impacted by Down syndrome and are located within the FirstEnergy service areas of Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, and New Jersey.
Down Syndrome Affiliates in Action is a nonprofit trade association serving Down syndrome associations. DSAIA represents more than 1,000 leaders in the Down syndrome community from over 80 organizations. Our members range from brand new start-ups to 40-year veteran organizations in the U.S. and abroad. DSAIA's mission is to increase member organization’s organizational capacity through collaboration, resource sharing, and networking.