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Clapping Audience

Advancing the Greater Good



The City of Peoria Boosts Community Safety by Teaching Local Organizations How to Fundraise

The Peoria Police Department strives to improve the quality of life of Peoria residents by partnering with the community as well as fostering partnerships within the community.

The Impact

The initial 2-day workshop took place in April 2023, with 15+ organizations participating.

Right away, the gathering fostered vibrant relationships and potential collaborations between local NPOs. It was clear that many new connections were happening in the room between representatives of various local organizations who didn’t necessarily know what others were working on and had never thought about partnering before.

"If we had had someone who came in in a three-piece suit and stood up there with a pointer and talked at people, that wouldn't have worked. We needed someone who was going to be willing to really have conversations and care. And that's what Kristin did with us." ~Jennie Urquiza-Whitiker


The attendees also saw the police department as a big supporter of their efforts. It was confidence-boosting for these organizations to feel like the city supported them and was invested in their success 


Based on the early success of the first workshop, the Police Department signed AltruNext to facilitate eight more sessions, including Grantwriting 101, and a new follow-up course: 201.


This is a truly win-win-win situation for the Police Department, local NPOs, and the community as these three entities work together to reduce violence in Peoria.

Key Project Elements
  • Proposal Writing

  • Fund Development Plan

  • Staff and Board Coaching

  • Prospect Research

  • Grant Writing

  • Training

The Client

The Challenge

In 2021, Peoria was listed as the 21st most dangerous city in the United States. The Peoria Police Department was motivated to take steps toward making the city safer.


In 2022, The Peoria Police Department won a grant that included a $500k allotment for community-based, violence prevention grants. Five deserving local organizations were chosen as grant recipients. 


But when the PPD did a deeper analysis of the scoring after the selection process, they realized that many smaller organizations had missed out by a tiny margin of just two- or three-tenths of a percentage point.


They decided to come up with a creative way to give smaller organizations a boost. With the support of the Chief of Police, the department came up with an outside-the-box idea: to offer a free, two-day grant writing workshop, open to the public. 


The goal was to help smaller organizations improve their grant-writing skills and acquire more funding as a result. By supporting these organizations, the PD sought to strengthen its partnership with the community and reduce neighborhood violence.


The department reached out to the Grant Professionals Association (GPA), which put them in touch with AltruNext.

The Collaboration Process

Jennie Urquiza-Whitaker (Grants Coordinator) and Mary Peterson (Community Engagement) took the lead on this project for the PD. They knew that the Peoria community would be unimpressed with a self-inflated outsider. Based on their first Zoom call, they felt Kristin’s warm and collaborative style would be just the right fit.


“We knew that we needed someone who had the personality to mesh well with our community —and Kristin fit. So it was very organic. She was the perfect fit for our needs.” ~Jennie Urquiza-Whitiker


After a preliminary discussion, Kristin came back with a draft outline of the training content. They discussed, tweaked, and did several rounds of revision as a team. It was a fruitful collaboration and they got the workshop exactly how they wanted it—a basic overview of grant writing that would give local organizations the tools to unlock funding opportunities right away.


Kristin brought a wealth of knowledge and a collaborative spirit that was appreciated by the participants.

“Kristin didn't walk in and say, ‘I only write $10 million grants. She said every bit counts. And that was great for the audience.”


~Mary Peterson, Community Relations Crime Prevention Manager

How can we help ​increase your organization's impact? 
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