Rapp finds niche at nonprofit organization

  • September 7, 2012

By Robert Walch

Sitting in his Garden Road office, Robert Rapp, development director for Community Human Services (CHS), reflected on his first eight months with the organization, which provides behavioral health services to the residents of Monterey County.

Rapp works under Robin McCrae, the chief executive officer of CHS, and handles all of the federal, state and private foundation grants. Rapp also maintains the donor database and is the “point person” for various fundraising and awareness events the organization sponsors.

A seven-person staff works out of the administrative office, which backs up to Highway 68, but CHS has a clinic and family service center in Salinas and operates Genesis House, Elm House and another family service center in Seaside. The organization also provides youth services at two locations in Monterey.

Part of Rapp’s job involves writing grants that provide some of the funding CHS needs to operate. Rapp estimates that he handles between 20 to 30 grants a year. In some cases the grants are renewable, while others necessitate beginning from scratch.

Some applications are fairly simple, but others are quite lengthy and “intense,” he said. They can vary from a single-page letter to an application an inch thick. The longer grants can take as long as two weeks to write.

The monetary value of the grants can range from $500 to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Although he has a pretty good sense of what is available locally and from governmental sources, Rapp said he continues to do research to find new sources of funds.

“Usually people don’t come to us and offer money. We have to go out and request it, and it is a competitive situation,” he explained. “There is a certain amount of sharing of information about grant availability among nonprofits, too.”

Reflecting on the economy, Rapp said all grant money is getting “tighter” and the process is becoming even more competitive.

He also helps oversee some of the community events and gatherings CHS sponsors. Recently he was on hand for the graduation held at Genesis House, which is a state-licensed, residential substance-abuse treatment program for men and women 18 and older.

Sitting in his Garden Road office, Robert Rapp, development director for Community Human Services (CHS), reflected on his first eight months with the organization, which provides behavioral health services to the residents of Monterey County.

Rapp works under Robin McCrae, the chief executive officer of CHS, and handles all of the federal, state and private foundation grants. Rapp also maintains the donor database and is the “point person” for various fundraising and awareness events the organization sponsors.

A seven-person staff works out of the administrative office, which backs up to Highway 68, but CHS has a clinic and family service center in Salinas and operates Genesis House, Elm House and another family service center in Seaside. The organization also provides youth services at two locations in Monterey.

Part of Rapp’s job involves writing grants that provide some of the funding CHS needs to operate. Rapp estimates that he handles between 20 to 30 grants a year. In some cases the grants are renewable, while others necessitate beginning from scratch.

Some applications are fairly simple, but others are quite lengthy and “intense,” he said. They can vary from a single-page letter to an application an inch thick. The longer grants can take as long as two weeks to write.

The monetary value of the grants can range from $500 to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Although he has a pretty good sense of what is available locally and from governmental sources, Rapp said he continues to do research to find new sources of funds.

“Usually people don’t come to us and offer money. We have to go out and request it, and it is a competitive situation,” he explained. “There is a certain amount of sharing of information about grant availability among nonprofits, too.”

Reflecting on the economy, Rapp said all grant money is getting “tighter” and the process is becoming even more competitive.

He also helps oversee some of the community events and gatherings CHS sponsors. Recently he was on hand for the graduation held at Genesis House, which is a state-licensed, residential substance-abuse treatment program for men and women 18 and older.

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