The Columbia-based Center for Grant Development has helped raise almost $500,000 in its pilot year for local nonprofit groups, organizers said.
The center was created by the United Way of Central Maryland, the Columbia Foundation, Howard County General Hospital and county government during the summer of 1994 to help the more than 150 private and public social service organizations in Howard.
"Howard County is down in the ranks of jurisdictions to be funded," said Beverly Wilhide, chairwoman for United Way's Community Partnership of Howard County. "Because we have an extremely high level of income, who would think we have homeless here?"
The center's manager provides groups with a database of funding sources and teaches them grant development skills, said Toni Volk, executive director of the local United Way.
The center was directly involved in proposals that brought $467,000 in new funding from philanthropic groups and corporations for projects dealing with families and children, conflict resolution, and welfare reform, Ms. Volk said.
As government cuts back on funding for nonprofits, "people are going to need the services more than ever," Ms. Volk said.