Nine local non-profits selected for 2021 Dart Grants

Dart is proud to announce nine local non-profit organisations as the recipients of the 2021 Dart Grants, providing them with additional funds that can help them better serve the Cayman Islands community.

The Dart Grants programme distributes CI$250,000 annually to local non-profit organisations. Eight of the nine recipients in the fixed-grants programme receive CI$25,000 each, while one receives a CI$50,000 grant.

Pilar Bush, Dart executive vice president with responsibility for community development, said supporting high-impact local community initiatives is central to Dart’s purpose in the Cayman Islands.

“Dart Grants is intended to help well-run, local non-profit organisations scale their positive impact and improve quality of life in the Cayman Islands," she said.

In January, registered non-profit organisations in Cayman were invited to apply for a Dart Grant to support projects that fit within three key areas of focus: education, youth development and the environment.

"These areas of focus for Dart Grants either directly or indirectly underpin a sustainable economy,” said Bush, who thanked all the applicants for the important contribution they make to the Cayman Islands.

"As we learn to live with COVID-19 and its implication on communities all around the world, we know that non-profits have been substantially affected in their ability to raise funds at a time when, in many cases, the need for and importance of their work is even greater," she said. "Local charities play an important role in addressing systemic issues in our community and Dart Grants will help them maximise their positive impact in our community."

Selection process

After the applications were checked for eligibility and alignment with the three areas of focus, a panel of internal reviewers at Dart scored the requests on seven different criteria. Once the nine Dart Grants recipients were chosen, the three top-scoring finalists advanced to the final round of the selection process where all Dart employees had the opportunity to vote for the recipient of the $50,000 grant. This year, that recipient is NCVO Children Services.

The eight recipients of $25,000 grants were Cayman Islands Aquatic Sports Association; Cayman Islands Crisis Centre; Central Caribbean Marine Institute; East End Primary School PTA; Inclusion Cayman; Literacy Is For Everyone; National Gallery of the Cayman Islands; and YMCA Cayman.

Although it was launched in 2019, this was only the second year for the Dart Grants programme because the 2020 programme was suspended in April 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funds earmarked for last year's programme were redirected to COVID-19 relief efforts in the community, which included support for several community food security programmes and financial support of a private-sector initiative to bring COVID-19 testing supplies to the Cayman Islands.

This article appears in print in the April 2021 edition of Camana Bay Times, written by Alan Markoff.