Easy Money for Nonprofits!

Easy Money for Nonprofits!

That’s how many nonprofits view the topic of grants.  One of your board members sees that XYZ Charity, doing work in the same area as your organization, just landed a three-year $100,000 grant from the ABC Foundation…and shouldn’t you drop everything and apply? Um, yes and no. Foundation grantseeking...
Three Ways to Improve Your Foundation Grant Proposal

Three Ways to Improve Your Foundation Grant Proposal

Stop!  Before you send that grant proposal out the door, is there any way you can improve your chances of getting funded? Yes.  If you follow these three tips, you’ll improve your proposal exponentially: 1.  Eliminate jargon.  I worked with a foundation vice president who quite literally took a...
4 Tips to ensure that this grant won’t be your last

4 Tips to ensure that this grant won’t be your last

It came!  That grant proposal that you slaved over for three weeks has resulted in a check for $25,000! You’re particularly psyched because this was your third proposal to the XYZ Foundation (the first two were declined) and it feels like this grant has been years in the making.  Your hard work has...
5 tips for becoming a foundation grants prospect research detective

5 tips for becoming a foundation grants prospect research detective

Nothing quite irritates me more than a fundraising book that instructs the reader to spend one or two days a year at a Foundation Center Cooperating Collections Library and consider their foundation prospect research a done deal. To truly build a base of solid foundation grant support, you’ve got to...
A foundation director shares what resonates with funders

A foundation director shares what resonates with funders

Craig Stewart, president of the Apex/Bruce & Jolene McCaw Family Foundation, recently sat down to chat with the founder of Movie Mondays about what makes a likely candidate for grant funding. Quite simply: Strong boards A 100% commitment to fundraising efforts A CEO who carves out the time to spend...
Do you say thank you when you don’t get the grant?

Do you say thank you when you don’t get the grant?

Before I became a fundraiser in 2000, I spent nearly seven years working for a regional grantmaking foundation. When I came on board, the foundation had only recently transitioned from a casual, privately run organization with the founder and his wife sending out checks to their beloved charities to...
When it comes to grants, “trying” doesn’t cut it

When it comes to grants, “trying” doesn’t cut it

I was struck by a post today on Fundraising Coach Marc Pitman’s blog.  One of Marc’s readers wrote: I am working for a non-profit and recently have begun writing agency grants as well. This organization in the past has never relied on grants, but instead on funding from two fundraisers and the state...
Where’s My Million Dollar Grant?

Where’s My Million Dollar Grant?

Today’s guest post comes from the Wildwoman of Fundraising, Mazarine Treyz, who relates a situation that many of us can relate to. So, you just came into a new nonprofit. In your interview, your potential boss said, “We’re making $500,000 a year now, and I want to ramp up to $1 Million...
What’s the One Secret to Winning Foundation Grants?

What’s the One Secret to Winning Foundation Grants?

“It does not happen all at once. There is no instant pudding.” W. Edwards Deming When a colleague sent me a link to a web page with the following claims and asked me if it was legitimate, I had to smile. Hundreds of Billions Up For Grabs — Every Year! … there are the more than 75,000 foundations...
Live it to write it

Live it to write it

Last week I had the opportunity to meet two sisters, trustees of a regional family foundation.  I had applied for a grant from the foundation on behalf of a local client and a site visit was scheduled.  It was an excellent visit, relaxed, friendly, plenty of great questions, and an unplanned –...
Are your grantwriting ducks in a row?

Are your grantwriting ducks in a row?

It’s Monday morning when, in the course of your foundation prospect research, you discover a regional foundation that: accepts grant proposals, and whose mission aligns ideally with yours The problem?  Their deadline for accepting proposals is Wednesday. No problem, you’re “grant ready” with...
How to build relationships with foundation grant funders

How to build relationships with foundation grant funders

One of the most commonly asked questions I get is “How do I build relationships with foundation grant funders?” It’s a good question because it shows that the asker understands that relationship-building is just as important when it comes to seeking grants as it is in building a sound individual...
Applications not accepted:  Get on their radar!

Applications not accepted: Get on their radar!

Foundation Center President Brad Smith notes that “Nearly half of the grantmaker profiles in Foundation Directory Online state, “Applications not accepted”, i.e., these funders do not take unsolicited proposals.” How can you get on their radar?  Join us for a live chat at 1:00...
Can it be True?  Good News for Grantseekers!

Can it be True? Good News for Grantseekers!

Last week the venerable Chronicle of Philanthropy shared the news, gleaned from a study carried out by Foundation Source, that small to mid-sized grant-making foundations actually exceeded their payout requirements in 2009. Foundations are required by law to spend 5% of their investment assets each year...
A Nifty Tool to Help You Build Relationships With Foundation Funders

A Nifty Tool to Help You Build Relationships With Foundation Funders

What if one simple tool could ensure that you never let a prospective foundation grant slip through your fingers again? In the six years I worked in programming and communications for a grantmaking family foundation I learned a lot about nonprofit management just from observing the grant proposals that...
8 Biggest Grant Proposal Mistakes

8 Biggest Grant Proposal Mistakes

1.  Have you followed the grant application guidelines? When I worked for a grant-making foundation, you wouldn’t believe how many times my colleagues and I would look at each other with dropped jaws:  “Did they even BOTHER to read the guidelines?” we would wonder. It’s truly...
It’s just emotion that’s taken me over … Tied up in sorrow, lost in my soul

It’s just emotion that’s taken me over … Tied up in sorrow, lost in my soul

(With apologies to the Bee Gees …) For six years I worked for a regional private family foundation. It was an amazing learning experience on so many levels, including teaching me how donors respond. In a recent post on Kivi’s Nonprofit Marketing Blog, Kivi notes that people’s hearts tend to...
How Much Should You Request in Your Grant Proposal?  How Much Do You Need?!

How Much Should You Request in Your Grant Proposal? How Much Do You Need?!

One of the most common questions I’m asked is “How do you know how much to request when drafting a foundation grant proposal?” Well, how much do you need? Folks, this isn’t rocket science and I refer, once again, to my constant mantra of “systems, systems, and systems.” Have you been researching...
It’s the Economy Stupid!  What Smart Grantseekers Need to Know to Get Funds in Today’s Economy

It’s the Economy Stupid! What Smart Grantseekers Need to Know to Get Funds in Today’s Economy

“When written in Chinese, the word “crisis” is composed of two characters-one represents danger, and the other represents opportunity.” John Fitzgerald Kennedy The other day I was chatting with a fellow nonprofit consultant on Twitter about business and she noted that “organizations...
Behind the Scenes at a Grantmaking Foundation

Behind the Scenes at a Grantmaking Foundation

Have you ever wondered just exactly what goes on behind the scenes at a private, grantmaking foundation once your proposal is delivered? I was fortunate for the opportunity to work at a private, family foundation for seven years. I worked for them during their early days, when they were just beginning...

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