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...
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...
10 Blogs I Always Read

10 Blogs I Always Read

If you’re like me, you don’t have a lot of time to spare.  Every day my workload grows.  Finding the time to get to my own projects is presenting more and more of a challenge.  And every day a new blog pops up in the Internet stratosphere – new opinions, new cutsie names and logos and people...
Nonprofits Need to Lose the “Free” Mindset.  Now.  Please.

Nonprofits Need to Lose the “Free” Mindset. Now. Please.

There’s an old adage (cliche’?) that “you get what you pay for.” Try telling that to nonprofit organizations. Several years back I worked with a small nonprofit agency with an annual budget of approximately half a million dollars.  Early on in my role as development director – and throughout...
… And What Does Cesar Millan Have to Do With Online Giving?

… And What Does Cesar Millan Have to Do With Online Giving?

If Paula Dean provides an example of how a larger than life personality and killer branding can overcome mediocre email marketing, Cesar Millan is a classic example of how an equally big personality gets email marketing right. If you’re not familiar with Cesar, star of the National Geographic show,...
To Engage With Younger Donors … Connect With Them Where They Live

To Engage With Younger Donors … Connect With Them Where They Live

A recent joint study by Convio, Edge Research and Sea Change Strategies, “Early Signals on Mobile Philanthropy:  Is Haiti the Tipping Point?”pointed to some striking statistics on text giving.  Prior to January 12, 2010, “little more than $1 million had been raised via mobile text.” ...
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...
Two Simple Ways to Increase Your Online Giving

Two Simple Ways to Increase Your Online Giving

Several weeks ago I decided to feature a local nonprofit organization I worked with years ago for Twitter’s #CharityTuesday, thinking that I might be able to drive a few extra dollars their way. So I paid a visit to their website to make a donation and copy the url. I searched and searched for...
6 Tips for Collecting Great Nonprofit Stories

6 Tips for Collecting Great Nonprofit Stories

If you’ve been in this field for any length of time, you’ve heard all about how important it is to capture your organization’s story. Most nonprofit marketing bloggers, however, tend to focus solely on one aspect of your organization’s story when, in fact, having an entire cache of stories...
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...
Be a Fearless Grantseeker!

Be a Fearless Grantseeker!

We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot. Eleanor Roosevelt Awhile back I did a poll on the biggest fears grantwriters face in writing a grant proposal. Not surprisingly approaching...
Prepping For Your First Foundation Site Visit

Prepping For Your First Foundation Site Visit

It’s been six weeks since you spent considerable time and effort researching the regional foundations and sending out eight new proposals in support of a planned educational initiative on behalf of your three-year-old community arts organization. So when the phone rings and it’s program officer Samantha...
Foundation Prospect Research – On a Shoestring

Foundation Prospect Research – On a Shoestring

Back in the day when I was running an entire development department alone on a tight budget, I recognized the importance of regular foundation prospecting research. Once a month or so I would trek into Philadelphia to spend a day at the public library researching funders on using Foundation Center,...
Foundations Don’t Fund General Operating Costs – Or Do They?

Foundations Don’t Fund General Operating Costs – Or Do They?

Do you still believe the old fairy tale about how difficult it is to find foundations that support general operating expenses? It’s one of the grantwriting myths that even I bought into. Why not? The foundation that I worked for for a number of years most generally dissuaded grantseekers from applying...
What to do When Your Proposal is Declined.  (Hint:  It’s the Beginning, Not the End!)

What to do When Your Proposal is Declined. (Hint: It’s the Beginning, Not the End!)

It’s always frustrating to have your grant proposal rejected, but it’s absolutely essential to stay optimistic and to persevere. The fact is that most grant proposals do get rejected, but learning from the experience—examining why your proposal was turned down—will benefit you by making future...
How to Build Relationships with Foundation Funders

How to Build Relationships with Foundation Funders

When it comes to foundation grants, the biggest question seems to be “how do we get our foot in the door?” How can our nascent grassroots arts organization quickly build relationships with the regional foundations that will help make our programming happen? Generally speaking, I’ve always believed...

Fundraising in a Recession – 7 Tips

Albert Einstein was quoted as saying “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” Unfortunately, the world of nonprofit development can be notoriously fickle and unfocused. Clearly we are in a major recession with no end in sight. The trick is not to...