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...
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...
Six Critical Things to Look For in a Foundation’s 990 For Successful Grant Funding!

Six Critical Things to Look For in a Foundation’s 990 For Successful Grant Funding!

When it comes to foundation grants, researching prospective foundations is crucial for locating the ideal match.  And there is no finer tool for truly observing the inner workings of a grant-making foundation — and whether or not their mission provides a match with your organization — than with...
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...
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...
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...
Do Angels Sleep?

Do Angels Sleep?

When my youngest daughter was three years old her great grandmother died. I traveled to Michigan for the funeral, leaving my husband in charge of my two daughters. It was the first time I’d ever been away from Abigail overnight. I was gone five days and when I returned Abbey couldn’t quit asking...
Create a System for Grant Writing Success!

Create a System for Grant Writing Success!

The key to successful grant funding is to send your proposal to a diverse group of foundations that make a good match for your project, and then keep at it. Though rejection can be very frustrating, it’s simply part of the process. Keep in mind that a rejected proposal is not a total loss–not...
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...