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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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.” ...
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...
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...
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...
Myths About Women and Weight Lifting … Er, Grant Proposal Writing!

Myths About Women and Weight Lifting … Er, Grant Proposal Writing!

The other day I mentioned to a couple of women that I was lifting weights in the gym. I was surprised at the responses that I got. “Pam! That’s not good for you!” “Yeah, you never want to use weights heavier than 5 pounds or so …” Frankly I thought that the myths about women and weight lifting...
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...
Metasoft’s Foundation Search Vs The Foundation Center’s Foundation Finder

Metasoft’s Foundation Search Vs The Foundation Center’s Foundation Finder

… and what to do if your budget doesn’t allow for either. Awhile back the “Grants” listserv of CharityChannel, the Internet’s premier resource for nonprofit information, featured a lively debate about the merits of Metasoft’s Foundation Search subscription database versus The Foundation...
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...
The Real Secret for Fundraising Success … It’s All About the Story!

The Real Secret for Fundraising Success … It’s All About the Story!

Have you seen the Sarah McLachlan television appeal for the BC SPCA End Animal Cruelty campaign? It begins with footage of one animal after another, their pained eyes gazing out into the world as if to say “Whatever did I do to you? Why would you hurt me?” with Sarah’s song, “Angel” playing...
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...