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Grants

Below you will find all of our past articles to help you with your fundraising grants. It is a long list of articles so don't hesitate to bookmark this page and come back often. If you would like more great fundraising information in the future then please sign up for an email notification whenever we publish a new article.



Small Grants as Building Blocks of Larger Budgets by Katie Krueger

Seeking grant funds for a program with a large budget is a challenge: small grants of a few thousand dollars are much more common and easier to get. Large grants (those $50,000 and more) are fewer and more competitive. One way to work around this problem is to apply for several small grants, requesting each to fund a portion of the program. Here are five things you can do to effectively divide your program and secure grant funding for each smaller part of the large program.

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Your Grant Proposal's Been Rejected: Now What? by Pamela Grow

A few year's back I did some work with a struggling educational nonprofit. During my initial review of their past foundation support, I discovered on their list a foundation whose mission I thought aligned perfectly with this organization's, and also had a history of repeat funding. Yet, year after year, the foundation had declined this organization's proposals - even one year when they had specifically been invited to apply.

Frankly I didn't get it. It was tempting to put them in the "they'll never fund us pile" but I picked up the phone to call their executive director. Not knowing if I'd even reach a live person, I was delighted when he answered himself. I asked him rather bluntly why his foundation had not funded us. One month, one letter, and one site visit later the organization was the recipient of a $15,000 grant - the first of many.

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Demystifying Grant Seeking Part 1 by Larissa Golden Brown

LIBERATE YOURSELF FROM MYTHS AND FEARS ABOUT GRANTS

Too many well-meaning staff and volunteers let themselves get bogged down in unproductive attitudes and habits about grants. Chapter 1 of Demystifying Grant Seeking : what you reallly need to do to get grants asserts it's possible to get more grant money while reducing hassle and anguish. The key is dismissing myths and fears and taking on a more empowered point of view, where your organization is a true equal partner in the grantmaking agreement. Along the way, the chapter provides a general introduction to the world of grant seeking.

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Demystifying Grant Seeking Part 2 by Larissa Golden Brown

Myth: Writing grant proposals is an ordeal
Reality: Proposal writing is predictable and simple

Though the specific requirements of grant makers vary, and your proposals should be tailored for each funder, all grant applications involve just one basic activity: responding to a set of questions about your nonprofit organization and its programs. This set of questions varies little from funder to funder. For example: Who and how many people will be served by program X? How will the effectiveness of program Y be evaluated? What other organizations do you collaborate with? What other funds have you sought?

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Demystifying Grant Seeking Part 3 by Larissa Golden Brown

Myth: Grants are too inconsistent to deserve the attention of fundraising staff
Reality: Grants are consistently useful for certain projects and needs

It is true that foundation grants make up a relatively small percentage of overall giving in the United States. In 1998, they accounted for slightly less than 10% of all gifts to charity, according to the American Association of Fund Raising Counsel. (In contrast, individual donations accounted for 77%.)

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Positioning Grant Writers for Success by Tony Poderis

Unrealistic Expectations, Pay Practices That Grantors Often See As Tainting The Funding Process, And Poor Planning And Follow Through, Can Doom The Best To Failure

Some of the most heated discussion in the nonprofit world centers on grant writing. Why? Because so much is riding on it. It is the rare organization that could continue to carry out its mission anywhere near as effectively if its grants dried up, and for many, such an occurrence would sound the death knell.

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What are grants? And are you ready for them? Part 1 by Larissa Golden Brown

Grants are potentially a meaningful source of funds for many kinds of projects and groups, and applying for them can be a source of great hope and excitement. At the same time, few subjects in nonprofit management are surrounded by such dread and mystery.

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What are grants? And are you ready for them? Part 2 by Larissa Golden Brown

Are you ready for grants? The top 10 questions to ask yourself.

Now that you have a more realistic perspective about grants, it's time to see whether you are ready to apply for them. Ask yourself:

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How to Find Grants for General Operating Funds by Katie Krueger

General operating money is certainly one of the more difficult categories of funding to secure, mostly because it's a lot less appealing to the funder. Let's face it, paying rent is not nearly as sexy as helping people fulfill their potential as human beings. However, there are unrestricted grants out there, if you know where to look.

Read more here



How to Contact Grant Makers with Success by Katie Krueger

Last week was a busy one for me: I am the contact person for applicants to a local Education Foundation and Friday was the proposal deadline! It never fails that the few days before the deadline I am flooded with questions from people applying. Most of their questions and requests are within reason, but I thought in the spirit of this week, I would offer suggestions on how to contact funders with questions about your proposal.

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Surviving the Funding Slump: Advice from a Grantmaker by Dynell A. Garron

Whether operating on a shoestring budget or one that includes a substantial endowment, nonprofits are feeling the effects of a funding slump. The downturn in the economy has affected every conceivable funding source -- government, individuals, corporations and foundations. As such, nonprofits are scrambling to submit more funding applications - at a time when many grantmakers are reducing their giving programs.

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Conditional Payment To Grant Writers Is Risky Business by Dennis Abenanty

It is no surprise that people work harder and perform better when there is a direct correlation between their results and their reward. Executives strive to take companies to the next level in order to maximize stock option value. Salespeople go all-out to increase commission income. Following this logic, wouldn't it be expected that nonprofits reward grant writers on the basis of approved grants rather than submitted grants? After all, why pay someone an hourly rate regardless of whether the request is granted or not?

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Be a 990 Private Eye! Five Things to Look for in a Foundation's 990 by Pamela Grow

Prospect research is the absolute key when you're investigating potential sources of foundation funding and there is no finer tool for truly observing the workings of a private foundation -- and whether or not their mission provides a match with yours than with a thorough investigation of a foundation's federal 990-PF form (downloadable at a number of sites for free, including Guidestar). Download the past three years of the foundation's 990s to get a true picture ...

What, exactly, should you be looking for?

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Gauging the Success of a Grant Writer: Eight Key Indicators by Robert P. Stewart

As a non-profit grant consultant, I'm often asked, "What is your success rate?" People want to know my ratio of grant proposals submitted to grants funded - either by number submitted or by total amount requested. It's a natural to want to gauge a grant writer's success, but this question really doesn't get at the information needed to assess a grant consultant's performance.

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4 (Really) Simple Ways to Improve Your Chances of Landing That Grant by Melissa Carter

Think great grant writing is just about sharing your goals, objectives, and activities? Think again. While a multitude of factors affect a grantor's decision--your organization's track record, the strength of your programs, not to mention a grantor's current causes and existing relationships--there are a few simple things you can do to improve your grant's chances of making it past the round file.

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Foundation Relations: Is it What You Do Or Who You Know? by Ken Goldstein

Many times in my work as a grant writer and consultant, I am asked by my clients to contact a foundation about potential funding. I am happy to do this; it is part of my job and it helps for me to directly ask the questions that will effect what I write in the grant proposal, but I sometimes wonder if the client isn't missing an opportunity by making that connection directly.

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Quick Tips For Good Grants by Gloria Kraegel

Ideally, we would love to take the time to put together a grant application in a methodical manner that includes a compelling narrative with statistics and relevant reference resources. All too often, however, we don't have the amount of time we might like to complete a funding request.

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Increase Your Chances of Repeat Funding By Staying In Touch With Grant Makers by Katie Krueger

When a grant is approved, you should read your award letter as carefully as you did the application before you applied because the letter should outline how often the Funder expects to hear from you. Read through it and find out how many formal reports they expect from you. If you are unsure, contact them and ask. Many will ask for a mid-point and final report. Even if they donít ask for these two reports, it is a good idea to send them a letter with a brief update about the progress of your project, in order to stay in touch.

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Grants: A Basic Primer by Marian Quinlan

Often, writing grants is targeted by small fundraising shops without contacts to wealthy individuals or the wherewithal to conduct a direct mail campaign to the masses. Grants can range from small to very large. Grant sources include: foundations, corporations, government, churches, and nonprofit organizations.

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