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FUNDAMENTALS FOR THE SERIOUS GRANT SEEKER
Presented by: Julie Rodda, owner “Helping Nonprofits achieve success in today’s competitive Marketplace”
• Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, moved to MONTANA in 1996 • Married 28 years, 3 grown Children… • Wife of a pastor… • Life-time Nonprofit person! ******* • Recipient of the National Jefferson Award for outstanding Public Service (1982, Seattle-Washington) • Initial Grant work done as a volunteer • Successfully writing grants since 2003 • Federal Grant Reviewer (Reviewer & Chairperson) since 2005 • Wrote 45 successfully funded grants during the past 18 months
What this course will cover this morning: • How to identify fundable projects • Where to look for funding • How much you should ask for • How to speak about your project with logic and passion
This Afternoon: • How to formulate a justifiable budget • How to find all those facts you need! • Resources Smart Grant Writers use
Also This Afternoon: • Is your organization READY to apply for and receive grants? • What about Federal Grants? – – How hard are they? – What does my organization need to be successful at Federal Applications? • What about all those STIMULUS dollars? – Are any still available?
"Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted, counts. " (sign hanging in Albert Einstein's office at Princeton)
Statistics: Grants Available by ‘the numbers’ • Grants are available for many things, and typically fall into “Areas of Interest” for Funders…these are reported by topic in annual reports. • How does your agency’s services rank within Philanthropic Giving Statistics?
Contributions by Category, 2008 Total Giving: $307. 6 Billion Source: Giving USA Foundation / Giving USA 2009
• 75% - 82% Individuals • 12%-16% Foundations/Grants • 4% - 6% Corporations – 2% - Bequests Source: Chronicle of Philanthropy, Giving Patterns 2002 -2008
• 5 -15% of budget from specialevent fundraising • 15 -25% individual donations • 43% from sales revenue or fee-based service income • 30% or greater dollars dependent on federal, state, community or other grant-sources Chronicle of Philanthropy
Fairly Balanced Example:
Consider How YOUR nonprofit is funded? • • Fees for services _____% Special Events: ______ % Individual Donors ______ % Grants ______ % • Local/regional foundations ______% • State or Federal Dollars ______ % • Other _______ %
So who makes the best Grant Writer?
Session #1, part 1
Considerations when Planning 1. 2. 3. 4. Identify your Projects Define a ‘case for support’ Define who is involved in the Planning… Hidden Costs of Projects Ø how to identify them 5. Good vs. Bad project choices…
Identify Your Programs and Projects
Every Organization… • Has between ONE and Five Basic Program Areas Identifying them when you are “eyebrow deep” may prove harder than you think… Get help from an outside viewpoint if this seems difficult.
Consider what YOUR organization’s main program strengths are, and write them down • #1 • #2 • #3 • #4 • #5
Define Your Case for Support • Whom/What issue does this project serve, and why? • What difference does this project/program make in your community/region/state? • Why is your organization uniquely qualified to carry out this endeavor? • Who are your major supporters, and why do they believe in you?
Who is involved in Grant Planning? HINT: Don’t get caught being the one expected to have all the answers!
Who Should this Include? • • • Executive Director Key Board Members (as often as possible) Grant Writer!!! (don’t get left out) Finance Manager Program Managers--Don’t forget these folks actually have to carry out the project points if it gets funded! Include them as often as possible.
Hidden Costs of Projects Non-profits often don’t know WHAT they don’t know!
‘Potential Hidden Costs’ Worksheet • • Adding additional staff will… Adding program participants will… Renting additional space will… Building a bigger building will… Adding hours of service will… Cutting program participants will… Etc. !
Recap… • You don’t know what you don’t know… • Sometimes life just happens • Having good counsel is priceless! • Involve others in the process! ALWAYS! • Set a realistic time-line and stick to it!
Good vs. Bad Choices • The difference between receiving funding or a letter of decline. • Know your funders goals!!! Don’t ask for things they don’t fund, no matter how much you need it. • Things that work better… • Things that don’t. . .
Where to look for funding…
Quotes from Foundations… • “We get dozens of proposals from organizations that clearly never did a lick of homework, and waste our time and the precious funds of their members by sending out hopeless proposals to the wrong funders… I often wonder if these same people try to buy their groceries in the hardware store. ” • -- Executive Director of the C. S. Fund, quoted in How Foundations Work: What Grantseekers Need to Know about the Many Faces of Foundations, 1998
• “There always two kinds of homework that an applicant must do before writing a proposal: homework about the project and homework about the foundation to which the proposal will be submitted… • All this information is necessary in order to place the request into context. The homework regarding the foundation is … not trivial”. Joel J. Orosz. Senior Program Manager of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, The Insiders Guide to Grantmaking: How Foundations Find, Fund, and Manage Effective Programs, 2000
• “I would suggest that the very first step and one that is most important prior to writing anything is doing research on the foundation you wish to approach. • It is more efficient and in the end more beneficial to send appropriate requests to fewer organizations than to send a shower of appeals in the hopes that one may land in the right place”. • Ilene Mack, Senior Program Officer at the William Randolph Hearst Foundation (foundation center article, 2004)
What did you just learn? • Research = Homework, funders want you to do it… • Funders can tell if you have done it right… • Don’t shop for groceries at the hardware store or participate in other endlessly futile exercises… • No one has endless resources to spend on this process…so don’t waste your time or other’s. Why? • It does not make a good impression on the funder, your boss, your organization’s bottom line, or your resume’. • As a grant writer, You share a responsibility…
searching for funding… • Look at various resources up close • Becoming proficient takes time • Start broad and then narrow your findings • Don’t think it ends with a name and application due date!
Hands On Research Exercise • Taking a look at the two most popular search engines for funding purposes – The Foundation Center – Grant Station
What do you do with what you found? • Various things to note from information— – Name – What they fund – How much they fund – When are deadlines? – Name of key contact persons and their title(s). . – Website info
Managing Information… • I have found it helpful to create Excel Files for each Program or Project regarding potential applications, contacts, due dates and key information regarding the application process. • You may be more familiar with other software choices—what works best for you is the best to use!
Create a Fundraising Calendar • Using personal software choices is best • Format it chronologically so that applications with the soonest due-dates are listed in that order • Allow time for planning, gathering info and compiling project for sending • Hard Fact: It does not make sense to invest time and resources in creating a grant seeking calendar if no one is going to carry it out.
Make the form 990 your friend… • It shares public secrets – Names of trustees – Names of contact persons – Information on how to apply – Deadlines for applying – Tells where their money is going-REALLY – Important pages: 1, 9, 11 -12, giving history pages
How much to ask for without being out of line • Check the 990 again! • The difference between average grant and typical grant and why you need to know this…
The success of grant proposals depends on four factors: • Factor One: The quality of the nonprofit organization. • Factor Two: The innovative nature and/or critical importance of the project. • Factor Three: The appropriateness of a funding source, or the competition level in a particular grant-making cycle. • Factor Four: The skills of the grant writer in building a compelling case.
How to speak about your organization and it’s needs Using LOGIC & PASSION