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Entries Tagged as 'Foundations'

One Foundation Grant Can Lead to Another: A Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Funding Story

July 13th, 2014 · No Comments

A few years ago we conducted foundation grant source research and wrote ten foundation proposals for a national membership nonprofit that wanted to do a complex education study. One of the national foundations we identified, and wrote a proposal to, awarded the client $200,000. The award is terrific but not the end of the story—if [...]

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Tags: Clients · Foundations · Grants

Sometimes Technology Makes Things Harder: Foundation Proposal Submission Edition

February 21st, 2014 · 4 Comments

In ye olden days when dragons flew the sky and grain was still milled with water wheels, most foundations only accepted paper submissions. Most also had relatively straightforward instructions that were reasonably simple; since the submissions were done through paper, applicants could create an attractive, well-formatted submission document. Today things are different. Amazon delivery drones [...]

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Tags: Advice · Foundations · Stories

Foundations Give Away Five Percent Of Their Assets a Year: Typhoon Haiyan Shows Why You Should Act Now, Not Later

November 10th, 2013 · No Comments

As you’ve probably noticed if you’re reading any news, typhoon Haiyan likely killed at least 10,000 people in the Philippines. That’s obviously a human tragedy, but there’s one small implication for nonprofit: it pays to apply for foundation funding sooner, rather than later. The reason is simple. Foundations react to the news cycle. They also [...]

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Tags: Advice · Foundations · Media

General or Specific—The Challenge of Defining a Project Concept for Foundation Support

September 29th, 2013 · No Comments

When scoping a foundation appeal with a client, the first task is to define the project concept. This may seem simple, but few aspects of grant seeking and grant writing are simple. Let’s assume our client is the Waconia* Family Resource Center and the agency provides a range of family and child support services, including, [...]

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Tags: Advice · Clients · Foundations · Grants · Nonprofits · Stories

Is It Worth Your Time to Cozy Up to Program Officers and Bat Your Eyelashes? Maybe, But Only If It’s Nighttime, They’re Drunk, and You’re Beautiful

August 4th, 2013 · 1 Comment

Many nonprofits think they should try hard to develop “relationships” with funders, particularly with foundations and, to a lesser extent, government agencies. In my experience, this practice is mostly a waste of time. Like an aging hooker at a honky-tonk bar, it could work, but it helps if it’s late at night, the lights are [...]

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Tags: Advice · Foundations · Government · Grants

Gun Violence and Grants: Echos of Sandy Hook in Philadelphia and Chicago

January 13th, 2013 · 1 Comment

I recently wrote about the likely impact of the tragic Sandy Hook shooting on grant making and seeking, which is why this CNN piece about ongoing gun violence in inner-city Philadelphia and Chicago in the context of Sandy Hook resonated with me. Unlike the sudden impact of Sandy Hook, which captured the nation’s attention and [...]

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Tags: Advice · Foundations · Media · Nonprofits · Programs

Nonprofit “Whales” May Face Extinction with Potential Tax Law Changes

December 9th, 2012 · 1 Comment

I’ve about had it with the endless blathering about the so called fiscal cliff.* There is one nugget in the story, however, that should strike fear and loathing into the hearts of nonprofit executive directors: Whether or not President Obama and Speaker Boehner hold hands as they jump off the cliff, America faces an enormous [...]

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Tags: Advice · Foundations · Grants

Nonprofits must keep searching for new revenue: An example using “Communities for Teaching Excellence” and Gates Foundation funding

October 21st, 2012 · No Comments

In the L.A. Times, Howard Blume says that a “Gates Foundation-funded education-reform group [is going] to close,” because the organization—Communities for Teaching Excellence lost 75% of its funding. And that 75% came from a single source: the Gates Foundation. This story holds an important lesson for nonprofits: you’re only as good as your next revenue [...]

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Tags: Education · Foundations · Media · Nonprofits

Why Nonprofits Are More Like Businesses Than You Realize

September 2nd, 2012 · 9 Comments

In a Hacker News thread, “guylhem” asked a (very) common question, in the context of firms that specialize in providing services to nonprofit and public agencies: “Why exactly is profit / commerce considered a bad thing?” Since we’ve been working with nonprofit and public agencies for decades, we naturally have some ideas about the issue [...]

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Tags: Foundations · Nonprofits · Questions

Time Banks, Barter, Community Gardens and More: Economic Misery Provides Opportunities for Nimble Nonprofits

August 28th, 2012 · 1 Comment

As we’ve written about before in “What Budget Cuts? The RFPs Continue to Pour Out,” “One, Two, Three* Easy Steps to Start-Up a Nonprofit Upstart,” and “Grant Writing from Recession to Recession: This is a Great Time to Start a New Nonprofit,” the Great Recession and continuing economic malaise present tremendous grant opportunities for nonprofits—provided [...]

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Tags: Advice · Foundations