Monday, March 24, 2014

Grant Seeking 101 Webinar - Notes

3/20 Grant Seeking 101 Webinar

Managing Expectations:

·         Establish relationships, cultivate, steward
·         Reality check
o   How are you serving the community?
·         Individual donors
o   Board support
o   Establish track record
·         Identify local grant makers
·         Start-ups
o   What makes you unique?
o   Pitch project as a pilot – reasonable $$
o   Guidestar 990’s – search
·         Call and Ask! Program officer
·         Match funder with organization’s mission
·         Competitor’s funders – 990’s
·         Corporate foundations
·         Reserve searching

Develop a funding plan:

·         Begin identifying 6-12 months in advance
·         Organize by deadline
·         Identify who will write/assign
·         Multiple proposals in pipeline
·         Proposal lead – programs

Build a portfolio of documents:

·         IRS determination letter
·         List of BOD – keep current
·         990’s, current budget, 3-5 year budget

Grant review:

·         Multiple reads, board members, other staff
·         Cycles – 3 to 6 months
·         Impact your project will make?
·         How is this shared?
·         If you use percentages, give context
·         Long term results

Financial piece:

·         Be proactive about financial story
·         Short budget narrative
·         Use emotion in proposal to connect foundation to your org’s work
·         Storytelling and numbers

Qualitative vs. Quantitative

·         Need to explain impact
·         Current data to demonstrate need and relevance** examples
o   U.S. Census Bureau
o   School Report Cards
o   FBI’s US Crime Data
o   Kids Count
o   Women’s Health Care
o   Local Health Departments

Compelling program description:

·         Be realistic about metrics
o   No more than 5 objectives/outcomes
o   KISS-simplicity-not pedantic
o   Do you have resources to track the metrics?
o   Do you have the budget?
o   Ways to move indicators
§  Break into blocks, # served, $
People give to people, connect head to heart

·    Beyond the proposal:
o   DO
§  Site visit – “best chance”
·         Schedule when activity in progress
·         Have board member and client present (prep them)
·         Allow sufficient time
o   DON’T
§  Take phone calls
§  Use phone or ipads, even for notes
§  be unorganized
§  don’t overdo snacks
§  No long powerpoint presentations


·         Shared Database:
o   Better coordinator of services
o   Better referrals
o   Collaboration – especially with data
o   Cost sharing, demonstrate impact together
o   Better assess impact of grant investments

·         Questions
o   Letter of intent – no more than 2-3 pages
§  How it is going to be used will determine its content
o   Time spent writing a grant
§  Be precise with goals, not a life project
o   Create grant pipeline
§  Spreadsheet with dates, $’s, etc.
o   Foundation’s not in community – program or office in community
o   Repeat funding for same program
§  Specify program foundation is interested in
§  Focus on report
o   Develop relationships with program officers

§  How often should you contact a program officer if no response? Wait a week, and then call back. 

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