Monday, November 14, 2011

How to Succeed With Emergency Grant Opportunities

Good news! You non-profit organization just received an invitation to apply for a grant. Bad news! The application is due next week and you have at least a dozen other priorities.

Here’s a schedule to help you organize your preparations to meet the application deadline and provide a competitive application for funding:

Day 1

1. Review the donor’s website. Contact them for application requirements. Ask initial questions. Read any guidelines, marking all requirements with a tick box. You will fill the box in with a check mark during your final review after you fulfilled each requirement.

2. Do you need information for anyone else? Request their help. Establish Day 5 as their deadline.

3. Create an application dummy with scrap paper. A dummy is a mockup of the total grant proposal you will submit from cover letter to you’re the last page of the attachments. As you work, you will replace the dummy pages with completed ones so you can identify missing items. Take time to organize your submittal now instead of at the last minute.

4. Start drafting. Use paragraphs from existing materials, like case statements, bio statements from key staff.

5. Make a first attempt at creating the project budget.

Day 2 and 3

6. Continue drafting, aim for 1-2 hour sessions per day, during your most productive interludes. Apply butt glue, if necessary.

7. If you get stumped, you probably need more information. Find someone with answers or to make project decisions.

8. Time helps. The difficult questions you struggled with today will be easier when you review them tomorrow.

Day 4

9. By now your draft is emerging. Plan to work in shorter time blocks. Re-read sections while waiting for appointments, when you’re on hold or 15 minutes before lunch.

10. Email or call everyone who needs to provide you materials to remind them of the pending deadline.

Days 5, 6, and 7

11. Proof the draft, triple check all dates and numbers.

12. Ask one or two other people to read it.

13. Read the final application aloud. Check off the requirements you completed. Flag uncompleted items. Make a list of these and work through them one-by-one until all is done.

14. Compile the final document. Make copies. Remember to keep one for your organization. Deliver the application.

15 .Relax! You made it!

For more grant writing articles to help you non-profit organization earn funding, see this directory.

For six audios to purchase that will help you write grants if you are a newbie or an expert, follow this link. Each offers one hours of training from Karen– and contains the content of her famous grant writing workshops.

For other sources of non-profit income to augment your grant opportunities, read this article. Can Your Organization Obtain More Income?

Karen Eber Davis

Thursday, November 10, 2011

How Can Your Board Help With Corporate Sponsorships?

Board members help non profit organizations to earn corporate support in many ways. To develop and sustain corporate sponsorships, these three types of support are important for boards leading successful non profit organizations:
1. Provide oversight and balance to protect the non profits long-term interest.
2. Identify opportunities.
3. Create connections that lead to and build relationships.
Here is an example of creating connections that lead to and builds relationships:
A film festival’s board includes a number of members with extensive home entertainment systems who favor a particular specialty store. One member knows the owner of three local stores and has heard him talk about his marketing needs. Together, the development staff and board members develop a proposal with several sponsorship opportunities. The board member sets an appointment. The three meet. After learning more about the owner’s needs, they jointly craft a sponsorship package for $50,000. It includes festival advertising, plus an exclusive in-store event. Platinum film festival members will be invited to an intimate event for $75 per couple to share refreshments, view a new film, learn from the film producer and be introduced to a “cool” new piece of home entertainment equipment. Besides directly marketing to the right potential customers, the storeowner gains the opportunity to meet and continue relationships with platinum members, and share one of his sites, his enthusiasm, and his expertise. This successful non profit organization gains new funding and an enthusiastic new sponsor who shares strong alignment with their mission statement.
How have your board members helped your non profit to secure corporate funding?
To learn what your board members need to know about corporate support, read and then give your board this article.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Moving From A $40 Gift To $5,000 in 4 Repeatable Steps

-->Sally Part Two
In my last entry, I shared about a conversation I had with Sally in a bar after a consulting conference and how Sally grew from a $40 to a $5,000 a year donor. This entry shares the “moves” Teach for America used. This is what Sally shared, with my comments in parenthesis, just like a DVD commentary of a movie.

Event One: The Invite
Sally was invited by a business associate who had helped her and her husband a lot in the past to come to a dinner to learn about Teach for America. Sally figured it was payback time; they owed this man plenty. (The right person asks Sally. How can she say no?)

Event Two: The Dinner
Sally and her husband attend the dinner and learn about Teach for America. She is offered the opportunity to sponsor a classroom. (A specific request for a specific amount that provides tangible outcomes.) Sally learns about the impact this gift would have on a whole classroom for one year. She believes the offer is a great bargain at $5,000. “All those little lives for one year for $5k?” Sally and her husband become class sponsors. (How can you help donors to understand you offer a great bargain?)

Event Three: Unknown
After the dinner, one assumes several exchanges and thank you notes were exchanged. Sally doesn’t mention these to me as she relayed her story. (These are musts.)

Event Four: The Offer to Tour and Meet Someone of Interest
Later, Teach for America makes Sally an additional offer. Would Sally like to go on a tour? They are giving a tour to a major business leader from a Fortune 500 company. There was space. Was Sally interested? Yes, she was. (Teach for America understands Sally’s professional need to meet other business leaders to promote her business. They understand the value of her time. Not only is Sally happy to learn more on a tour, she is happy to be introduced to a business leader who is a potential client of her consulting business.)

None of these brilliant events is accidental. Someone or a group of people, have thoughtfully considered how to offer these opportunities to Sally. Sally is being helped to do what she wants to do more of—make a meaningful contribution both personally and professionally. Teach for America helps Sally. Sally helps Teach for America. Teach for America helps Sally . . .
Who are your Sally’s? How are you reaching them? What is your plan to increase your income—whether via individual donations or one of the other six nonprofit income sources? How do you help people to succeed, so that they can help you to reach your mission? - Karen Eber Davis