Grants are a Competition for Limited Funding

There is a finite amount of money in a foundation and always more people asking for money than there is to give. Many grant writers and nonprofit people do not fully realize when a nonprofit gets money, someone else does not. Foundation members must determine from the stack of grant applications which are the best[…]

Get Organized

It is almost pointless to write grants for a nonprofit who is disorganized. It may seem unnecessary to a grant writer how organized a nonprofit is, but I discovered it is easier to know what to write when I understand the needs, assets, and liabilities. The nonprofit does not have to be completely organized, some[…]

A Project’s Schedule

A schedule is a plan for accomplishing a series of events during a period of time. Foundations like a schedule. When they invest, like all investors, they are looking at completion or progress within a nonprofit in a reasonable amount of time. A schedule is not only the future, but the past. There should be[…]

We’re All A Team

One of the most important parts of grant writing is locating funds. Many times, it is the grant writer doing all the research to find grant opportunities, but I believe it should be a team effort with the nonprofit managers and staff involved. There are many opportunities for grant funding and getting donations. But a[…]

Two Grant Topics

A Nonprofit’s NewsletterA newsletter is a few pages of the latest information about a nonprofit. It provides an update on what is happening with the nonprofit and their mission. It does not take the place of a grant report nor a means to solicit funding. A newsletter is an update about what is happening with[…]

Crowdfunding and Nonprofits

Involving a nonprofit in a crowdfunding* event is a test of cooperation among the members. A foundation recently approved a grant request I wrote. It involved a competition among nonprofits through a crowdfunding process. This is a new type of grant process where a nonprofit getting the most donations gets a bonus and a chance[…]

Is It Possible to Get Too Much Money?

In recent news, MacKenzie Scott donated billions of dollars to about 400 nonprofit groups. I worry about those nonprofits. According to the news, the nonprofits did not ask for the funding, but were selected by a team working for Scott. When I worked for the U.S. Defense Department, for political reasons Congress would give small[…]

Which is better—Donations or Grants?

They each have their advantages and disadvantages. Most donations have no restrictions.* People give to support the mission in general. Most grants have some type of restriction. Foundations tend to fund specific projects. Nonprofits should use donations to fund expense areas that foundations do not fund, such as salaries, and use grant funding to support[…]

Balancing Act

A nonprofit should balance their funding sources between donations and grants. They need to use equal effort in achieving funds from both. I have worked with many nonprofits and almost all of them rely on either donations or grants for the majority of their funding. Yes, they get involved in the other funding source, but[…]

Important Jobs in a Nonprofit

This blog post continues a recent blog post about nonprofit positions. Nonprofit employees are categorized as operations (general overhead) or programs (specific to accomplishing the mission). I’m writing about the operations side since program people are unique to each nonprofit. The most important employee is the executive director. However, many nonprofits have no other operations[…]

Professional versus Volunteer Grant Writer

There are two types of grant writers—someone paid by the nonprofit and one who is not (a volunteer). I’m a volunteer grant writer which means I provide my services without compensation. But I know professional grant writers who each formed a company and are paid for their services. Professional grant writers are paid either hourly[…]

Motivation Between Staff and Volunteers

Who is more motivated toward the nonprofit’s mission—paid staff or volunteers? I see them both as having different yet equal motivations. Salaries are one of the highest expenses in nonprofits and they do not survive without volunteers. While vital to keeping labor costs down, nonprofits should not be all volunteers. There needs to be paid[…]

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