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March 2011 (6 posts)

What To Do About Grantmakers That Don't Accept Applications
March 30, 2011

No doubt at some point while using Foundation Directory Online you've encountered grantmakers—maybe a frustratingly large number of them—that do not accept applications, or as it states on the FDO profile, "contribute only to pre-selected organizations."

Why are there so many of them? And why are they in the database if they won't take your grant proposal?

There are good answers to both those questions, and plenty of reasons not to be dismayed. I'd strongly encourage all FDO users to read this brief, valuable FAQ from the GrantSpace knowledge base on this very topic.

First off, you can eliminate these grantmakers from your search results in one of two ways: by checking the "Exclude grantmakers not accepting applications" box on the search screen; or by selecting  Applications Accepted: Yes in the Narrow Your Results menu on your results list. But you might not want to eliminate those funders from your search; that might be closing a door unnecessarily.

I'd encourage you to take a look at funders that strongly match your search criteria and see which ones, if any, are particularly good matches for your organization and programs. If you find one, take a look at the list of their trustees and officers on their FDO profile and see if there's a connection to be made within your network. You can also consider a letter of introduction (as long as it's not a funding request!) outlining what you do and whom you serve.

With some good research, networking, and the right approach, there's no reason you can't one day be one of these foundations' "pre-selected organizations" too.

Japan Relief and Resources
March 23, 2011

The relief efforts in Japan continue as the country struggles to recover from the massive earthquake, tsunami, and resulting nuclear crisis. You can bookmark the Japan coverage on PhilanTopic, the Philanthropy News Digest blog, for the latest updates on the philanthropic response and on other issues surrounding the crisis.

The Foundation Center has also been tracking the philanthropic response to the crisis in a number of different ways. 


Free Shipping in March on Foundation Fundamentals
March 15, 2011

from Philanthropy Front and Center-Atlanta by Foundation Center-Atlanta

Found_fund_smNew to grantseeking? Get the lowdown on Foundation funding with  Foundation Fundamentals, now with free shipping in March! The new edition of our popular how-to guide gives beginning grantseekers a thorough overview of the funding research process, with special focus on web-based tools as well as print resources. Learn to use the latest technology to identify your best funder prospects, plan your fundraising strategy, and present your idea to a funder; all with guidance and tips from the book.

Foundation Fundamentals is also a popular textbook for nonprofit management courses, providing insight into foundations and their role in U.S. philanthropy. An all-new chapter details funding resources and strategies for grantseeking individuals. Check out the table of contents (PDF) for a closer look at what this book has to offer and order today.

For even more guidance and tips, check out the Foundation Center's course schedule for both free and fee based classes around the country. Foundation and their Role in Philanthropy, Foundation Fundraising: An Introductory Course, Introduction to Finding Funders, and How to Approach a Foundation are all great places to start if you are new to the field—or just want a refresher! 

Live Q&A Discussions in March - Collaboration & Fundraising Volunteers
March 09, 2011

This month, we are offering two live chat discussions at GrantSpace. Join us from the comfort of your own office and tap the expertise of our featured guests and get your questions answered while sharing your own experiences. We devote most of each hour long discussion to your questions and comments. Free to attend, we ask that you register by clicking on the event links below.

Understanding Nonprofit Collaboration 
Wednesday, March 23, 1pm-2pm ET

Increasing in prominence as a tool for enhanced efficiency and strengthened service delivery, collaboration’s advantages, disadvantages, potential, and pitfalls must be understood by all savvy nonprofit professionals.

Consultants Jo DeBolt of La Piana Consulting and Lindsay Hanson of Grassroots Solutions will answer your questions about nonprofit collaboration: when to do it (or not), what traits help or hinder successful partnerships, and more.

Turning Your Volunteers Into Fundraisers
Wednesday, March 30, 1pm-2pm ET

Are your board members and volunteers part of your fundraising strategy? Volunteers are your built-in fan base, and with a little nudge and training, they can share your cause, heighten your visibility, and introduce you to new friends, who just may be your next donors.

Fundraising consultant Amy Eisenstein and Foundation Center Atlanta director Val Porter will answer your questions about how your board members and volunteers can raise interest and money for your organization.


New Podcast Series at PND
March 07, 2011

Hopefully you already frequent Philanthropy News Digest for the latest news, jobs, RFPs, and other features relating to the world of philanthropy, but in case you missed it, they just debuted a new podcast series, "Talking Philanthropy." In the series, Larry Blumenthal and Bill Silberg team up to discuss changes in the way nonprofits and foundations are doing work, featuring the people who are behind this change. In the first podcast, they chat with Doug White, academic director at NYU's George H. Heyman, Jr. Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising about nonprofits and the economic recovery, the importance of organizational transparency, and the outlook for the year ahead.

The plan is to post a new conversation each month, and PND has opened it up to readers to suggest topic that they would like to hear discussed - so head over and check it out! 

Turning Your Special Events Participants into Year-Round Donors
March 03, 2011

(modified from a post on Philanthropy Front and Center - New York

Special events are an important component of fundraising for many nonprofit organizations. Although they can be both profitable and memorable, planning and organizing such events can be incredibly time consuming and is often overwhelming. To learn how to maximize these efforts, the Foundation Center has a number of resources available about special events planning. Search the collection by using our bibliographic database, the Catalog of Nonprofit Literature (CNL); the subject term "Fundraising--special events" pulls up the following relevant titles and many others (the following are examples from our New York library):

BiThe Big Book of Benefit Auctions. (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2009). ;
For those planning an auction, this book provides guidance on various aspects of charity auctions, including planning, procurement, promotion, event management, post event activities, and other topics.

SourcebookIEG Sponsorship Sourcebook: The Comprehensive Guide to Sponsors, Properties, Agencies and Suppliers. (Chicago, IL: IEG, LLC, 2010)

Compiled for the benefit of corporations looking for sponsorship opportunities, the IEG Sponsorship Sourcebook is also helpful to nonprofits seeking sponsors for their events.

MissionizingMissionizing Your Special Events: How to Build A System of Events that Engages Donors Who Will Stay With You for Life. (Seattle, WA: Benevon, 2008) Terry Axelrod explores how a nonprofit can develop a system of special events by delineating the four types of mission-focused events and optimizing post-event follow-up.

Logo_causeeffectiveThe Special Events Toolbox: A Nuts-And-Bolts Guide to Planning and Implementing Successful Special Events Campaigns for Nonprofit Organizations. (New York, NY: Cause Effective, Inc., 2004) This book includes many worksheets and sample forms for the multiple stages of planning and implementing a special event. Goldstein helps organizations determine their objectives and readiness for hosting this type of endeavor.

Special events are important as well as time- and resource-consuming endeavors - so make sure you're making the most of them!