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From: Lisa Schohl
Subject: How to Get the Best Return on Your Grant-Seeking Efforts
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Competition for grants is especially tough in 2023: Most foundations are giving less or holding steady this year, according to research from Candid. I recently spoke with several experts who shared tips to help you adapt your grant-seeking strategy to the current landscape and boost your odds of success.
A simple yet game-changing thing to do before applying for a grant is to connect with the foundation, says grant-seeking consultant Lauren Steiner in my article 14 Ways to Improve Your Next Proposal and Build Ties With Grant Makers. Don’t let fear of rejection stop you, she says. “All fundraising is a risk of personal rejection, and we just all have to be OK with getting a lot of nos and moving on to the next one.”
To make the most of your time and efforts, be selective. Don’t bother submitting proposals that aren’t requested by the foundation, either through a direct invitation or a public call for applications, says Muneer Panjwani, a development consultant and former fundraising executive. “It’s going into space at that point — nobody’s looking at it.”
And don’t pursue every opportunity you see, says Susan Schaefer, a consultant who helps nonprofits land major grants. It’s more efficient to focus on getting to know program officers, seeking their advice for your proposal, and applying in response to an eager invitation than spending a lot of time writing “cold” proposals, she says.
Read my article for more insights and advice. To get even more guidance, register for our upcoming webinar Corporate Grant Seeking in the Current Climate, and read another recent article from our advice section, How to Write Grant Proposals That Get Results.
Have a great week,
Senior Editor, Advice
Before the critical year-end giving season begins, join us on Thursday, September 28, at 2 p.m. Eastern to learn how to freshen your donor communications and donor recognition efforts. We’ll share insights from the latest research in donor psychology and offer practical advice on how to apply the findings. Get inspired by real-world examples of creative and fun ways nonprofits thank their donors. Plus, our expert guests will offer guidance on how to build a culture of gratitude at your organization. Sign up today.
VIRTUAL FORUMS & BRIEFINGS
Ideally major-gift fundraisers should focus only on supporters who are affluent, generous, and committed to their cause. Yet this requires data on donors’ involvement with an organization as well as their giving history and financial capacity. Smart leaders understand this and ensure that they analyze and organize donor data to make it actionable. Join us today, September 19, at 2 p.m. Eastern for a free online forum to learn how savvy nonprofits are making the most of their data to boost major gifts. Register now and join us this afternoon.
Left-right divides don’t apply. That’s why the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Giving Review, and the Institute for Policy Studies are holding a discussion about ways forward that can attract broad support. Joining us are Chuck Collins, director of the Charity Reform Initiative at the Institute for Policy Studies; Craig Kennedy, a former foundation president and a fellow at the Giving Review; Andrea Caupain Sanderson, co-founder and co-executive director of the BIPOC Executive Directors Coalition; Jan Masaoka, head of California Association of Nonprofits; and Dean Zerbe, former counsel to the Senate Finance Committee. Sign up now for this free session tomorrow, September 26, at 3 p.m. Eastern, and join Stacy Palmer, CEO of the Chronicle, who will moderate the discussion.
Your Nonprofit CoachThey are a huge investment of time and energy, and the goal of building authentic relationships is forgotten.
VideoA panel of experts discuss what to consider when adopting A.I., simple steps to get started, and ways to make sure you ‘do no harm’ when using this technology.
Higher Ed Fundraising
Can Donors Still Support Race-Conscious Programs? Supreme Court Ruling Leaves College Fundraisers in Uncharted TerritoryLawyers and fundraisers weigh in on how the court’s decision could impact university fundraising efforts and relationships with donors.
Pay EquityAs more states adopt laws that require employers to disclose compensation for open positions, here are key things to consider when setting salary ranges for leadership roles at your organization.
Grant SeekingWith foundations expected to slow their giving this year or keep it flat, it’s more crucial than ever to create proposals that stand out. Here’s what experts advise.
FundraisingThe codes also seek to reduce other problematic donor behavior, like pushing organizations to start programs that fall outside their mission and trying to get involved in day-to-day operations.
Tip of the Week
To advance DEI at your nonprofit, start by creating a baseline. Ask yourself and your staff how your DEI practices manifest in your organization and outside of it and what the trends have been over time. Also look at what your peers are doing to make real their DEI commitments, including what indicators they are using as targets to drive toward. The fruits from this data collection help clarify the path forward: They introduce concrete parameters and opportunities to undertake or adapt. For more tips, read How to Move DEI Strategy From Paper to Practice.
New Grant Opportunities
Your Chronicle subscription includes free access to GrantStation’s database of grant opportunities.
Cybersecurity. The Kyndryl Foundation supports nonprofits that are expanding an inclusive cybersecurity work force, including support for organizations and programs that provide cybersecurity training and career support to underserved communities, and preparing nonprofits to be cyberattack-smart, including programs that train nonprofit employees to prevent cyberattacks and develop training materials. Preference goes to groups in Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, New York, and Texas. Grants generally range from $100,000 to $250,000. The application deadline is November 6.
Legal help to advance justice. The Impact Fund provides grants to groups seeking to advance justice in civil and human rights, environmental justice, and poverty law. Most grants are for class actions, but funding has also been provided for multi-plaintiff and environmental justice cases that aim to significantly affect a larger system or lead to significant law reform. The grants may be used for out-of-pocket litigation expenses such as expert fees and discovery costs but not for attorneys’ fees, staff, or other overhead. Rapid response grants are also provided for urgent financial assistance of up to $10,000 for sudden out-of-pocket litigation expenses for public interest impact lawsuits. Grants generally range from $10,000 to $50,000. Letters of inquiry are due October 10.