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5 Fundraising Tips—Straight from Donors and Grantmakers

Major gift fundraising—whether from individuals, foundations, or companies—is an alchemy of art and science, with the skill of relationship building at its core. In today’s shifting philanthropy landscape, the distance between donors and fundraisers is shrinking, with venture approaches on the rise and competition at its fiercest. So how can fundraisers adapt to this context?


And the Greatest Challenge for Nonprofits Is: A Lack of Time and Staff

We at GrantStation are writing and publishing the results of our most recent survey, the Spring 2018 State of Grantseeking Report series. Over the years, the most frequent response to the survey question “What, in your opinion, is the greatest challenge to successful grantseeking?” has remained the same. This spring, 21 percent of our nearly 5,000 respondents told us that grantseeking’s greatest challenges stem from the lack of time and staff for grantseeking activities.


Advice from a Grantmaker: Two Steps Every Grantseeker Should Take

If you’ve ever applied for a grant, you know there’s a lot of paperwork involved. There’s a reason for that: for each new grant awarded and every payment processed, administrative and financial staff must carefully consider pertinent laws, IRS requirements, and the changing landscape of the nonprofit sector, all while protecting the funds their respective founders set aside for philanthropy. 


The 4 Most Important Things for Grant Writers to Get Right

Lists of the 10 most common grant writing mistakes are common (I’ve even written one myself), but just avoiding the mistakes isn’t good enough to make yours a winning proposal. And whereas it is easy to come up more than 10 things not to do, on the positive side there are just four major things to remember to get right.


In Grantseeking Your Budget Does Matter

GrantStation is currently in the midst of its Spring 2018 State of Grantseeking Survey, and as you can imagine with an expected 3,500 to 4,000 nonprofit respondents, I receive feedback early and often.

One gentleman from a small nonprofit organization told me, “We were not eligible for the award because the funder required a paid executive director of $125,000 for two years, and a budget of $500,000 or more. Of course, if we had that kind of money there would be no need for a grant.”

And I understand his point, as I am sure that you do, too—grantmakers generally like to see capacity, as defined by organizational budget size, organizational age, and scope of services. But there are grantmakers who will fund organizations with smaller budgets, or all-volunteer organizations, or newer organizations, and those three things often go hand in hand.


That “Hello!” Moment: When Grantseeking Becomes an Imperative

I think there is a moment in every organization’s life when grantseeking is not just something that is on the list of things to consider, but when it becomes obvious that the next step in growth is to pursue grant support. Sometimes this happens as a reaction to a financial crisis, but most often it occurs because the growth of the programs and services being offered outpaces current revenue. You can count on fundraising events, soliciting individual donors (small and large), and program revenue to take your organization to a certain level, but when it comes time to engage in the next phase of development, you have to look to other sources such as grant support.


Seven Proposal Writing Tips from a Foundation CEO

In my 35 years as a foundation CEO, I was frequently asked for advice on getting funded. There isn’t enough space here to discuss the ins and outs of creating successful proposals, but I can share with you a few of the dozens of tips you’ll find in my book, The Ultimate Insider’s Guide to Winning Foundation Grants.


The State of Grantseeking

We recently kicked-off GrantStation’s Fall 2017 State of Grantseeking™ Survey. And, yes, I’d would be most appreciative if you would participate. But more importantly, I’d like to share some of the results from the reports of the prior survey, results that reflect trends that have immediate real-world implications.


The Zen of Grantseeking

Nelson Mandela said, “There is no passion to be found playing small—in settling for a life that is less then the one you are capable of living.” I have embraced this sentiment my entire life—not only in my personal living and adventures but also in my day-to-day work.