Appleton PowerPoint - Grants: A Reality Check

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Update (August 29, 2012): This brief PowerPoint presentation was designed for a grant writing workshop organized by the Texas Historical Commission in 2010. I created and gave the presentation as a volunteer; I was serving on the Board of the Friends of the Texas Historical Commission at the time (the nonprofit arm of the state agency).

The slide presentation shares "real life" experiences, and focuses on challenging issues grant writers face. This is a brief version of an earlier presentation also found on SlideShare: http://www.slideshare.net/CAppleton/writing-winning-grants-texas-historical-commission-workshop-february-2010.

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Appleton PowerPoint - Grants: A Reality Check

  1. 1. Grants:A Reality CheckTexas Historical Commission ~ 2010 Carolyn M. Appleton, CFRE
  2. 2. MemorableExperiences
  3. 3. ~ If you can’t explain it all on one page,you can’t explain it.• Sometimes following a pre-set grant proposal format - as taught by some nonprofit support organizations - won’t work. By following the instructions of the chairman of a major Texas corporation, I secured $1,000,000.• It is best to follow the instructions given by the prospective donor, and sometimes those go against the grain.
  4. 4. ~ I need more information. Again.• I had already provided a great deal of information to a potential donor, and thought I would throw up my hands at having to provide even more (and repeatedly)!• But, responding courteously and quickly to requests for additional information led to a $1,475,000 grant. I did not think we had a chance, but happily, I was wrong.
  5. 5. ~ Please have your director review andsign the enclosed contract.• By carefully reviewing the grant contract upon approval of our $100,000 request, I learned a series of reports regarding the progress of the project were required. We were happy to comply.• A few years prior, the nonprofit failed to failed to provide status reports, and had to return $1,000,000 to this same donor.
  6. 6. ~ If you don’t grab their attention in yourcover letter, your request will not make itto final review.• This foundation receives so many grant requests, they have trouble considering all of them.• A succinct, captivating statement of need in your cover letter – one not buried in the grant proposal – is just the ticket.
  7. 7. ~ Sure, you can have a grant of $250,000.But if you want to make it worth our while,come up with a marketing plan, and we’llconsider $1,000,000.• The chairman of a leading American corporation issued a challenge our nonprofit gladly accepted. We sought the advice of their preferred marketing firm, developed a suitable plan, and secured a $1,000,000 grant.• Don’t be arrogant about - nor overestimate - your nonprofit’s in-house marketing capabilities.
  8. 8. ~ Enclosed is a check for $1,000,000.Please call our office immediately uponreceipt.• The letter from a highly regarded donor was received by the secretary of a university president. She gave the check to the CFO for deposit and filed the letter. I had researched, written and submitted the grant.• I learned the check arrived over a week later by a casual remark by a dean in a hallway. Don’t assume highly educated adults, nor administrative staff, know how to respond to charitable donations of this magnitude.
  9. 9. ~ The economy has ‘tanked ’ and no onewill give until the financial markets areon the mend.• Admonished that my efforts would go unrewarded, I forged ahead with fundraising. After 8 months, a grant of $250,000 was made by a major Texas utility company to our nonprofit expansion project.• Not everyone is negatively affected by an economic downturn, and even some of those who are, will rise to the occasion.
  10. 10. ~ We would love to meet with you inperson. Pick the time and place!• We chose a popular, new cafe in which to hold an initial donor meeting regarding a potential, $250,000 grant.• Yes, the French coffee and pastries were delicious! But, little did we know, the restaurant had hired Fabio to make a promotional appearance that same morning.• While we adore Fabio … be sure to choose a quiet location for discrete discussions (smiles).
  11. 11. Thank you! Carolyn M. Appleton, CFRE E-mail: cappleton@earthlink.net WordPress Blog: http://carolynmappleton.wordpress.com/ Fundraising Resources: http://fundraisingresources.wordpress.com/ SlideShare:http://www.slideshare.net/CAppleton/presentations All rights reserved.
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