Ws Talking Points


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Presentation by Marcia Horngren.

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Ws Talking Points

  1. 1. Grants Prospect Research 1. Welcome and Introduction – Tab 1  Good morning. I’d like to welcome you all to this introductory session on prospecting for potential matches between your funding needs and funders interest and priorities.  Let’s start by introducing ourselves and giving a brief overview of our background and grant- seeking experience so we can get a feel for where everyone is in this process.  I’m Marcia Horngren and I have more than 25 years of experience in Fund Development/and allocation of funds, I recently retired from United Way where I was the Vice President of Fund Distribution and am currently a consultant with City Connect Detroit.  For those of you that aren’t familiar with City Connect Detroit, the organization has been in operation for about 8 years with the mission of helping metropolitan Detroit nonprofits and governments obtain increased national funding and to facilitate collaboration among nonprofits, governments, businesses, grant makers and others.  Now let’s hear from you.  Clearly we have a variety of backgrounds and interests. So let’s get started.
  2. 2.  You’ll find today’s agenda under tab 1 in your binder. As you can see we’ll get a clearer understanding of what is meant by prospect research, we’ll talk about the various sources of grants, get a picture of what’s happening in Michigan, and then talk about some tools, processes, and resources to help you find the best matches between your programs and available funds.  The objectives of this session are i. You will enhance your knowledge about identifying grant-making prospects that have the inclination and the capacity to invest in your organization ii. You will increase your skill in making appropriate requests and developing a strategic grant-seeking approach.  Prospect Research for our discussion today is defined as the process of identifying, reviewing and profiling prospective grant makers.  There is also prospecting for individual donors, usually in support of membership drives, capital campaigns and major gift campaigns, but this morning we’re going to focus on grant makers.  The goal of prospect research is two-fold: to identify prospects that have the inclination and the capacity to invest in your organization and to best determine how much to ask for, when to ask and how to ask.  Prospect research is an essential part of a strategic fund development effort. It identifies
  3. 3. prospective donors for financial and other types of support. It’s crucial to a successful proposal process.  Prospect research is used to make the correct fit between your programs and prospective grant makers; create, facilitate, nurture and improve relationships with grant makers; document and track relationships; and make your investment in grant-seeking most effective.  The advantages of prospect research include working with accurate, current and timely information; information is centralized and maintained in an orderly manner; matches between programs and funding requests are targeted; new funding prospects are identified through proactive research; information is quickly and efficiently available.  Smaller organizations working with a tight budget can be effective prospectors by being selective and focused in taking advantage of web resources, networking, and perhaps investing in one or two targeted good resources which we’ll be talking about soon. 2. Grant Makers – Tab 2  There are 7 major categories of grant makers as you can see under tab 2  Have you had experience with any of these types of grant-makers and can you tell us something about it?
  4. 4.  Review independent, foundations, company- sponsored foundations, community foundations, public charities, corporate giving programs, and government grant-making.  Most funders want to see evidence of local support and its usually best to start with foundations within Michigan  Overview of giving in Michigan – tab 2 3. Getting Organized – Tab 3  The forms under tab 3 are designed to help you assess the match between your program needs and the funders’ guidelines and interests  Many, many proposals are rejected simply because they are not a good fit with the funder  So before you even start researching potential funders be clear about your goals, the needs to be met by your program, the amount of money needed to reach your objectives, and what other sources of funding may be available.  That kind of assessment combined with the research laid out in these forms will help you make targeted requests to funders interested in your type of organization, in your geographic area, and in your field of interest.  Review forms – first phase of information gathering. 4. Research Process – Tab 4  To give you an idea of the range and depth of funding classifications available, look at the way
  5. 5. The Foundation Center classifies grants under 10 basic divisions and 26 major field areas under tab 4  Your search for prospects could begin under the category that best fits your program  In assessing prospects plan to move from a simple to a deeper program match  This includes determining the type of funder, setting clear program priorities, gathering good information on funders, compiling, investigating and refining the information, and finally making the request  At first identify funders with a program match by searching resources with simple 1-2 word program descriptors  Next put these prospects through a second, deeper program match review  This involves looking at the detailed information about the funder and your program to see if the match still fits. This is done by critically looking at the following factors: o Target Population-disadvantaged/low-income, urban/rural, etc. o Type of support-program, research, operating expenses, etc. o Types of organizations funded-schools, government, nonprofits, national/local/state, etc. o Detailed language on funder priorities-could be called field of interest, program areas/focus, etc.
  6. 6. o Specifics of your priorities-clearly stated goals and objectives of your project  The prospects still on the list after this review process are the ones to focus on. Once a final management decision is made to pursue them take the following steps o Build relationship with funder o Select partners if appropriate, design program, build relationship with funder o Develop and submit proposal, build relationship with funder o Follow-up on application, secure grant award, build relationshp with funder o Ensure success of project, report to funder, build relationship with funder SEE LAURIES INFORMATION TAB 4  Using an organized approach to your prospect research involves o Going to the right places for the right information o Keeping efforts focused o Picking a few search sites and learning them thoroughly o Bookmarking favorite internet sources so you can get to them quickly and easily o Using information you already have in your database o Using accurate and reliable data, sites and search engines
  7. 7. o Focusing on and presenting the information required 5. Resources – Tab 4  Directories (available on CD-ROM) o The Michigan Foundation Directory o The Foundation Directory o Both have powerful search engines that allow you to select multiple criteria and quickly create customized lists of potential funders  Other publications from the Foundation Center –  Annual Reports published by the funders  Publications – Chronicle of Philanthropy, Crains Business, Nonprofit times  990-PF Tax Returns    Industry Publications  Professional Organization Directories  Internet-examples shown on the material provided  membership 6. Today’s economy – Tab 5 o Today more than ever we need to be strategic in the use of our resources in seeking support for programs that are needed more than ever. At the same time these are tough times for funders as well. By being strategic a great deal of time, frustration and disappointment will be avoided and your chances of getting funded will be much greater.