Working with Foundations


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A workshop on working with foundations originally presented to student at Elon University's Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement.

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  • If you had $10,000 to give away tonight, where would you give it and why?
  • - Learning to work with Foundations is only one small part of a successful nonprofit organization’s fundraising strategy
  • - Learning to work with Foundations is only one small part of a successful nonprofit organization’s fundraising strategy
  • If you know how to work with one foundation….you know how to work with one foundation.
  • Triangle Community Foundation was founded 27 years ago and makes over $14 million in grants each year to nonprofit organizations throughout our region, state, and world.   This grantmaking primarily takes place in two ways – (1) through donor-advised funds and (2) through the Community Grantmaking Program.   Over 80% of the Foundation’s grantmaking takes place through our Donor-Advised Funds grantmaking program.   Donor-advised funds are accounts that individuals, families, or businesses open here at the Foundation. These fundholders then work with the Foundation’s donor-services staff to make recommendations as to where grants from their accounts should go.   The Foundation does not accept proposals for grants from donor-advised funds. Instead, we ask that nonprofit organizations stay in touch with us via email, in-person meetings, and events to inform us about funding needs and opportunities. We then share information about your organization with fundholders, as appropriate. This is an on-going, rolling process. Grants from donor-advised funds are processed every Friday. Grants from donor-advised funds are much more like gifts from individual donors then they are like grants from private or corporate foundations.  
  • Thinking from a funder’s perspective will make you a better proposal writer.
  • Working with Foundations

    1. 1. Working with Foundations Kernodle Center for Service Learning & Community Engagement Elon University February 10, 2011
    2. 2. Why are you here?
    3. 3. <ul><li>Robyn Fehrman </li></ul><ul><li>Community Program Officer </li></ul><ul><li>(919) 474-8370 x. 128 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter: @TriComFdn </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>About Me
    4. 4. Agenda <ul><li>Building a Fundraising Plan </li></ul><ul><li>Types of Foundations </li></ul><ul><li>Introduction to TCF </li></ul><ul><li>General Proposal Elements </li></ul><ul><li>Tips for Success </li></ul><ul><li>Your turn to be the Funder! </li></ul>
    5. 5. Building a Fundraising Plan <ul><li>Gather the numbers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Projected total annual expenses? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Already committed income? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fundraising expenses? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Analyze past fundraising efforts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What worked? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where can you improve? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are the new opportunities? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Determine available resources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Roles for board, staff, volunteers, current supporters? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Source: Fundraising Planning Worksheet: </li></ul><ul><li>A Tool for Creating Your Annual Fundraising Plan, Grassroots Fundraising Journal, 2007 </li></ul>
    6. 6. Building a Fundraising Plan <ul><li>Develop fundraising strategies for various audiences </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Individual donors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Events </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Earned income </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Foundations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Government </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Businesses </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Hammer out the details for each strategy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Net income = Projected income – Total cost </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other goals for this strategy? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Staff & volunteers needed? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Source: Fundraising Planning Worksheet: </li></ul><ul><li>A Tool for Creating Your Annual Fundraising Plan, Grassroots Fundraising Journal, 2007 </li></ul>
    7. 7. Types of Foundations <ul><li>Private Foundations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Warner Foundation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Corporate Foundations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Community Foundations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Triangle Community Foundation </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Introduction to TCF <ul><li>27 year old community foundation </li></ul><ul><li>Largest general funder in the Triangle </li></ul><ul><li>Assets: ~$135 million </li></ul><ul><li>Grantmaking: ~$15 million </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Donor-Advised Funds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Competitive Grants </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Staff: 16 + interns </li></ul><ul><li>Find us on Facebook, Twitter, & YouTube </li></ul>
    9. 9. Researching a Foundation <ul><li>Resources List </li></ul><ul><li>Questions to Ask </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Funding priorities? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Typical grant size? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One or multi-year grants? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Eligibility requirements? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accept unsolicited proposals? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Application process? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Letters of support? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Review process? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Site visits? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Timelines? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluation requirements? </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Proposal Elements <ul><li>Statement of need, problem, opportunity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Why are you doing this work in this way at this time? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Goal and objectives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What are you trying to achieve? How will you know when you achieve it? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Project description, activities, timeline </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What are you going to do? How are you going to do it? Who will you work with? When are you going to do it? </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Proposal Elements <ul><li>Anticipated outcomes, evaluation plan, benchmarks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What are your indicators of success? What can you measure? How will you measure it? When will you measure it? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Budget </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is your income? Is it committed or pending? How diverse is your income stream? What are your expenses? How do administrative expenses compare to programmatic expenses? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sustainability Plan </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Will work continue after grant? If yes, how? If no, how will you transition? </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Tips for Success <ul><li>Build a relationship </li></ul><ul><li>Make funder friends – </li></ul><ul><li>not funder enemies </li></ul><ul><li>Know funder priorities and assess fit </li></ul><ul><li>Read and follow directions </li></ul><ul><li>Ask questions well before proposal deadline </li></ul><ul><li>Use spell check </li></ul><ul><li>Make it easy to understand </li></ul><ul><li>Budget is critical </li></ul><ul><li>Keep the next proposal in mind </li></ul>
    13. 13. Your Turn! <ul><li>Read proposal </li></ul><ul><li>Score using TCF Proposal Assessment Rubric </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss strengths and weaknesses </li></ul><ul><li>Would you fund this organization? </li></ul>
    14. 14. “ You are not here merely to make a living. You are here to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, and with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget this errand.” - Woodrow Wilson