Fundraising for the small nonprofit Presentation


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Fundraising for the small nonprofit Presentation

  1. 1. Fundraising for the Small Nonprofit Special Workshop City of Dania Beach Grantsmanship Part II:Corporate & Foundation Grants September 10, 2011 © 2011. Kurt R. Moore. All Rights Reserved
  2. 2. Outline• Types of grant support (review)• Some things to be aware of• Basic concepts• Full Proposals• Short Proposals• Q&A• Resource Slides: Writing Resources (not discussed) 2
  3. 3. Types of Proposals• Full proposals• Verbal proposals and oral presentations• Short proposals • Letters of inquiry (LOI) • Letter proposals • Sponsorships • Pre-proposals• On-line proposals 3
  4. 4. TYPES OFGRANT SUPPORT (review) 4
  5. 5. What Kinds of Support do Private Grant Makers Provide?• Operating support = $ • Unrestricted • Restricted• Project support: Seed money• Program support: Ongoing or multi-year grants• Endowment support (sometimes)• Capital needs • Construction • Renovation • Equipment 5
  6. 6. Corporate Support: Sponsorships• Seeks to underwrite part or all of a fundraising initiative• May be monetary ($) or GIK• Generally in written form after visit or discussion• Often related to Annual Support or Special Event• Levels & benefits may be “tiered”• Benefits back to sponsor 6
  7. 7. Corporate Gifts-in-Kind (GIK)• Ask for the item you need rather than the money to buy it• Product loans next best thing• Eliminates a step• Some companies are “product rich” and “cash poor” but willing to help• Last year’s model may do the job• Helps company build brand recognition• May also aid your special events effort 7
  8. 8. Private vs. Government Grants• blicVSprivate.html• html 8
  10. 10. Reality Check• Most foundations do/will not fund • “research” or “policy” • fund entire projects• Most may fund particular line items, activities, or part(s) of budget• Tailor your proposals to ask for funding for specific components• Send “non-competing” proposals to several sponsors simultaneously – best prospects first• When one gets funded, let others know you have a “vote of confidence” 10
  11. 11. Realistic Expectations• Sponsorship requests have quicker time frames• Proposal writing to Foundations may have long time cycles• A good proposal writer cannot make up for a mediocre program or half-baked idea• Not all good programs get funded• If you think you can fund your nonprofit entirely on grants, you are doomed. 11
  13. 13. Key Concepts:It’s not enough to think out of the boxThink Different!• Value proposition• Logic model• Evaluation• Accountability• Sustainability 13
  14. 14. Value Proposition: Definition “marketing statement that summarizes why aconsumer should buy a product or use a service”• Should convince a potential consumer that one particular product or service will add more value or better solve a problem than other similar offerings.• Communicates why your solution will give the buyer/investor a competitive advantage in the market 14
  15. 15. Value Proposition: Application to Proposal Writing• Answers the question “Why should we fund your project?”• Communicates: • How your values align with those of funding organization • How your program will further the mission of the funder • How your organization can do it better than anyone else 15
  16. 16. The Logic Model-> INPUTS -> ACTIVITIES OR PROCESSES -> OUTPUTS -> OUTCOMES“…an approach to measuring the effects of a project, or an institutions, services and activities on the target audience that these programs seek to benefit or serve.” 16
  17. 17. The Logic Model and Outcomes-Based Evaluation• Developed by The United Way (1996)• “Outcomes” relate to the successful achievement of an organization’s mission or programmatic goals.• By focusing on ultimate outcomes or systemic change, planners can think backwards through the logic model to identify how best to achieve the desired results• Evaluation phase uses the logic model as a framework within which to assess program effectiveness 17
  18. 18. The Logic Model: ApplicationApplied to programs and proposals• Program design must incorporate logic model• Proposal must communicate the logic model• Part of the Evaluation Section of the proposal 18
  19. 19. SustainabilityAnswers the question: What happens when our foundation’s money is gone?• Do you have skin in the game?• What is your fundraising plan for the project?• Part of proposal• Include in Budget Section• Report new funding while your proposal is still pending• Update in final report• 19
  20. 20. Accountability• Part of stewardship• Communicating back to the funder • Interim reports • Final reports • After the project• Budgetary as well as activity• Use outcomes-based evaluation format• outcomes-evaluation-guide.htm 20
  22. 22. Teamwork• The proposal process may involve a team, but one person needs to be in charge• Divide and clearly define responsibilities early• The “project director” needs to write the meaty stuff• One person responsible for editing & assembly 22
  23. 23. Before you Write: Getting Organized Brainstorm the proposal with yourteam before you writeMake sure everyone on same page Develop a proposal writing timeline Develop a Remember “Murphy’s Law” 23
  24. 24. Some “DO’s” and “DON’Ts” Do Don’t Read guidelines Skip guidelines? Ask questions Make assumptions Write clearly Be vague Use their terminology Use jargon Allow plenty of time Wait until last minute Keep it short <10 pp Send 30+ pages Get to the point in the Wait until page 7 to beginning of the proposal explain why this is really important 24
  25. 25. FULL PROPOSALS 25
  26. 26. Full Proposals:Basic Elements –the Normal Stuff…Cover letterTitle pageExecutive SummaryIntroductionOrganizational InformationBackground and Case for FundingMethodsPersonnel and other resourcesEvaluationBudgetAttachments 26
  27. 27. Proposal as Business Plan• Reviewer will perform “Due Diligence”: “The process of investigation, performed by investors, into the details of a potential investment.”• Your organization as well as your proposal will be reviewed• Example of “DD”: change/• Remember the “value proposition”!• Use logic model to tie your proposal together 27
  28. 28. Effective Proposals: Additional Focus Points• Cover letter• Title page Executive Summary = value proposition• Introduction = value proposition Organizational Information = inputs• Background/Case for funding (still important!) Methods & Projected Outcomes = activities, outputs, outcomes Personnel and other resources = inputs (Outcomes-based) Evaluation & accountability Budget & Sustainability• Attachments 28
  29. 29. Cover Letter• More than transmittal letter• Introduce organization and proposal• Reference previous contacts• Make a strategic link between the proposal and the funder’s mission and grant making interests• Often better to have Exec. Dir. or Board Chair signature than Development Officer 29
  30. 30. Title Page or Cover Sheet• Optional on very short proposals• Funder may have preferred or required format• Appropriate signatures• Slick and glossy covers won’t get you funded 30
  31. 31. Introduction or Executive Summary: First ImpressionsNormal stuff:• Statement of problem, target group served• Significance of program or activity,• Proposed solution, program plans or activity• Benefits to stakeholders• Blah, blah, blah...But, … let the prospect know that you have• Organizational Capabilities• Clearly defined plan and projected outcomes• Evaluation component• Plan for sustainability 31
  32. 32. Executive Summary Sheet: Basics• In one or two paragraphs describe the project: target group, problem/need, solution, how it will be used, projected outcomes/benefits & amount (or item) requested• Communicate the value proposition• If applicable – funds already committed• Provide contact info• Similar to abstract for journal article• One page or less• Optional, if information already included in funder’s cover sheet 32
  33. 33. Cover Letters & Executive Summaries: ExamplesHow to write a cover letter• inggrants/a/coverletters.htmHow to write and executive summary• inggrants/a/proposalsummary.htmSample executive summary• inggrants/a/proposalsummary_2.htm 33
  34. 34. Introduction• Statement of problem & target group• Purpose of program or activity• Significance of program or activity in terms of projected outcomes• Very briefly describe benefits to • Community • Funder • Your organization’s mission• Communicate the value proposition 34
  35. 35. Organizational Information: Yes, We Can!• Organization’s mission and goals• Brief organizational & program history• Supports financial credibility Focus on the organization’s past or current programs or activities, related to proposed project or program, including successes• Answer the prospect’s question: “Why YOUR organization”? Avoid: “Great idea; should be at Harvard or Yale.” 35
  36. 36. Background or Case• Get to the heart of the problem• Full literature review/history generally not needed for most funders • Many reviewers will not have in-depth understanding of problem • Takes up valuable space • Only appropriate for research proposals• Keep references to minimum (think freshman term paper) 36
  37. 37. Methods & Projected Outcomes: We Have a Plan• State/define your goal(s) clearly in terms of projected measurable outcomes; quantify where possible• Describe your methods or approach to the problem• Milestones/major activities• Evaluation checkpoints and outputs• Timeline• Research Design (if research proposal) 37
  38. 38. Personnel and Other Resources: Inputs• Personnel (inputs) • short bios tailored for specific grant highlighting previous relevant work = track record • Short resume or c.v. as attachment• Description of other relevant institutional resources (more inputs) • Internal funding • Facilities • Equipment • Other • Partners (financial and technical) 38
  39. 39. Evaluation: Defining and Measuring Success• Describe criteria for program success: immediate & long-term effects of organization’s activities (desired outcomes)• State these effects in terms of Funder’s grant making interests• mdl.htm 39
  40. 40. Evaluation: Part II• Systemic vs. short-term change; systemic outcomes vs. process outputs• Connect evaluation back to your methods plan (logic model)• How will your organization measure/evaluate the outcomes/changes?• Who will be involved in the evaluation?• Accountability: what will the organization do with the evaluation and/or results?• Stewardship – keep them informed 40
  41. 41. Budget Narrative = Funding RequestNormal stuff• Restate funding request• Provide short budget narrative• Provide itemization/breakout figures as needed• If required, provide organization’s annual budget as attachment• Yada, yada, yada … ggrants/a/grantbudget.htm 41
  42. 42. Budget Narrative includes: Sustainability PlanBut, … let funding agency know you have a long-term funding strategy or Sustainability Plan Your and Other’s funds committed for successful launch – this is a “plus” Fundraising plan to continue program Program income and other sources of income Institutionalization (transformative effects)Answer the prospect’s question: “What happens when my money runs out?” 42
  43. 43. Budget sheetOnline Course Development ProjectItem Requested College share Foundation XPI (1 month summer) $11,637Computer, software $950 $2,000Travel * $1,294Marketing ** $674Student asst. $500Subtotals $3,168 $12,587 $2,000Notes: Foundation X award contingent on external matchPROJECT TOTAL $17,755 43
  44. 44. Budget: Breakout Figures* Travel cost breakout: 2006 Conference, Atlanta , GA Conference registration $ 365.00 Airfare: RT Tallahassee – Atlanta (Delta) $ 315.00 Hotel: 4 nights @ $120/night $ 480.00 Per diem: 4days @ $21/day; 1 day @$50 $ 134.00 Total estimate $1,294.00** National marketing costs: Hosted on College web pages NC Mailing to approx 50 state agencies, 75 Florida school principals & 75 district consultants $ 74.00 Advertisement in Research Quarterly (1/4 page X 4) $ 600.00 Total estimate $ 674.00 44
  45. 45. Attachments• If requested • Press clips • Letters of support• If it really helps your case• Use URLs in electronic proposals • •• Sometimes electronic version of proposal required in addition to hard copy 45
  46. 46. When You are Done Writing, Save Time for the Following Put it aside Have someone else read it Swallow your pride Give them a red pen ? Let them ask “dumb” questions Call program officer with questions√ Revise, format, spell-check Mail it on time! 46
  47. 47. The Evaluation ProcessApproximately 1/3 of proposals not readbecause writers did not do homeworkApproximately 1/3 rejected because theproposed project is just not that goodThe other 1/3 gets evaluated for a limitednumber of fundsMost of those are not funded & some onlypartially fundedTop 10 reasons that proposals 47
  48. 48. How To Kill Your Proposal• Late• Not a good fit (did not do homework)• Incomplete• Did not follow directions• Unclear/not well organized• No measurable outcomes• “Shotgun” approach obvious• Budget/fiscal accountability lacking 48
  49. 49. If Funding is Not Offered• Try, try again• Try to get a debriefing if possible• Re-evaluate your proposal/project• Re-apply if possible• Seek multiple sources of funds simultaneously• Fact of Life: Good proposals often do not get funded 49
  51. 51. Types of Proposals• Verbal proposals and oral presentations• Short proposals • Letters of inquiry (LOI) • Letter proposals • Sponsorships • Pre-proposals• On-line proposals• Full proposals 51
  52. 52. Short Proposals: Basic Elements Outlined• All the elements of a full proposal• The trick is keeping it • Short, • Complete, and • On point! 52
  53. 53. Verbal Proposals & Oral Presentations• Not uncommon in corporate funding• Conversation may begin with your at local level for a large company funding program• Often a PowerPoint presentation or simply a meeting• Opportunity for Q&A with potential 53 sponsor, especially non-technical people
  54. 54. Verbal Proposals & Oral Presentations: Structure• For research or technical proposals presentations focus on the solution• What is the “competitive advantage”?• More often it will be at corporate, not local, authorizing the check• Graphics help• One-page bullet point handout w/costs• Concept paper as part of presentation or may precede meeting 54
  55. 55. Verbal Proposals: Follow-upGoal• When you leave, you want them to ask you to submit a formal proposal• Formal proposal submitted if potential sponsor interested• Invitation for formal proposal does not guarantee funding 55
  56. 56. Letters of Inquiry (LOI) Letters of Inquiry • Idea testing - Would or do you fund this? • Major elements of a full proposal boiled down to about 2 pages• Sometimes preferred by foundations• Different from a Letter of Intent• Examples undation.html 56
  57. 57. Letters of Inquiry: Elements• Introduce organization and proposed project • Statement of problem • Purpose of program or activity • Target group • Make a strategic link between the proposed activity and the funder’s mission and grant making interests 57
  58. 58. Letters of Inquiry: Elements cont’d• Why is your organization best suited to do this project?• State an amount of funding sought• Ask for the opportunity to submit a full proposal• Often better to have Exec. Dir. or Board Chair signature than Development Officer 58
  59. 59. Letter Proposals Letter format• All the elements of a full proposal boiled down to 2-3 pages = concise• Very similar to letter of inquiry• Attachments optional• Sometimes a full proposal or additional information may be requested later by the funding organization 59
  60. 60. Letter Proposals: Elements• Statement of problem/need• Target group• Solution/program• Amount (or item) requested• How funds will be used• A word about evaluation• If applicable – funds already committed 60
  61. 61. Letter Proposals: Elements cont’d• Answer the question: Why your organization?• Very briefly describe benefits/outcomes to: • Community • Funder • Your organization’s mission• Summary budget may appear as table• Provide contact info• May require telephone follow-up 61
  62. 62. Letter Proposal: Budget tableOnline Course Development ProjectItem Requested College share Foundation XPI (1 month summer) $11,637Computer, software $950 $2,000Travel * $1,294Marketing ** $674Student asst. $500Subtotals $3,168 $12,587 $2,000Notes: Foundation X award contingent on external matchPROJECT TOTAL $17,755 62
  63. 63. Sponsorships: Overview• Seeks to underwrite part or all of a fundraising initiative• May be monetary or GIK• Generally in written form after visit or discussion• Shorter “turn around” time• Often related to Special Event • Major sponsor = significant underwriting • Co-sponsors – sponsors at lesser amount • Activity sponsor – breakfast, hole sponsor, etc. 63
  64. 64. Sponsorships: What the Sponsor Wants• Visibility!• Sponsors often associate funding with advertising not philanthropy• See audience as potential clients• Bigger audience = more funding potential• See organization as marketing partner• Sometimes done for community goodwill 64
  65. 65. Sponsorships: Sponsorship Letter• Describe the event• Audience it will reach• What the funding will be used for• Ask for a specific level of sponsorship• List sponsor benefits & tax benefits• Thank you• Contact information• Examples: • • Proposal 65
  66. 66. Sponsorships: Benefit Package• Recognition at event and in event materials• Mentioned in press releases• Graduated levels of recognition and benefits • Gold – 1 @ $2500 • Silver – 2 @ $1000 • Bronze – 3-5 @ $500 • Activity sponsor - $100 or GIK• Exclusivity helps• Continued, non-event recognition important• Tickets and other tangible benefits 66
  67. 67. Pre-Proposals: Overview• Pre-proposals • Part of 2- or 3-step structured process • Easier for sponsor and grant seeker • Full proposal is last step• Used for screening applicants• May be in response to RFP• May have elements of a Letter Proposal • All the elements boiled down to 2-3 pages 67
  68. 68. Pre-Proposals: ProcessI. LOI or Application FormII. Short proposal focuses on problem and proposed solution, with other elements of a full proposal in briefer formatIII. Full proposal often longer • In-depth discussion of project, methods, timelines, outcomes, evaluation, organizational capabilities • Detailed budget • All the attachments 68
  69. 69. Online Proposals• Often short – may be limited to number of words or characters• Defined template - funder will tell you what information to submit• Fill in the blanks• Although short, writer must be very organized • High premium on very tight writing • In some cases, grammar may be compromised • Use abbreviations and acronyms 69
  70. 70. Online proposals often very shortThe Sun Microsystems Learning Laboratory will be a 30-seat multi-use facility forstudent instruction (, applied research in educational technology, and communityaccessible training. FSUS ( supports the university’s missionthrough research, development and delivery of on-site and distance instruction forK-12 and postsecondary students and teachers ( Our design, development, evaluationand dissemination of curriculum, instruction and assessment are key schoolcomponents. FSUS develops, applies and disseminates topical educationalresearch fostering leadership and collaboration in K-12 reform( It is the only one of 140 university laboratory schoolsnationwide that operates as a charter school. Supplementing this nationwidenetwork is a regional partnership with several universities in the Southeast.Florida is also one of 4 “bellweather” states (also TX, NY, CA), thus our K-12research findings receive a national audience. Additionally, from 4-10 P.M. onMondays through Thursdays we will make the lab available via FSU’s Center forProfessional Development ( andTallahassee Community College ( Other hours,including weekends, will be available for state worker training. This project facetemphasizes the school’s role in adult education( and workforcedevelopment (,providing a replicable model that the Sun-FSU partnership can demonstrate to K-12 schools in other communities. 70
  71. 71. Online Proposals: EditingPrint the application window/frame(s)“Save” capability may not be presentWrite the proposal in Word Easier to edit Easier to pass among team members Use hot links since you can’t send attachmentsCut, paste, final review, hit <SUBMIT> 71
  72. 72. Summary: The Long and the Short of It• All proposals contain the same elements regardless of length• Clear & concise writing gets the reader past the first paragraph• Logic model - focus on “outcomes” and work your way backwards• Answer the question “Why your org?”• Good writer will not make up for a badly conceived program 72
  73. 73. Q&AKurt R. Moore, CFREnp2np SM21000 Windemere LaneBoca Raton, FL 33428Ph: (850) 73
  75. 75. $how Me the Money!: Finding a FunderFoundation Center Prospector – (2008)Additional funding grants www.grants.govCatalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance their websites 75
  76. 76. Proposal Writing ResourcesProposal writing resources on the Foundation Center short course .html roposalhub.htm Proposal writing tips seeking and proposal writing’s and DON’Ts 76
  77. 77. Resources: Texts• Too many out there to recommend• No “one size fits all”• Better to • Attend workshops • Use web-based tutorials • Clear concise writing • Follow directions• Nothing beats experience 77
  78. 78. Outcomes-Based Evaluation: Resources• Measuring Program Outcomes: A Practical Approach (1996) United Way m_outcomes_a_practical_approach/program_film• “Reader’s Digest” version• Other online resources: chor182947 78
  79. 79. Resources: Professional Education• Professional Associations• College courses available in grants• In-service training (like this!)• Certification programs• Colleagues & networking 79
  80. 80. Resources: Professional Education - Associations• Your own professional association• Grant writers’ organizations: • Grant Professionals Association • American Grant Writer’s Association• AFP, CASE, AHP educational seminars • AFP • CASE • AHP 80