How to Prepare a Tier 1 Application


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This presentation was given by Program Associate Jeff Baird Jan. 6, 2012.

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  • School and church project have to have broad community appeal. In rural Alaska a school acts as a community hub
  • Mentioned what we funded and will get into that more in a minute. Here’s what we don’t fund. Operating expenses and Reimbursement items are most common requests.
  • An active board: Expect board members to make a financial contribution to the organization at least once a year. We expect it to be a meaningful contribution. Hear a lot of grantees say their board members contribute time. We of course value volunteer time and it is in fact another valuation criteria. But service and money are not interchangeable. It costs money to run a nonprofit and we expect that at least some of it would be coming from the organaization’s leaders.
  • Do your board members feel strongly enough about the project to financially contribute to the organization
  • BSAC requests $9,000 of an $18,000 project for gallery improvements and equipment purchases. Rasmuson funds will be used to install energy-efficient lighting in BSAC's back gallery, replace carpeting and to purchase a desk, office equipment, a Macbook computer and a digital camera.
  • Construction of 6-kilometer combined Nordic/multi-use trail in the Glacier-Winner Creek Valley
  • Generally for social service organizations.Can ask for it but should have compelling reason
  • This facility was critical to the Ionia model.
  • 10 of 90 Tier 1 applications
  • AKMNH requests $23,723 of a $24,073 project to perform a major technology upgrade. AKMNH plans to purchase five desktop computers, a new server, and other necessary components to upgrade the office infrastructure and provide networking capabilities. The entire technology upgrade project is being guided by a detailed information technology assessment, strategic plan and budget prepared by consultants of Design-PT, Inc. (the Foundation's technology consulting and maintenance firm).
  • From this should be able to tell who you are and what you do and what you hope to accomplish
  • Our communication about philanthropy is front and center in our work, and you can see four tactics on the front page of our website. First, our website prominently features stories written by literary artists about the nonprofit partners we work with. Not about our grants specifically, but about the role the nonprofit serves in communities or in the lives of individuals.Second, each week we post a blog post about an issue, a grant we’ve made, an accomplishment by nonprofit partner, or even an event that is upcoming. This is were we share what’s important to the organization in any point in time.Third, we have an active media relations program where we not only distribute news about the Foundation, and here you can see our press releases, but we also try to link reporters to interesting nonprofit stories in a more informal way to make sure the sector gets coverage. And fourth, we are active users of social networks to share stories and information and engage Alaskans in conversations about philanthropy
  • How to Prepare a Tier 1 Application

    1. 1. Rasmuson FoundationWorking as a catalystto promote a better lifefor Alaskans.
    2. 2. Tier 1 Training WorkshopJeff
    3. 3. Tier 1 GrantsRequests of up to $25,000:• Applications accepted and reviewed year-round;• Awards made monthly;• Includes capital, technology, capacity building, program expansion and creativeworks.
    4. 4. 2011 Grantmaking 90 Tier 1 grants awarded; Over $1.6 million awarded to Alaska-based organizations. ( a $17,777 average); About 60% of grants made to organizations outside of Anchorage.
    5. 5. Goals for 2012 Increase number of awards made by 25%; Increase total amount awarded to $2.23 million.
    6. 6. Who we fundAlaska-based 501(c)(3)s or government agencies with year-plus of financialsWho We Don’t Fund: Generally, schools and churches Individuals (except for Individual Artist Awards); Organizations planning to redistribute funds; Politically-affiliated organizations; Discriminatory organizations;
    7. 7. What we don’t fund Core government functions such as roads, utilities, and public safety; Operating expenses; Deficits, or debt reduction; Endowments; Scholarships; Fund-raising events or sponsorships; Reimbursement for items already purchased; Emerging technologies.
    8. 8. Evaluation Criteria Organizational track record; Fiscal and management capacity; An active board; Community support and benefit; Sources of financial support; Project implementation and sustainability feasibility.
    9. 9. How it works Grants are processed within 90 days; You can have 1 open Tier 1 grant at a time; Project has to be completed within 1 year – no extensions! Easy reporting process
    10. 10. Things to think about: 100% board giving Community benefit Funding diversity Right request? Operating expense vs. capital project Project ready to go Call first
    11. 11. Types of Grants: Capital Grants Great way to start a relationship with the Foundation; 80% (65) of the 90 grants were for capital/renovations.
    12. 12. Bunnell Street Arts Center• Description: Gallery improvements and furnitureApplication Strengths:• Volunteer labor significantly lowered project cost;• Respected organizationTip: Lease terms – spell them out. Project Budget: Rasmuson Foundation $9,000 Old Inlet Trading Post $5,000 Volunteer labor $2,800 Bunnell Street Arts Center $1,200 Total Project $18,000
    13. 13. Girdwood Nordic Ski Club Trail construction •Secured funding: $351,929 • Rasmuson Contribution: $18,000 Application Strength • Amount of work done prior to Rasmuson ask; • Well-planned application. Tip: Explain how you will maintain/sustain project. Funding Sources ContactedGirdwood 20/20 Anchorage Trail CareAnchorage HLB American Hiking SocietyIndividuals Conoco PhillipsState of Alaska Parks & Rec GCIAnchorage Parks & Rec REINational Park Service Atwood FoundationMoose’s Tooth Wells FargoAlpine Air Alaska U.S. Forest Service RAC
    14. 14. Kenai Peninsula Food BankRenovation of Fireweed Diner’s kitchenApplication Strength:• Organization provides obvious benefits to Alaskans;• Long history with the Foundation. First grant made in1997 for $3,300.Tip: $25,000 awards are the exception. Project Budget: Rasmuson Foundation: $25,000 Total Project $112,000
    15. 15. IoniaInstallation of sprinkler systemApplication Strengths:• Support from trusted partner and industryexpert;• Well-articulated needTip: Is there any way to partner on a project withanother community organization? Project Budget: Rasmuson Foundation: $20,092 Mental Health Trust: $21,000 Ionia: $8,950 Total Project $56,142
    16. 16. Technology Requests1. Start by calling staff;2. The Foundation will pay for technology consultant3. Applicant can submit a request after technology strategy/plan adopted.
    17. 17. Alaska Museum of Natural HistoryTechnology upgradesApplication Strength:• Technology replacement fund designated• 5-year plan in placeTip: Technology consulting takes time andresources. Do you have enough of both takeadvantage of it? Project Budget: Rasmuson Foundation $20,943 Museum $3,130 Total Project $24,073
    18. 18. Capacity building Funding to help organizations address critical internal issues. Examples include: Strategic/business planning, board development, feasibility studies, audience development.
    19. 19. Alaska SeaLife CenterSupport to attend out-state conferenceApplication Strengths: Request contributed to ASC’s pursuit of fieldaccreditation. Had significant dollars designated for travel and personnel development.Tip: Request should be part of a development strategy. We do not like “stand alone” requests. Project Budget: Rasmuson Foundation $5,000 SeaLife Center $3,339 Total Project $8,339
    20. 20. Creative Works Funding to support the creation and publication of films, documentaries, books, exhibits and other cultural works. Strong Alaska-specific context
    21. 21. University of Alaska Foundation University of Alaska PressPrinting expenses to publish a book titled "My Wrangell Mountains”.Application Strength: Unique subject matterTip: Requests commonly have an educational component Project Budget: Rasmuson Foundation: $25,000 UA Press: $10,050 Total Project $35,050
    22. 22. Program Expansion Funds to support growth into areas related to expertise; Broad impact.
    23. 23. Anchorage MuseumDescription: True North ExhibitApplication Strengths:• Natural fit with what museum is already doing• Sector leaderTip: These should be initiated by establishedorganization Project Budget: Rasmuson Foundation: $19,000 Alaska Air $4,000 BP $10,000 Alaska Design Forum $5,000 Total Project $38,000
    24. 24. Rasmuson Online
    25. 25. Connect with us
    26. 26. Copies of this presentation: Questions? Call us: Jeff Baird, 297-2831 Rasmuson Foundation 301 West Northern Lights Blvd. Suite 400 Anchorage, AK 99503 (907) 297-2700 (877) 366-2700 (toll-free within Alaska)