Foundation prospecting 101 november 2011 for houston power tools conference
PowerTools 2012: Foundation Prospecting 101 Presented by Christine West and Sara Kellner
Be clear about your your mission and focus What makes you stand apart?
Have a few projects you can ask formoney for, general operating support, education, a special exhibition, etc Create a kit of partsGet a coach or a mentor if you need help developing a program
Write a great proposal – make the case for your organization Include a clear budget Plan for implementation Include overhead and administration How will you evaluate?
Look at who has given to your organization in the past Go back to the beginningNew trustees, a new generation Examples
Research who has given to similarorganizations and what amountsLook at programs and invitations Get on email listsGet out there; stay involved in the community Cultivating a foundation is like cultivating and individual
Research each foundation, using a toolsuch as The Foundation Center online www.foundationcenter.org
Look at the stated priorities of the foundation
• Houston Endowment supports artistic achievement, cultural knowledge and bringing activities in arts and culture to all people in greater Houston.• The intrinsic value of the arts comes through both the creative expression of the artist and the experience of that expression by others. To fully benefit from, appreciate and take part in cultural offerings, people must engage in activities routinely and repeatedly, and they must draw meaning from those experiences.
Look at what they actually fund and the amounts
Check out their 990 for more information, including the list of trustees, and details on whothey have funded and the amounts: www.guidestar.org
Match this up to your organization –what is the likelihood that they will fund you? “When prospecting for potential donors one traditionally looks for three factors:linkage, interest and ability. The stronger each of these qualities, the more likely your prospect is to make a gift.”
Look at their website, look at whatthey fund, what do they say about themselves and their focus
• Houston Endowment supports initiatives in public and higher education to increase the number of students earning a valuable postsecondary credential.• The systematic failure of many youth and young adults to graduate from high school and to succeed in obtaining a postsecondary credential (a degree or certificate) with genuine value in the marketplace is one of the most important long-term challenges facing our city. The foundation is especially interested in initiatives that address the challenges to success confronted by low-income students, students of color and first-generation college students.
What if the guidelines say they don’t accept unsolicited applications?Does anyone on your board know a trustee? Look to see whom else they have funded. Do you know someone at that org? Send a letter of introduction to your program or organization.Use one of your contacts, if you have one, to help follow-up.
Success story: MusiqaTheir board chair had a lot of contacts and they were able to increase their budget from $50,000 to $200,000 in two years.
Create a list and a calendarPrioritize where you want to spend your time
Interactive Theater CompanyFY12 Grant CalendarAugust 25, 2011Completed GrantsOrganization Request Project Deadline $ Receipt Bd ContactHouston Arts Alliance $25,000 Marketing 10/1/2011 Q1Cullen Trust for the $10,000 Performing Arts 10/15/2011 Q1Performing ArtsGrants in ProgressOrganization Request Project Deadline $ Receipt Bd ContactHouston Endowment $40,000 GOS April 2012 Q1 Final report due May 12 2012Brown Foundation $25,000 GOS November 2011 Q1 Final report due February 7, 2012Wortham Foundation $10,000 GOS Fall 2011 Q2Upcoming GrantsOrganization Request Project Deadline $ Receipt Bd ContactPowell Foundation (new) $10,000 Education Spring 2011 Q1City Initiative Grant $15,000 Special Opportunity TBD Q2Grant Report 11/9/2011 Page 1 of 2Kellner Consulting
Foundation Center Resources www.foundationcenter.org
Foundation Funding Research ”This special day-and-a-half course concentrates on strategies for finding andevaluating funder prospects. Learn to chart your organization’s needs and develop a targeted list of prospects using top-tierFoundation Directory Online Professional.”
Philanthropy News DigestWeekly email newsletters that are very helpfulAdvertises webinars and on line chats where you can ask questions. A recent webinar was on raising money through Groupon
The United Way Resource Library• Foundation Directory Online with nearly 100,000 U.S. foundations and corporate donors• GrantStations database includes government grants and loans in addition to funder profiles• Lending library includes books on fundraising, board governance, nonprofit management, finances, human resources etc.