Friday, January 18, 2013

The 7 Sins Of Grant Seeking

It's said that breaking any of the seven deadly sins will doom you to a life of eternal damnation. That's probably not going to happen if you break any of Alan Silver's seven sins of grant seeking, but you will probably lose out on that funding you want.

In his book "How to Win Grants," Silver described each of the "sins" grant seekers often commit in their quest to get funding for their organization. He wrote that, by avoiding these sins you will instantly improve your grant funding chances. His seven deadly sins are:

  • Don’t ask for money from people who will never give it to you;
  • Don’t shotgun cookie-cutter proposals to long lists of funders;
  • Don’t contact funders until you have learned about their funding priorities, types of projects and grantees, geographic preferences, and all other things you can find out about them;
  • Don’t ask for funding before you know exactly what you need;
  • Don’t submit a grant proposal without having another person read it for meaning, content, and style;
  • Don’t talk too much about your project and write too little about it; and,
  • Don’t give up too soon. If you have a good idea and you refine its presentation, it’s increasingly likely someone will fund it – maybe even the funder who originally rejected your proposal.
Have you ever committed any of these sins? Let us know in our comments section which one(s) you committed, and how you learned from it in future proposals.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Nonprofit Jobs eNewsletter

There are many options to find nonprofit jobs, whether it's browsing our career center, networking, or simply calling up organizations to ask if they are hiring. One other emerging trends is to sign up for eNewsletters that contain information on the latest available positions and career advice. By subscribing to The NonProfit Times' free Jobs eNewsletter, you can get all of that information and more.

Delivered every Wednesday, the NPT Jobs eNewsletter contains the following information:
  • A listing of the number of jobs by state on the Nonprofit Job Seeker;
  • Three featured jobs of the week; and,
  • A career advice article for job seekers.
The current edition of the eNewsletter is being sent to subscribers right now, but you can view a sneak peek of the current issue by clicking here. Here are three positions that we have featured in this issue:

President & CEO: Pittsburgh, PA
Click to view complete job and to apply

Director of Development: San Diego, CA
Click to view complete job and to apply

Assistant to Executive Director: New York City, NY
Click to view complete job and to apply

If this eNewsletter looks like something that would be of interest to you, head over to our sign-up page and get your copy today.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Featured Grant: Gun Violence Prevention

President Barack Obama will announce his proposals to reform the United States' gun laws tomorrow, nearly one month to the day of the Newtown, Conn., school shootings that claimed the lives of 20 children and six staff members. While these new proposals will likely be welcome news for gun control advocacy groups, members of these organizations know they still have to educate the public on their position.

For nonprofits that are looking to build awareness about gun violence in America, we have a new opportunity available on our grants page. The Joyce Foundation's Gun Violence Prevention Grant seeks to fund organizations which are looking to educate the public, policy makers and the media about common-sense policies that improve public health and safety.

Applications will be accepted from any nonprofit that actively engages in public policy advocacy. The board of the Joyce Foundation meets every April, July, and December, so all applications must be submitted four months prior to those meetings; Letters of inquiry are due six to eight weeks before the deadline for proposals.

More information on this opportunity can be found on the Joyce Foundation's website. If you are interested in other categories of grants, make sure to visit The NonProfit Times' Grant Finder.

Monday, January 14, 2013

6 Ways To Assemble A Grant Proposal

Chances are you've probably taken a look at some of the opportunities we have posted on our grants page. There's an even greater chance you are interested in securing one of these grants for your organization. That's great, but you have to do a little bit of prep work before you fill out that application.

According to Barbara Floersch, director of The Grantsmanship Center in Los Angeles, Calif., “The quality of the process you use to put the proposal together directly affects competiveness." In other words, filling out a grant application without a solid plan of what you want to say will diminish your chance of winning the funding.

Floersch suggests mobilizing a "team of people invested in the project, assign a leader, lay out a timeline, and assign tasks." The demands of the proposal will dictate some tasks, but here are six that should always be included:

  • Gather Letters of Commitment: Get a letter from each substantive collaborator documenting the role they’ll play;
  • Assemble Attachments: Be sure documents are updated, and get them into the required format, usually electronic;
  • Finish the Research: Find information to fill remaining blanks. You might need a few more statistics, a couple of quotes, or even a literature review of the project’s approach;
  • Develop the Budget: The narrative and budget must be perfectly synced. Be sure the financial person and writer work hand-in-hand;
  • Draft the Narrative: When several people contribute sections, you’ll need one writer to pull it together to ensure cohesiveness and give it one voice; and,
  • Have Others Review the Entire Proposal Package: Accept that you’re too enmeshed in the work to review it objectively. Have a couple of people critique the package. Does it respond exactly to application guidelines? Are all elements clear and convincing? Does each element support the others? Allow time for corrections.