Sunday, April 24, 2011

Grant for U.S. Nonprofits Innovating and Creating New Dimensions of Performance

From The Foundation Center...

[As always, if you're interested in this grant opportunity, click "Link to Complete RFP" at the end of this post].

Deadline: July 1, 2011

Drucker Institute Announces Call for Applications for Nonprofit Innovation Award

The Drucker Institute at Claremont Graduate University has announced a call for applications for the 2011 Peter F. Drucker Award for Nonprofit Innovation.

Administered annually since 1991, the Drucker Award is granted to a social sector organization that demonstrates Peter Drucker's definition of innovation — "change that creates a new dimension of performance." The judges also look for programs that are highly effective and have made a difference in the lives of the people they serve.

Applicants must be nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations.

Funded by a grant from the Coca-Cola Foundation, the first-place prize is $100,000. The second-place award is $7,500, and the third-place prize is $5,000. In addition, the winners of this year's competition will be invited to attend the Drucker Innovation Forum at Claremont later this fall. At this invitation-only event, participants will gather for a cross-sector conversation about strategies for making innovation systematic and effective within their organizations.

For complete program guidelines and application procedures, as well as information on previous award recipients, visit the Drucker Institute Web site.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

About Budgeting and Affording Grant Writing

Not sure how your nonprofit will afford a grant writer?  See...

Planning Your Organization's Grant Writing Expense


How Do We Afford Grant Writing

Grants for Projects Effectively Helping Wildlife Adapt to Climate Change

From The Foundation Center...

[If you are interested in this grant opportunity, click "Link to RFP" at the end of this post].

Deadline: April 29, 2011 (Pre-proposals)

Wildlife Conservation Society Invites Applications for First Grant Round of Climate Adaptation Fund

The Wildlife Conservation Society's North America Program has announced the first round of grantmaking through its Climate Adaptation Fund, a new program to support projects that demonstrate effective interventions to help wildlife adapt to climate change.

The program seeks to support actions that anticipate and respond to potential climate change impacts and maximize long-term conservation goals. Applicants must articulate how climate adaptation science informs the proposed conservation actions and specify the source of science and/or analysis upon which their adaptation project is based.

Grants awarded through the fund will support wildlife adaptation projects that are designed to implement landscape-scale strategic habitat conservation plans and achieve the following types of results: demonstrate land management techniques to assist wildlife adaptation to climate change; protect or expand core habitat areas; create new protected areas or change land use designations to secure intact habitat; assure connectivity for wildlife between core habitat areas; and protect keystone species at risk from the impacts of climate change.

To be eligible, applicants must be U.S.-based nonprofit conservation organizations with 501(c)(3) status. Grants can be awarded for projects only within the 50 U.S. states and six U.S. territories. Public agencies, tribal governments, and universities may partner on proposals submitted by an eligible nonprofit conservation organization or work as paid contractors on funded projects.

With funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the WCS Climate Adaptation Fund will provide up to $2 million in total grants in 2011 for projects of one to two years in length. Grants will range from $50,000 to $250,000 per project. The fund requires a minimum 1:1 match with a maximum of 50 percent of match funding from in-kind sources.

Visit the WCS North America Program Web site for the complete Request for Proposals and application procedures.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Whether or Not to Publicly Acknowledge A Grant Donor, How To, and When To

When a nonprofit receives a grant, it is a moment to enjoy, but we all know the work doesn't end there.  Part of the work remaining to be done is keeping the relationship up with that grant donor.  The goal is not just to get another grant from them.  Maintaining and striving for strong relationships with donors (any donor and all donors): retains a nonprofit's past and current donors; it fosters an inclusion where the donor is not just sent a form thank you letter but rather enjoys the benefits (too) of the nonprofit's achievements in the community that the donor helped the organization to achieve; and it raises the community's perception of the nonprofit because they have a personal sense of how the organization treats them and while, too, providing an avenue for that donor to ask questions (i.e. "...I see in the donation thank you letter that I received that the nonprofit is currently providing (some service) to (some population) because of (some situation).  I want to know more about this effort because I want to help...").  The donor then consistently receives information about the organization (i.e. perhaps through a regularly disseminated newsletter), its mission, and its current work and goals, and it encourages that donor to become more active with the nonprofit (perhaps volunteering or perhaps just sharing with a friend or co-worker, "...I donated to that nonprofit because they do good work...").

So it goes, then, being that relationships are two-way streets, a nonprofit organization should proactively develop an affirmative policy that states how the organization publicizes supporting grant donors and grants that it receives.

Grants are not just an opportunity for an organization to fund its current goals.  Grants also indicate to other grant donors still weighing whether or not to give to a specific nonprofit that others in the community deem the organization (and its work) worthy of a grant (and that can and does sometimes encourage other grant donors (who've also been applied to, at that time) to also decide they will give a grant, too.  A nonprofit's proactive affirmative policy on publicizing grants it receives might be: 'At the time our organization receives a grant (from any grant donor) we will immediately contact our direct contact at the grant donor's office if it is not noted in the grant donor's grant giving guidelines, ask them whether we can: notify other potential donors (who were also applied to) about the grant being received; include them in our quarterly donor list on our newsletter and website; include them as a donor on the brochure, web page, marketing materials, and press releases explaining the program or service that they funded; and in conversations the nonprofit's leaders have with others in the community, may they mention our having received the grant when they network or do any public-facing work on behalf of the organization?  We will always honor the donor's preference on this matter.' 

When it is O.K. with all parties involved it is a smart fundraising and marketing move for the nonprofit to publicize that the organization received the grant because it empowers the nonprofit when the community sees that others in the community support that nonprofit's work, it empowers the organization when the community comes to understand what other organizations (which grant donors) support that nonprofit, and it empowers the agency when the community comes to know what programs and services the nonprofit provides that others in the community decided to support.

Notifying other potential donors (who were also applied to) about the grant being received - Of all of the suggested public relations methods listed, here, this one is far and away the most important because potentially it may immediately raise more funds.  If a grant donor is comfortable with it (and this is not uncommon for recipient nonprofits to do - so most grant donors are usually O.K. with doing so), notify all of the other potential grant (and other types of major donors) that have been solicited for the same project or service that the grant is going to fund that your organization received a grant from whichever donor gave it.

Thank you letter - A thank you letter under the executive director and board's signature should immediately follow receipt of a grant.  What comes into question is whether the organization is using a donor database to manage the donations it receives, its relationship with its donors, issuing its thank you letters, and disseminating its newsletters.  If a nonprofit uses a donor database, be certain to either turn off issuing a newsletter to a grant donor who is entered (or already in) the database because they do not need a quarterly newsletter from your organization.  Imagine it.  They are literally in the business of donating grants to nonprofits.  If every organization that received a grant sent them a newsletter (even with the best intentions) regularly, that grant donor's office would never get to their actual mail.  Their post box would be clogged.  Unless a grant donor requests it - do not send them regular solicitations or fundraising requests (other than the aptly timed and pre-researched grant proposal).

Donor list - Many nonprofit organizations include a list of its most recent donors perhaps in its annual report, website, regular newsletters, and in other publicly disseminated modes.  If a grant donor does not want to be acknowledged as a donor, publicly, or if the grant donor only wishes to be acknowledged as "anonymous" or "an anonymous donor" honor their wish and only refer to them in this way, publicly.  Honor the donor's request.

The program or service's brochure, web page, marketing materials, press releases, etc. - Many programs managers like to include the names of major donors to their projects, like grant donors, because it informs the beneficiaries and other supporters of that project who in the community is enabling the project to occur.  For instance, a pharmaceutical company may sponsor a cancer support group and the participants may appreciate knowing that the pharmaceutical company that is manufacturing the medicine they are taking is also supporting their personal welfare, too.

In conversations the nonprofit's leaders have with others in the community, as they network or do any public-facing work on behalf of the organization - as nonprofit leaders discuss the nonprofits that they work for with others in the community, in short but clear form, they should be sharing what the organization's current work and goals are and its most recent achievements including having just received a grant.  Most grant donors expect a recipient nonprofit's leadership will share with others this achievement, but if for instance a grant donor's requested that it only be referred to as an anonymous donor, then it is imperative that the fundraising office notify all of the organization's volunteers, staff, and consultants privy to the grant being received and who donated it, that the grant donor is to only be referred to as such. 

Asking a donor (any kind of donor who gives to your organization) whether they are O.K. (or not) being publicly thanked or acknowledged for their contribution and then following through with their preference both enables that donor (strengthening the relationship that the organization has with that donor) and also acknowledges that donor's right to say what their preference is.  Asking them what they want honors the relationship, and demonstrates that a relationship (and level of professionalism) is in place that they can come to expect from your organization.  This can engender a long-lasting relationship that provides those who need in your community with more and better services and products while enabling your organization to achieve new goals by virtue of the support your organization receives from its community.

Grants for Nonprofits Using Art to Address Root Causes of Economic, Political, and Social Injustice

From The Foundation Center...

[As always, if you are interested in this grant opportunity, click "Link to Complete RFP" at the end of this blog post for more information].

Deadline: April 25, 2011

Left Tilt Fund Invites Grant Applications for Social Justice Projects

The San Francisco-based Left Tilt Fund is a private nonprofit social justice foundation that funds organizations and artists working to address the root causes of economic, political, and social injustice through community-based organizing, education, legal advocacy, and other innovative means.

The fund is particularly interested in economic equality, civil liberties, prisoners' rights, labor issues, racial justice, homelessness, the environment, the arts, and international work pertaining to Palestine, the Middle East, and Latin America. The fund strives to support a diverse range of social justice organizations, including those that do not receive funds from traditional sources.

The fund is accepting applications for its first grants cycle of 2011. The fund supports nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations with grants up of to $10,000. The fund generally does not support conferences, governmental agencies, or animal welfare organizations. Individuals seeking grants must have an eligible fiscal sponsor.

For complete program guidelines, application procedures, and information about previous grantees, visit the Left Tilt Fund Web site.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Is Your Nonprofit Organization Operating In Order to Close Upon Its Mission's Completion?

Nonprofits are in the business of getting out of business.  Ideally, for each cause, issue, concern, or need that a given nonprofit works to solve; the end comes and the issue is eradicated.

Stephanie Strom wrote Mission accomplished, nonprofits close up shop for the New York Times, April 1, 2011.  It is no April Fool's joke.  To quote,

"A few nonprofit groups have recently announced plans to wind down, not over financial problems but because their missions are nearly finished.

"Most notable, perhaps, is Malaria No More, a popular nonprofit that supplies bed nets in malaria zones. Its goal is to end deaths from malaria, a target it sees fast approaching.

"The charity has announced plans to close in 2015, but it is keeping its options open in the unlikely event that advances against malaria are reversed."

It may seem a strange way to operate any kind of organization, including a nonprofit.  It might even seem odd to launch or be a leader of an organization that eventually may complete its mission and end its own work for just that reason.  Perhaps it even seems 'pie in the sky'.  Yet, of course, it happens.

Is the end-goal of every nonprofit to achieve its mission statement's goals?  No.  Is this not being the case a function of some demonstrated need that will never be entirely met but can be more met than not, so the organization is always necessary?  Is a nonprofit that does not observe a conceivable completion of its organization's mission presuming that the issue that causes the need it addresses can not be ended?  Has the nonprofit's leadership never imagined its work might someday no longer be needed (for good reasons, such as the discovery of the cure for cancer, the end of child malnutrition, etc.)?  Or, is it difficult to even think about the organization having an end because its end would be personally difficult for the organization's leadership (for whatever reason: self-identity, income, ego, etc. or all of the above).

Looking at the nonprofit that yo work with, was the organization's eventual end (meaning, the organization eventually closing because its mission statement's goals have all been achieved) written into the business plan of the nonprofit when it was being formed?  Is it a core value of the organization, among its leadership, volunteers, and staff?  If not, why not?

The answer is perhaps not as important as simply asking the question.  No person likes to think that there is a finite-ness to an effort their making, especially when that effort is to better or improve our communities.  No one wants to imagine that the organization that they volunteer for or perhaps work for is going to become obsolete (even if for good reasons), some day.  It's not that we're a bunch of selfish people, but rather, its natural to hope to be able to further one's achievements (which are also the organization's achievements (successes, accolades, and improvements).  Yet, who among us wouldn't like to see the end of cancer or any type of suffering, harm, or difficulty?  Where do the answers to these questions leave the nonprofit organizations that you and I each work for?  In other words, what impact is our needs as individual people placing onto the organizations we volunteer with or work for?

By virtue of nonprofits being in business to provide some service, product, or program that is needed but not yet being provided (or is not accessible); there is that other side of working on issues, causes, or community challenges.  The other side of nonprofit work is that someday each of our organization's mission statement's goals will be achieved, ideally.  So...what then?

No nonprofit should start itself up assuming anything is easily solved or fixed, that can't be.  This goes without saying.  Yet, should nonprofits operate without their leadership truly taking stock of where the organization is in its (realistic) potential total life time (or amount of time it will realistically exist (be needed))?

The New York Times article ends with Malaria No More's leadership, vice chairman, Scott Case, admitting that with the end of their organization on the horizon his number one concern is getting the organization's staff new professional jobs.  The irony is not lost on him.  He and the staff (among others) have created an amazing accomplishment for people who were facing malaria and its devastation. They achieved their success so well, that now the very people who successfully helped are about to need help, themselves.

Grants for American Animal Welfare Nonprofits Helping Keep Pets and Families Together

From The Foundation Center...

[NOTE: If you are interested in more information on this grant opportunity, click "Link to Complete RFP" at the end of this post]. 

Deadline: June 30, 2011

Banfield Charitable Trust Accepting Grant Applications for Programs to Help Keep Pets and Families Together

The Portland, Oregon-based Banfield Charitable Trust is accepting applications from nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations for its next grant funding cycle.

Twice annually, the Banfield Charitable Trust offers grants to nonprofit organizations whose programs help provide a direct solution to avoid surrender or separation of companion pets from families.

The trust’s funding priorities include basic veterinary care for financially challenged companion pet owners and families; programs that help the homeless, seriously ill, home-bound, or disabled care for or keep their pets; companion pet food banks; education programs that directly relate to keeping companion pets and their people together; behavior modification programs to correct inappropriate companion pet behaviors so that pets may remain in the home; and disaster preparedness and response.

The trust does not fund spay and neuter or adoption programs, general operating expenses or fundraising events, grants to individuals, or international programs.

The trust does not fund more than 50 percent of an entire project and expects to be one of many funding sources. Grants made by the foundation in 2010 ranged from $3,000 to $30,000.

Complete grant guidelines, the application packet, and information on previously funded grants are available at the Banfield Charitable Trust Web site.