Master Grant Writing

I’ve been asked repeatedly to provide grant help. This is the opportunity for you . . .

Master Grant Writing  

Join Master Grant Writing for six, one-hour sessions for six months in a small (maximum 10) group telephone conference. You’ll draft proposals, receive feedback, critique drafts, and learn to craft more powerful proposals. You’ll write better grants quicker. Topics include: crafting narrative, telling stories, engaging bored sleepy panelists, case statements, and how to say ‘kind’ things about your competitors to …

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The Lull in the Storm: How to Use It Well

It’s like waking up from a coma. It’s the morning after a major deadline—perhaps the gala, a grant, or the board or the director’s retreat. An eerie quiet fills your head and your office. The sunlight catches the dust as it falls on to the piles of paper and stacked work on your deck.

Despite your exhaustion, you feel lighter, better, good. After you relax, you tidy up your desk, send out thank you notes, and inventory what needs doing. …

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Don’t Just Find Donors, Grow Your Own

This article is from this month’s Your Ingenious Nonprofit Mini newsletter. Subscribe here.

In nonprofit fundraising, we talk a lot about finding donors. Donors are like Superman. Many of them are wearing your t-shirt under their clothes. Until you grow a relationship with them, you won’t learn their true identities. Finding donors by creating relationships with new people is one way to get them. Another is to grow your own.

The Prader-Willi Syndrome Association (USA) has developed a great model. …

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Donor Letter Mistakes: What Errors Have You Seen?

A friend notified a well-recognized national nonprofit that he was leaving a gift to them in his will. Within two week a packet of material arrived to thank him. The materials affirmed the wisdom on his choice and included several impressive brochures.

A week later a letter arrived from the CEO’s thanking him for the gift.

The fourth week, a second letter arrived from a third person thanking him for the gift.

Good work. Good stewardship. Great efficiency. Right?

Yes, …

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You Think We Can Raise Millions?!?! Setting Realistic Fundraising & Income Expectations

48898664Everyone at your nonprofit would like to earn more revenue and raise more funds. Boards, seeking to motivate staff and create momentum, tend to set optimistic income goals. Staffs, recognizing implementation challenges and desiring to exceed any goals set, seek conservative ones. When expectations differ, then stress, suspicion, and conflict can result.

How can you bring board and staff expectations into sync? You can do this by discussing the whys behind your expectations as a whole, as well as for …

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Three Ways to Improve Trust in Your Organization

A friend was having trouble with his boss. “We just don’t connect. I don’t know why. I guess we just see things differently.”

“Do you trust her?” I asked.

Silence. A laugh. “No.”

Donors give you money because they trust you. Volunteers volunteer because they trust you. Development directors and CEOs succeed because they trust each other. Unfortunately, too many of us in all organizations, nonprofit and not, do not trust those around us.

Sometimes we do not trust others …

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How to Make More Revenue in Less Time

This is our latest column, available for your publication. Please contact Karen for more information.

You have several lists of potential major gift donors. You have limited time to invest pursuing those gifts. Where will you invest your time?

  • One list includes people like Mrs. Garcia. She has donated $100 every year for more than a decade.
  • Mr. Roberts and his cohorts donated $5,000 or more, five years ago. Since then, they’ve given $200 or less each year.
  • A third
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What If It’s Actually Good To Be Grant Dependent?

You’ve always heard that it’s bad to be grant dependent. What if being grant dependent was a healthy stage of nonprofit development? Like learning to crawl? Organic Rice Field With Dew DropsOr, eat with a spoon?

Consider that:

  • Grants help nonprofits plan. The application asks: Who else provides similar services? Please provide a project budget. How does your proposal fulfill your mission?
  • Grants help nonprofits to put ideas into concise words. At a community event, I met a women starting a new nonprofit. In the
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TIme Management for $1,000: Play Jeopardy To Get More Done

This article is from our Added Value Newsletter.

Nonprofits for $1,000
Answer: The greatest impediments that nonprofits face in growing their income and improving results.

Question: What are time constraints?

Are nonprofit leaders the busiest of the busy? Yes. Nonprofits are under-resourced and often, when they have resources, they use them to generate more mission. Things like making lists, doing two-minute tasks immediately, or clearing your desk nightly are not enough to solve nonprofit time management challenges. You need heavy-duty …

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Is it a Donation? It is Business Decision? Who cares! It’s a No-Brainer

When I visited the offices of a community foundation last month, I was ushered into a small, lovely meeting room overlooking the city’s most famous avenue.  The room was tastefully decorated and filled with local artwork. A stack of postcards with information about the artist rested on a side table.

The room was named after the artist. From the community foundation’s viewpoint, the income and the ongoing relationships are the benefit of this arrangement. From the donor’s viewpoint, the benefits …

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