What is the Common Grant Application?

The name Common Grant Application is misleading.  It is not a simple application for grant seekers to fill in.  Rather, it is a general outline for grant seekers to use when crafting their proposals.

The Foundation Center describes how to use the Common Grant Application:

The common grant application format has been adopted by groups of grantmakers to allow grant applicants to produce a single proposal for a specific community of funders, thereby saving time. Before applying to any funder that accepts a common grant application form, be sure to check that your project matches the funder’s stated interests, and ascertain whether the funder would prefer a letter of inquiry in advance of receiving a proposal. Also be sure to check whether the funder has a deadline for proposals, as well as whether it requires multiple copies of your proposal.”

Here is the Common Grant Application for Grantmakers of Western PA.   On page 9, there is a list of the grantmakers who accept this format.


How to Search: A Video!

I’ll be going on maternity leave soon, and I want to make sure new patrons who visit the Grant Resource Center in my absence will be able to use the resources without stressing out the library staff too much. To that end, I quickly created this little five minute video that coves the basics of searching.

What do you think? Yay or nay? Please let me know if it is helpful, so I know if I should create more. (There is a plan in the works to create videos for handling the search results too.)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “FDO_SEARCH“, posted with vodpod

Weekly RFPs from the Foundation Center

Two RFPs of interest in last week’s RFP Bulletin from the Foundation Center:

The Kids In Need Foundation Teacher Grants program provides K-12 educators with funding to provide innovative learning opportunities for their students. All certified K-12 teachers in the U.S. are eligible to apply.

Applications are judged according to criteria that emphasize innovativeness and merit, clarity of objectives, replication feasibility, suitability of evaluation methods, and cost effectiveness. The foundation seeks to fund exceptional ideas, such as projects in which curriculum is presented in a unique setting or in which unconventional methods are used to reveal the content. A project may qualify for funding if it makes creative use of common teaching aids, approaches the curriculum from an imaginative angle, or ties non-traditional concepts together for the purpose of illustrating commonalities.

Grants will range from $100 to $500 each and are to be used to finance creative classroom projects. The program is designed to be the sole funding agent for the proposed project. Typically, two hundred to three hundred grants are awarded each year.

Applicants must be a K-12 certified teacher working at a public, private, or parochial school in the subject of the project. Kids In Need does not fund preschool projects.

Applications will be available online at the Kids In Need Web site from July 15 through September 30, 2009.


The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America is a national nonprofit organization based in New York that focuses on providing optimal care to individuals with Alzheimer’s disease (and related illnesses) and their families. The foundation unites more than 1,200 member organizations across the United States that provide hands-on programs.

AFA’s Family Respite Care Grant is designed to help alleviate the cost of respite care for families caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. Funds may be used for in-home care, adult day programs, or other types of respite.

Individuals may only apply for this grant through one of AFA’s participating nonprofit member organizations. Individuals may only obtain grant applications by contacting a participating AFA nonprofit member organization; only applications mailed from that member organization’s office will be accepted.

Family Respite Care grants are offered in the spring and fall of each year. The annual deadline for the fall cycle is November 1; the deadline for the spring cycle is May 1.

Our New Delicious Page!

The Grant Resource Center has a new Delicious page!

What the heck is Delicious?

From the About page, “Delicious is a social bookmarking service that allows users to tag, save, manage and share web pages from a centralized source. With emphasis on the power of the community, Delicious greatly improves how people discover, remember and share on the Internet.”

Head over and check it out.  I think it will be handy, but you’ll have to let me know.  Our five most recent bookmarks will show up here on the blog, in the sidebar on the right under “From Our Delicious Links.”  If you have a Delicious page too, please add us to your network.  As always, let me know if you have any questions!

The Big Picture: A National Teleconference with Two Nonprofit Sector Leaders

via Philanthropy Front and Center – Cleveland

National Teleconference
Turning Crisis Into Opportunity:
A Conversation With Two Nonprofit Sector Leaders
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
2:00 – 3:00 pm Eastern Time

“Please join us as Bradford K. Smith, president of the Foundation Center, and Robert G. Ottenhoff, president and chief executive officer of GuideStar, jointly address one of the most critical issues in the nonprofit sector today: the impact of the economic crisis on nonprofit organizations and on the foundations that support their work.”

Proposal Writing Basics Class Registration

There are seven spaces left for the July 10 Proposal Writing Basics class.   Have you registered yet?

Webinar Notes: Fundraising A to Z in Difficult Times

Last week I spent two whole days participating in a  Cooperating Collection webinar, hosted by the Foundation Center.  I took part in sessions that will help me create a better, more effective Cooperating Collection, and also sessions full of tips for nonprofits in tough economic times.  I hope to share some of my notes with you over the next few weeks.

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Fundraising A to Z in Difficult Times was conducted by Michael Seltzer, author of  Securing Your Organization’s Future: A Complete Guide to Fundraising Strategies.

***  The new destination for nonprofit fundraising is sustainable funding, and securing fundraisers rather than donors.  ***

Accentuate the Positive. The recession is the time for NPOs to invest in communications and marketing.  Try to craft a positive message about your cause so it can rise above all the gloom and doom about Wall Street.

Collaborate.  “Much can be gained such as cost savings and enhanced impact through working more closely with others.”  Share physical office space, share events, share online spaces.

Experiment.  Create a small scale, experimental initiative or campaign.  Less start up investment, less effort, but still can land you in the public’s eye.

Fundraise Selectively.  No shotgun fundraising!  Engage your supporters in your organization.  Don’t call them donors – call them members or stakeholders.

Get Rid of Dead Wood.  “The times require all hands on deck.  Make it attractive for board members that are not pulling their weight to rotate off the board.”  Create “post board service” opportunities to help gracefully transition less effective baord members off the board.  If you want better people on your board, change your message when recruiting board members.  Sitting on a board is a civic opportunity and a position of honor!  Make sure your organization treats (and promotes) it as such.

Join Forces. Explore group purchasing plans to create cost savings.  There is more to gain than lose in the sharing of information and resources with other NPOs.   Cooperating Collections can be meeting grounds for the NPOs in the community.

Look to the Future.  “Organizations will prevail if they are prepared to innovate and reinvent themselves.”  Example:  selling Girl Scout cookies online.  Genius!