Links to Visit

Two links worth sharing …

  1. From Katya’s Nonprofit Marketing Blog :   “For decades, fundraising pros have relied on a ‘little blue book’ to inspire and inform their boards: The Raising of Money, 35 Essentials Every Trustee Should Know, by Jim Lord.”  Go to Katya’s blog and click the link to download the “little blue book” for free.
  2. If you have not yet subscribed to The Grantsmanship Center‘s e-mail newsletter, Centered, you should do it now.  Each month’s newsletter contains a few short, information packed articles.  Go to their home page and look for the “Join Our Mailing List” link on the left hand side.

Image is Everything

The May 2009 edition of Successful Fundraising has short little gem of an article called, “Build Image Worthy of Major Gift Support.”  The article says, “To attract sizable gifts, your nonprofit needs to be perceived as worthy of such gifts.”

Really think about that for a minute. “To attract sizable gifts, your nonprofit needs to be perceived as worthy of such gifts.”  Does your nonprofit project an image of worthiness?   Or does your nonprofit look like it is struggling? No one wants to invest in a sinking ship, especially in this economy.  

  • Is your organization financially stable?
  • Has your organization had a balanced budget for a few years in a row?
  • Does your organization have a financially capable and supportive board?
  • Are your facilities well maintained?
  • Are your clients satisfied?
  • Does your organization have an adequate operating reserve? Registration Process

Last week we hosted our first webinar.  It was a learning experience, both in terms of the format and the content.  (Note to self:  figure out how to work around the conference call audio next time!).

It was somewhat overwhelming to listen to Michael Pellegrino discuss the steps in the registration process.  So as soon as I got back to my desk, I scoured the site to locate the registration checklist Michael mentioned.  Here it is! Organization Registration Checklist (PDF)

Foundation Directory Online Basics

You’ll see in the sidebar there, on the right under “Upcoming Classes,” that we have a Foundation Directory Basics class coming up in May.

When we first started doing these classes last year, they were routinely full.  In fact, so many people came to these classes that I scheduled three classes per month, every other month.  Now, however, I hardly have anyone sign up for them, and that’s a shame!

Learning how to use the Foundation Directory Online should be one of the first things you do when you begin to explore the world of grants.  If you do not have anyone to write to, what’s the sense in writing?  Learning how to effectively search the Foundation Directory Online is key to finding those potential funders to read your well crafted proposals.

The class, Foundation Directory Online Basics, is a free, one hour introduction to the Foundation Directory Online.  Participants learn how to use the database’s various search screens and search fields to craft a focused search for funders.  Why don’t you join us next month?

Quaker Go Grants

The Quaker Oats Company has announced their refreshingly simple grant program, Quaker Go Grants, designed to help those working to combat hunger at the community level.  I can think of at least five local nonprofits who should apply for this grant.  And with such a simple application process, there’s no excuse not to apply! From the site, here is the bare bones, three point application process:

– Submit online application form with a 150 word or less description of your project that will help combat hunger in your community.

– A selection committee will review the applications submitted each month and award Quaker Go Grants based on originality/uniqueness (50%); relevance to fighting hunger (30%); and potential impact on community/individuals involved (20%).

– Winners will receive a $500 grant to make your project a reality. Winners must agree to show us what you did with the grant. You can submit a description, photo and/or video letting us know how you put the money to good use.

There will be a total of 100 winners, with twenty chosen each month from April through August 2009.  Go forth and apply!

Schedule Update – Rescheduled Session

The session that was scheduled for Friday, March 13 was canceled.  My apologies to all who registered, but fear not! This session has been rescheduled for Friday, April 17, from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

There are still spaces available for the session.  If you would like to register, please call the library at 814-432-5062, or send an email to .  If you registered for the March session, you do not need to re-register.

Weekly RFPs from the Foundation Center

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but it is worth repeating.

Every Friday the Foundation Center publishes an e-mail newsletter highlighting certain Request for Proposals (RFPs) for the week.  Anyone can browse the RFPs or subscribe to the bulletin, which will deliver the highlights right to your inbox.

Here are some highlights from the last bulletin:

Dominion Foundation Accepting Grant Applications for 2009-10 School Year from Elementary and Secondary School Teachers |    Deadline: May 1, 2009   |   Grants of up to $10,000 each

Energy company Dominion and the Dominion Foundation provide elementary and secondary educators with funding to encourage the development of new programs that strengthen math and science education through the study of energy or the environment.

The Dominion Foundation will award approximately $300,000 in total educational partnership grants throughout targeted areas  in the states of Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, North  Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and  West Virginia. Public and private elementary and secondary  schools and public school divisions registered with the National  Center for Educational Statistics, institutions of higher education, and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations are invited to apply.

Successful grant proposals will represent innovative and promising ideas, teach math and/or science skills, reach a significant  number of students, and demonstrate broad-based community support.

Proposals must align with one of the following target areas:
1) Environmental Education — grants to develop math and/or
science skills through the study of the environment; and
2) Energy Grants — grants to increase students’ awareness of
energy efficiency and conservation, energy sources, or other
energy-related topics.

Visit the Dominion Web site for complete eligibility information and application procedures.

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Accepting Preproposals for Wal-Mart Acres for America Grant Program |    Deadline: April 1 & September 1, annually (Pre-proposal)

Acres for America, a partnership between Wal-Mart Stores and the National  Fish and Wildlife Foundation, provides funding for projects that conserve important habitat for fish, wildlife, and plants through acquisition of interest in real property. The goal of the Acres for America program is to offset the footprint of Wal-Mart’s domestic facilities on at least an acre-by-acre basis through these acquisitions.

Approximately $2.5 million in total funding is available annually through 2014 for conservation investments. All grant awards require a minimum 1:1 match of cash or contributed goods and services.

The program provides funding for projects that conserve large,
landscape-level areas that are important habitat for fish, wild-
life, and plants. Endorsement by appropriate federal, state, and
local government agencies that the acquisition is of high conservation value is a primary consideration. Preference will be given to acquisitions that are part of published conservation plans, State Wildlife Action Plans, or Endangered Species Act Recovery Plans.

Annual pre-proposal deadlines are April 1 and September 1. Visit the NFWF Web site for complete program guidelines.

Nature Hills Nursery Announces Inaugural Green America Awards   | Deadline: April 1, 2009

The Nature Hills Nursery has launched the Green America Awards to recognize nonprofit organizations that are committed to improving their local environment by planting trees.

The award winners will be chosen from among groups that submit a local environment community project which makes best use of the trees, bushes, and shrubs that Nature Hills Nursery will award.

Nature Hills Nursery will donate a total of $5,000 in plant
materials annually to the winning projects. A grand-prize winner will receive a gift worth $2,500, the first-place winner will receive a gift worth $1,500, and the second-place winner will receive a gift worth $1,000. The awards may include trees, fruit trees, bushes and shrubs, perennials, and vegetable seeds.

Submissions will be accepted from charitable or educational organizations that operate as nonprofit entities.

Visit the Nature Hills Nursery Web site for complete program
information and project examples.