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Grant Readiness: Seven Questions the Board Must Answer
I recently consulted with a nonprofit board on building a grant portfolio. Since its founding, the organization had depended on a local government grant to cover more than half of annual operating expenses, funding its one full-time position. Unfortunately, that grant had failed to renew for two funding cycles.
Grant Seeking vs. Individual Gift Solicitation
Let me start by observing that, by convention, we separate those who work in “fundraising,” by which we typically mean the solicitation of funds from individuals, from “grantsmanship,” by which typically mean seeking government, foundation, or corporate grants. It’s as if grantsmanship is something wholly different from fundraising. I’m not sure I agree with that distinction, but in any case, for purposes of this article, I’ll preserve the distinction as a convenient way to compare and contrast the two. Let’s dive in.
A Primer on Major Gifts
In this article, we’ll be focusing on major gifts – that tier above the annual fund and below estate gifts. Before going further, though, let’s drill down a bit on what, exactly, constitutes a major gift because if we don’t, we’ll have fuzziness in deciding whether it’s a large annual gift or a bona fide major gift. Keep in mind that, on the one hand, we are talking about calendar; on the other, about amount.
Telling the Tale of a Nonprofit Name Change
While a fundraiser’s time is limited, and it might seem best to leave renaming to the marketing team, savvy fundraisers seek a seat at the table during a conversation about changing the organization's name. I have found myself in such a situation with not one, but three, of my consulting clients. Stephen Nill invited me to take you on a journey — to tell the tale of my experience with the renaming process pursued by one of those clients.
How to Engage Board Members in Fundraising Productively
Engaging board members productively in fundraising is a common challenge. The emphasis is on productively. After all, our organizations do not need board members selecting napkin colors for a gala or organizing a restaurant night that raises $200. Our organizations need board members who truly embrace their role in fundraising and are engaged at an appropriate level. It begins with...