Fundamentals of Foundation Grant Research and Writing
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Fundamentals of Foundation Grant Research and Writing Linda Holliday, Vice President for Organizational Development. Initiative Foundation Mission. Unlock the power of central Minnesota people to build and sustain thriving communities. Our Service Area. What we do….

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Initiative Foundation Mission

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Fundamentals of Foundation Grant Research and Writing Linda Holliday, Vice President for Organizational Development


Initiative Foundation Mission

Unlock the power of central

Minnesota people to build and

sustain thriving communities.


Our Service Area


What we do…

  • Make grants and loans

  • Provide donor Services

  • Provide leadership training and assistance

  • Inspire local giving


Where are you coming from?

What are your expectations?


Topics to be Covered

  • Funding Sources

  • Program/Project Planning

  • Foundation Research

  • Proposal Components

  • Evaluation

  • Grant Review/follow-up


Who Gives Us Money?Minnesota Trends

Source: Minnesota Council on Foundations


Foundation Types

  • Private

  • Corporate

  • Community/ Public

Community/Public

6%

Corporate

9%

Private

85%

Minnesota


Areas of Giving in MN Grantmaking by Subject Area


Areas of Giving in MN Grantmaking by Subject Area


MN Foundation TrendsGrantmaking by Geographic Service Area

Source: Minnesota Council on Foundations


Who Gets the Money?

  • 501(c) 3 Nonprofit Organizations

  • Local Units of Government / Federally Recognized Tribes

  • School Districts


Start with a Clear Plan

  • DO: Have a clear plan and then identify potential $$

  • DO NOT: See available $$ and design a project that may or may not be a fit

Planning Activity


Workplan Worksheet

Low birth weights

Nutrition class for expectant parents

Parents, public health nurses, high school development class, U of M Extension

Expectant parents

School space/kitchen, Lions/Rotary $, Child Development class

Family Center staff

Food, transportation, staffing, postage, instructional supplies…

Nine months from now


Researching Funders

  • Area of Interest

  • Types of Support

    • Operating

    • Planning

    • Start up

    • Project/Program

    • Capital

    • Endowment

  • Geographic Focus

    Funder Research Activity


MN Guide to Grantmakers

  • User Friendly!

  • Strong Recommendation!

  • $175-1,035 /year

  • Up to nine users

  • Free pass today!


Funder Research Activity

1. Sheltering Arms Foundation2. At risk children / 0-33. Greater MN okay4. Project/Start Up5. $10,0006. Yes7. Letter of Inquiry


Inquiry Letter vs. Proposal

Letter of Inquiry

  • Who are you

  • Why are you applying to this foundation

  • Brief description of the program

  • Rationale and purpose of program

  • Amount you want to request


Proposal Components

  • Cover Letter

  • Executive Summary

  • Organizational Information

  • Need/Situation

  • Project/Activities/Methods

  • Outcome/Evaluation

  • Budget/Budget Narrative

  • Supplementary/Attachments


The Cover Letter

  • 2- 4 paragraphs

  • Describe purpose

  • Background

  • Amount of funds requested

  • Timelines

  • THANK YOU!


Executive Summary

Summarize project at the start of a proposal

  • Typically two paragraphs to one page

    • Describe purpose

    • Background

    • Amount of funds requested

    • Timelines

  • See ES Examples


Organizational Background

One - two pages that tell:

  • History

  • Mission

  • Who you serve

  • Programs & Successes!


Need Statement

  • Describe situation/issue/need

  • Explain why it is important

  • Don’t assume funder has knowledge of your area - you are the expert

  • Explain program benefits

  • Does not have to be all deficit model


Project Activities/ Methodology

What does your organization plan to do about the situation, issue or opportunity?

  • What project planning has taken place

  • Target audience

  • Units of service

  • Who will do the work

  • Start and end dates


Intended Outcomes/Evaluation

  • So What?

  • What change is going to take place?


An Outcome Recipe

INPUTS: $$, staff, volunteers, clients

OUTPUTS: Classes taught, educational materials distributed, participants served

OUTCOMES: Change in skills, attitudes, behavior, new knowledge, increased skills, improved conditions


Outcome Levels

  • Initial outcomes

    • change in knowledge, skills or attitude

  • Intermediate outcomes

    • change in behavior

  • Long-term outcomes

    • change in condition, status or situation


Outputs vs. Outcomes Exercise

  • Incarcerated parents attend an early childhood workshop.

  • Incarcerated parents read more to their children during visiting hours.

  • The food shelf hires a new program manager.

  • There are fewer “missed meals” in the City of Brainerd.

  • New immigrants receive ESL training.

  • Immigrants report feeling less isolated.


The Budget

  • Project vs. Organizational

  • Revenue

    • Earned income

    • Contributed income

  • Expenses

    • Personnel

    • Direct project expenses

    • Administrative or overhead

  • See sample budget


    Supplementary Materials

    • IRS 501(c)3 determination letter

    • Letters of support

    • Financial statements

    • Board approval

    • Resumes

    • What NOT to include...


    Tracking your Proposals

    Have a clear plan to track:

    • Upcoming grants

    • Pending grants

    • Funder reports

    • Grants denied

    See sample tracking form


    The Site Visit

    Be prepared, organized and educated!


    The Minnesota Council on Foundations: www.mcf.org

    The Foundation Center: www.fdncenter.org

    The Initiative Foundation: www.ifound.org

    See handouts!

    Other Resources


    Thank YOU!

    Did we meet your expectations?


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