RstephensonJR's blog

Who Toots Your Horn?

One of the elements of a persuasive proposal is the credibility of the applicant. Nonprofits should think about what it is that establishes their stature and value to the community. Hint: it’s probably more than just your own claims about your successes or your longevity or your staff resumes.

How to Know You’re Ready to Compete for Grants

Thousands of foundations, billions of dollars and only 1.5 million nonprofits. Let’s get our tax-exemption and snag that first, free money! Spoiler alert: this story does not end well. Most proposals get rejected, most brand-new nonprofits do not get their first dollar from a foundation and some have estimated that half the new nonprofits will fizzle out in a year or two. What about the “other half?” What are the characteristics of nonprofits that stand the best chance of winning foundation support?

For the Record

Our last blog, about avoiding jargon in your proposals, has caused some in our community to respond with anger, dismay, and/or a gentle reprimand to walk our talk. “To err is human” and we sure are. So let us be clear: we do value older people, we do think women are intelligent, and we do think seniors are capable of high-level, important contributions. We’re sorry for any consternation and/or offense caused by our poorly chosen words.

Can Nonprofits Profit from Chamber of Commerce Membership?

There are about 4,000 chambers of commerce across the country that have at least one staff person. Membership can include one-person enterprises, very small “mom-and-pop” stores, small firms, local manufacturers, all kinds of companies that deliver all kinds of goods and services to the community. Why should a nonprofit organization consider joining the local chamber? Here are a few ideas about how chamber of commerce membership might benefit your nonprofit organization.

What Does a Board Do?

Covid-19 and the shutdown have put the role of nonprofit boards in sharp focus. It’s a good time to reexamine your understandings and expectations of your organization’s board. What is it that boards actually do for a nonprofit? A good way to think about it is to remember the “required and elective” scheme.

Who’s On Your Board?

The question always comes up: “Who’s on your board and why did they join?” Some of the worst answers are often the most common: “They’re a few friends of the founder. . . the executive director just went out and appointed some people. . . they joined years ago, nobody knows what motivated them.” Nonprofit boards are too important to be left to this kind of random “personal roundup.”

Pages

Register Now!

A follow-up study of 385 of our graduates found they had won grants totaling over $21 million within just six months of completing the 5-day Grantsmanship Training Program®. Our training produces results!