Archive | July 2012

Using GrantStation

Greetings from GrantLessons, we have 31 followers. And more to come as Anita Friesen reports several more chapters will be signed up for GrantStation this week.

Many of the new followers have received their log-in for GrantStation and may be wondering what to do next. GrantLessons Blog has several videos under the “Resources” tab. One of the videos, titled “Searching for OSB (Operation School Bell) Funders provides a step by step look at how to use GrantStation. The video is only 2.3 minutes long, so you can take a couple of  minutes, watch it and then open GrantStation and look for grantors for one of your chapter’s programs. Below is the link.

Once you find a potential grantor, the next step is to look at their website and read everything you can about the grantor. You may find that they require a letter of inquiry. A letter of inquiry is simply a test to see if there is a match between the grantor’s desire to provide funding and the chapter’s need for funding. Often the process is online but frequently this is a paper process. If you need to write a paper letter of inquiry, keep the following in mind: Explain the connection; build credibility; briefly describe the proposed project and related need; request their consideration and provide your contact information.

There is a sample letter of inquiry under the Examples tab and a downloadable file under the Resources tab.

Enjoy your time playing with the files on GrantLessons, it will lead to money for your chapter’s work. You have all the tools you need to write your first letter of inquiry.

So catch me when you can and I will catch up with you soon. Sandie


Finding Energy for Grant Work and GrantStation Insider

Greetings from GrantLessons, we have 29 followers. Better yet Anita Friesen, National Director of Resource Development reports that 8 chapters have signed up for GrantStation bringing our total to 30 chapters, which is 25% of the 120 Assistance League chapters. A big round of applause for the work Anita is doing in getting chapters on-board! The GrantStation application has been added to the Resources tab of the GrantLessons blog. Therefore, if you are talking with someone from another chapter and they want to get on-board you can send them a copy of the application.

Anita also found that GrantStation allows the redistribution of the GrantStation Insider Newsletter to your local chapter grant committee. Be sure you focus on the second section “Regional Funding Opportunities” where we have found three grantors two of which have given our local chapter funding over the last year and the third one is pending a decision.

Every once in awhile I like to take a minute to remind myself why we are doing what we are doing and that is to find funding for excellent chapter programs.

A comment made by our local Grants Committee Chairman, Peggy Miller hit the nail straight on when she told me how some grantors come back every year wanting to give to Assistance League. She reminded me that the local chapter’s success is  in the constant work in maintaining the relationship with a grantor once they have given funding. It is about being ready when someone comes into the Thrift Shop and says, “I would like to make a financial donation”. It is about responding when what we call a “continuing grantor” wants to give additional funding and being ready to host them for coffee. It is about being ready to change a grant request when another continuing grantor wants us to add another program to our funding request for the upcoming year.

The above scenarios happened to our local chapter since the first of the year and they will happen to your chapter as well. Remember the work you are doing today will pay off in ways that you cannot even imagine tomorrow. So if it is hot in your part of the country, stay inside and do just one thing while you are drinking that glass of cold tea today that will move your grant work forward and have some fun while you are doing it. Remember the product of your work is going to make someone else you do not even know very happy!

So catch me when you can and I will catch up with you soon. Sandie

This entry was posted on July 18, 2012. 1 Comment

What Next after GrantStation Identifies Potential Grantors?

Greetings from GrantLessons, we have 26 followers. GrantStation is only the beginning. Once a potential grantor is found by searching the GrantStation database one must dig deeper to determine if the foundation is viable for a grant for your chapter.

  • GrantStation may identify a state that a grantor provides funds in and on further review, one finds out that the funding is only for one city in the state such as Las Vegas and not Reno.
  • GrantStation may indicate that the funding is nationwide but check out the website you may find the grant is limited to a few states or cities.
  • While on the website, try and determine for businesses connected with foundations if there is a local presence in your community. Often the grant seeker will find a locator map      where one can determine if there is a presence in a community.
  • GrantStation does not always provide a website location for more information. If a website is provided, one should check it out for specific information about the grant.
  • GuideStar should be checked  to review the most recent Form 990-PF for the foundation, examining Part XV that will give specific information on where to submit a grant proposal.
  • Form 990-PF will also have  a list of the grantors showing where the grants were actually made and how  much was given.
  • GrantStation will not always tell you about idiosyncrasies of a grant so you must read everything that you can find three times.

Now it is time to make a decision is there enough evidence that the foundation being looked at gives money in your city, that money was actually given for a similar program, i.e., funded grants have been given for food in your community by a foundation. Now, look over the application before you start completing it to determine if you have all the information needed. You will find a request for something that you are not willing to reveal like the names of your individual donors for the last 10 years.

Now it is time to try this out. Do a search on GrantStation. Determine if you really think the foundation would be a good grant for your chapter after checking them out on Guidestar and on their website.

Build your skill and remember just because you found the grant opportunity doesn’t mean you have to write the grant. When you work as a team there may be someone else who does not like looking for a grant but is willing to fill out the information once a grant opportunity is found.

So catch me when you can and I will catch up with you soon. Sandie

Happy Fourth of July and Check this Grantor Out

Greetings from GrantLessons, we have 23 followers. We are enjoying a beautiful day in the West. If you get a minute between barbecues check out the Union Pacific Foundation website at  .

If you live in a city where the Union Pacific railroad goes through and are a 501 (c) (3) organization you qualify. The beauty of this application process is it is simple to complete. It also demonstrates how some Grantors do a two-step process. If you look at the link above you can see how Stage 1 is to fill in a few boxes to establish that your Chapter is a 501 (c) (3) organization. You will receive an approval through the email that allows you to apply in Stage 2. The Stage 2 application is rather simple to do and if you know what you need money for and you have all your documents in Dropbox you are well on your way to completing an application. The application deadline is August 15.

By the way Reno-Sparks Chapter we submitted our application on June 14, 2012 to Union Pacific Foundation, but take a peek at this anyway since it is a great example on how grant applications in stages works!

It is time to ask your grant members to join GrantLessons since we want you to work as a team with other members in your Chapter, so at your next Grants Committee ask everyone if they joined. We are going to have a blast finding money for people in our communities!

Have a great Fourth of July.

So catch me when you can and I will catch up with you soon. Sandie

This entry was posted on July 4, 2012. 4 Comments