Archive | August 2012

Great Reference Book – Winning Foundation Grants

Greetings from GrantLessons, we have 41 followers. We at GrantLessons found a great reference featured on GuideStar. The book is called “The Ultimate Insider’s Guide to Winning Foundation Grants: A Foundation CEO Reveals The Secrets You Need to Know” by Martin Teitel published in 2012.

The author has served on both sides of the grant process as the head of a foundation seeking funds and as a board member directing who would receive the funds. As Amy Goldman puts it, “Marty’s book is immensely practical and filled with sage advice.” The 5 ½ by 8 ½, 188 page paperback book is easy to read with its large font and wide line spacing. If you are new to grant writing this is a book you will want to read. And if you have written a few grants you will definitely find some strategies to improve on your grant writing process.

The book is available from Amazon at  for $17.96 plus shipping.

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

This entry was posted on August 29, 2012. 1 Comment

Geographic Focus in GrantStation

Greetings from GrantLessons, we have 39 followers. Welcome to our new followers!

We had an interesting comment by a follower this week. She indicated she had not found any opportunities for grants using GrantStation. We were perplexed by her comment since she is from a large metropolitan city in California. So, off we went to do some searching on our own. We opened GrantStation, logged in, and went to the Advanced Search Box. We started our search by limiting the focus of our search to California. We selected “poverty” and “children” and “project/program support” as our criteria. 63 links for potential funders came up. However, we were not done yet.

We went into the 63 links and found additional research was needed to determine if the grantors were interested in the large metropolitan city in question. This required us to look at the “geographic focus” line within the geographic scope of California on the grantor’s GrantStation profile. The geographic focus often specifically identified the large metropolitan city being searched. However, sometimes it simply said “communities served by the bank” or “communities with company facilities”. In both cases, one needed to go to the grantor’s website to see if the large metropolitan city was listed in the “location” section of the website or by doing a Google search with the grantor’s name and the city name, one can also find the information. The chapter member who lives in this large metropolitan city has at least 10 to 15 grantors that specifically identify their city. WOW! that is a lot of opportunity and what we would call “A Bunch of Hot Leads”.

The chapter members doing the basic research must have patience and persistence as part of their personality. It will also help if a couple of members are working together at the same time to do this detective work. After locating these leads the chapter members will then need to review each grantor’s application procedures and processes and rank order the 10 to 15 grantors to determine which grant application they will actually complete depending on their capacity for writing applications and the grantor’s deadline.

So, in short many chapters will need to put together a subcommittee of their Grants Committee to do the searching for grantor leads. In addition, remember if you find a great lead that does not necessarily mean that you have to write the grant since you may have another chapter member who hates searching for grant leads but loves filling out grant applications.

Okay, challenge this week is to open up GrantStation and do a simple search as described above and see how many leads are available in your city.

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

This entry was posted on August 22, 2012. 1 Comment

New Approach to Grantor Funding

We now have 41 chapters that have purchased GrantStation. It has been an interesting week at GrantLessons.

We had an inquiry from one follower as to whether an email they had received at their chapter from a grantor was valid. To make a long story short, the grantor (J P Morgan Chase) has decided to use a different process to determine how they would disburse the several millions of grants they are giving away this year. During June, customers of the bank could nominate nonprofit organizations in their communities.

The chapter had received an email notifying them they had been nominated. JP Morgan Chase wanted them to complete some simple pieces of paper validating they were a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization (which is required by the IRS). They have to fill out the paperwork by August 30.

2,500 nonprofits were nominated to share 2.5 million dollars. Doing the math, that is, $1,000 if all nonprofits nominated fill out the paperwork and could be more since the 2.5 million has been designated for these 2,500 nonprofit organizations. Further research shows that there were 34 other Assistance League Chapters that have the same opportunity. We at GrantLessons sent them an email to make sure they had seen the opportunity. I know that I am putting May 15, 2013 on my calendar to look at what JP Morgan Chase may be doing next year. You may want to do the same. See the link below that describes the process in more detail.

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

This entry was posted on August 15, 2012. 1 Comment

Grant Requirements

Greetings from GrantLessons, we have very hot weather in Reno. With hot weather comes an opportunity to fill out a grant application or two.

Once one starts to complete an online application, one sees that different grantors want different information in order to process their application. It is wise to look the entire application over before starting. Recently, we had two grants that we wanted to complete and found out that the corporate office of these businesses wanted a local contact to verify our work.

Therefore, off we went to see what help we could get from local businesses that really did not know much about Assistance League. In one grant, we only needed to find an individual that would let us use his name and in the second grant the individual needed to write a letter of support.

Sometimes one just has to make “a cold call” but in the first situation the man had invited us to speak at one of the local service clubs and in the second one we found someone who knew the person to make an introduction for us. We were lucky that neither of these applications had an application deadline that we were trying to meet.

When you are asking someone who does not know about our work, it is wise to supply the individual with some information about your organization. We took a promotion packet to the first individual and referred the second one to our website for information. In addition, don’t forget the hand written thank you note for their assistance in helping you complete the application requirements.

We don’t know what our success will be but we may be surprised, we will keep you posted in the future months as to what happened. We know from our years of work that the returning (or as we call them the continuing) grants come from developing a relationship with a grantor. We hope this is the beginning of a long relationship with these two new grantors.

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

This entry was posted on August 8, 2012. 1 Comment

Tricks for Writing the Grant Application

Greetings from GrantLessons, we are holding steady at 31 followers with more expected as we have recently signed up so more chapters to join GrantStation.

This week we are going to start thinking about writing an actual proposal for an online grant. One thing I learned quickly is that there is not much space in the dialog box (space where you can input information for online grants). A trick I started to do was to compose my responses in my  wordprocessing program. In short, I write the answer to the question or the request for information in the wordprocessing program and then, I “copy” and “paste” the material into the online dialog box.

Another feature one wants to learn how to do is determine the character or word count in the answer and again typing into the wordprocessing program allows one to do a count of characters and/or words. If you want to learn more about these features, help is close by. Go to the “Resources” tab on the blog at  and you will find links that will help. Be sure you scroll down until you get to the section on writing. Simply click the links and you will be taken to Microsoft training information.

The links include the autorecover feature, the track changes feature, the spelling and grammar usage feature, and the number of words feature. If you do not know how to use these features put some time on your schedule to learn. You will be glad you did since this will help you be more productive and be able to write more grants for your chapter. Summer is in full swing, so hope you are enjoying a barbecue or two between learning how to write grants.

I am getting ready for the September conference in Houston where my colleague Pat Reinier, from the Kansas City Chapter and I will do a session called “Show Us the Money – A Practical Approach to Grant Writing”. Participants will learn simple and direct steps to find grantors for their philanthropic programs through accessing GrantStation and GuideStar and by evaluating the grantor’s requirements. Chapter members are encouraged to use a team approach in the grant writing process. Please join us for some fun!

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

This entry was posted on August 1, 2012. 1 Comment