Archive | September 2012

Relationship Building

Greetings from GrantLessons. We are celebrating since we have attracted 50 followers. Welcome to all our new followers. And the beat moves on. . .

Another busy week has passed with focusing on getting the grant files in order by labeling them and putting them in the file cabinet. This week I found myself going to two separate functions held by two of our grantors. The foundations were celebrating their accomplishments and our chapter had been invited to attend since we had received funding.

So off I went, the first function served dinner and I got to sit down next to a scholarship winner, a young student. Of course, I talked about what we were doing at Assistance League and then the executive director of the fund stopped by to talk with the chapter president and I was introduced to her. We quickly learned how much she liked the Assistance League. We immediately suggested she come to visit us. She indicated she wanted to do that and would bring some of the fund supporters with her.

The second function I decided to shove some brochures into my small purse. Yes, I am in the parking lot dumping the contents of my purse out on the front seat of my car so I can get the brochures into my purse and not look conspicuous. I walk into the conference meeting room and immediately run into someone I haven’t seen in 10 years. After the hugs, I quickly learn she is now serving as staff to one of our funders. Then she asked me what I was doing. At this point, I swiftly pulled out a brochure and invited her to bring her funder over to our Thrift Shop to see what we are doing. Then, I got introduced to the funder herself. Small talk continued and then it was time for us to take our seats.

The point is when these invitations come, be sure to send a member of the committee to be present. As we learned at our national conference, so much of what we do is about relationship building. We have found that when we get someone to come and visit the chapter house and see the flurry of activity all working towards either making money to fund our philanthropic programs or actually preparing and planning for the programs, the visitor is always impressed. More than once this visit has resulted in a grant writing opportunity or a cash donation.

Lastly, prior planning prevents poor performance, take a big purse . . .

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

This entry was posted on September 26, 2012. 1 Comment

GuideStar Exchange

Greetings from GrantLessons, we have 46 followers and we have all gotten home safely from the Houston conference where we had a great time, made new friends and learned more on how to improve our work for our local communities through Assistance League activities.

We learned more about GuideStar Exchange and its importance to grant writing. In a nutshell, funders are looking at our documentation on GuideStar to learn more about our chapters before they make their funding decisions. The GuideStar Exchange advances transparency and accountability through a voluntary program of information sharing including such documents as IRS Letters of Determination; Annual Reports; Audited Financial Statements; Detailed Program Data; Current Board and Staff Names; Board and Staff Demographic Information; and Board Governance and Management Practices.

A new GuideStar Exchange Member obtains a username and password and then they are able to update their chapter’s GuideStar profile. Bunkie Righter, Director, Business Development, GuideStar USA provided an excellent breakout session at the Houston conference. Ms. Righter’s PowerPoint notes and handout can be obtained by going to the National Website and accessing her handouts. After logging into National Assistance League simply go to the conference tab where you will find the handouts tab and then you can find the presentation material located under Finance.

Lastly, if you were not able to attend the conference and want to hear the presentation made by Sandie Barrie and Pat Reinier check under the blogroll for a video titled, “Show Us the Money – A Practical Approach to Grant Writing”.

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

This entry was posted on September 19, 2012. 3 Comments

Surprise – Grantor Relationship

Greetings from GrantLessons, we have 43 followers. We at GrantLessons are happy that many chapters have joined GrantLessons. We are getting ready for next week where we will present a session at the Houston National Assistance League conference. Our session, titled “Show Us the Money: A Practical Approach to Grant Writing” is scheduled for Saturday, September 15 from 2:30 to 4:00 PM. Pat Reinier and Sandie Barrie will provide information about GrantStation. Please join us, we would like to meet our followers from GrantLessons. And remember right after our session, the party begins 😉

At Reno-Sparks, we call those grants that we have been fortunate to secure one year after another our continuing grants to separate those grants from some of the new ones we are exploring through the use of GrantStation.

The Grants Committee has been working for many years and has formed solid relationships with many of their grantors. We are telling you this story so you can understand that the work that you are doing today may show benefits in years to come. One of our continuing grantors asked us to provide additional information about one of our other programs that we had not written for previously. For many years, the grantor had funded our Operation School Bell® and Food Pantry programs. This made us a little uneasy, would the grantor continue to fund these programs in addition to another program?

Nancy, a seasoned grant writer (a former English teacher), spoke with the foundation staff and found out they were interested in more of our programs through a DVD we had sent them. The DVD had been completed with the help of one of our local tv channel reporters. (Here is the link to the video . The link is also available on the GrantLessons Blogroll.

Nancy had the unenviable task of writing the proposal, which she did skillfully. In her paper request, she asked for the continuing support of the programs and asked for funding for an additional program as the grantor had requested, called Links to Learning.

She wrote the letter on July 10 and got the call on August 24. She wrote the request for $55,000 and the grantor has informed us they will be funding us at $85,000. Nancy says the DVD helped our case, we at GrantLessons think it has a lot more to do with the skillfully written letter and the ongoing relationship that Nancy has formed over many years with this grantor. For all of you that are starting out with your first grant writing experience keep this positive story in mind, your work today may come back as a generous gift in the future!

We hope to see you at conference.

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

This entry was posted on September 5, 2012. 3 Comments