Archive | October 2013

Lesson #9 Foundation and Corporation Applications

Greetings from GrantLessons! Back from vacation and ready to get back to our next lesson, which is on foundation grants and corporation contributions.

Our focus for Assistance League chapters does not include writing applications for federal or state grants. We do not focus on these types of grants because the reporting requirements are overwhelming.

So how do we determine if a foundation or a corporation is interested in receiving applications? The major way is by searching a database for information about the foundation or corporation. There are several databases available including GrantStation, Foundation Directory Online, and GuideStar Premium. After putting in search criteria, each of these databases brings up a list of profiles that meet the criteria submitted. In order to search GrantStation and Foundation Directory Online a fee is required. GuideStar Premium, provides a free database as a benefit of completing the nonprofit’s GuideStar profile and obtaining a GuideStar Exchange Gold Participant level.

GrantStation is available to Assistance League members for $47 per year. A month’s subscription is available for Foundation Online at $19.95.

The databases also differ as to whether the foundation’s Form 990s are available on their website. Foundation Directory Online and GuideStar Premium provide access to Form 990s. GrantStation does not. There are no Form 990s for corporations since they do not complete.

Searching the databases is not rocket science. Be sure to get access to a database since next week we will start to work at searching the different databases. We will start with GrantStation.

GrantStation has published its latest report titled The State of Grantseeking and can be found at .

A cool damp day in Reno-Sparks lets us know winter is on its way, which in our part of the country means fun in the snow on the slopes. Catch me when you can and I will catch up with you soon. Sandie


Special Edition – GuideStar Premium

Greetings from GrantLessons!

I know I promised last week that we would start talking about foundations and corporations this week. But, I am deviating from starting a new lesson because I have made a huge discovery. Remember I have been talking and talking about completing your chapter’s profile on GuideStar. The emphasis has been on getting the GuideStar Exchange Gold Participant widget so that you could display on your website.

Now there is even a more compelling reason to do. I discovered this week that once you have the Gold Participant there is a benefit that comes with it and it is huge. After completion, you have earned access to GuideStar Premium, which has an annual value of $1,500. GuideStar Premium is a database search engine where you can locate potential funders. As long as you maintain a Gold Participant, your chapter will have access to this database. So please if you have not completed your profile do it as soon as possible. GrantStation and GuideStar Premium will be discussed further as we move into the second part of the lessons called Funding Sources.

I have already found a new lead on GuideStar Premium that I did not find on GrantStation for my local chapter. I am really jazzed about this opportunity.

I have been in the fast lane for the last couple of days. Now as you read this blog post I am in the skies probably sleeping as I head to Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana. Getting out of Reno before the second predicted snow of the season. So catch me when you can and I will catch up with you soon. Sandie

This entry was posted on October 9, 2013. 3 Comments

Lesson #8 – Setting Up the Hard Files

Greetings from GrantLessons! A quiet morning in Reno gives us time to reflect on the files. Have you inherited a file drawer with a lot of old grant files? Do you know what is in there? Can you get your fingers in between the folders to get some documents out? Do you just hate filing? Clean neat files makes the work for everyone easier. First be sure that you have enough file drawers. Be sure you have a hanging file frame to hold the file folders.

Labeling and organizating the folders is important and everyone will have a slightly different approach. Do you alphabetize all the folders by the full name of the foundation or do you use a nickname or a partial name on the outside of the folder? Do you keep foundation folders in the current file that your chapter has not filed an application or received a check for years? Do you have so many folders that you need a second file drawer?

The files are confidential but need to be accessible and organized for all committee members to use. However, it is very important that the members do not take the files home. Instead they should make copies of pertinent documents that will help them write an application for the second time. With time putting pertinent documents into Dropbox helps the members to access what they need online.

Lastly, it is very important to keep the filing current and to review the mail opening procedure. Just think if a grant agreement gets to the Treasurer’s office and filed without a copy getting to the Grant Committee’s mailbox, potentially a grant could be lost because the chapter did not complete a requirement of the funder. One needs to remember that the auditors use the hard files each year to demonstrate that a grant application was completed and donations received.

Boring as filing is, it is essential to a good grant writing process. Check out your files today and see what you can do to make your chapter’s grant file better for all the use it.

Well now we have gotten through the first group of lessons and our preparation to write grants has come a long way. Next week, we will start with learning about foundations and corporations where we will request funding for our chapter programs. If you are behind on a lesson or two it is a good time to catch up because we soon will be in the fast lane in our grant writing process.

Expecting another beautiful Fall day in Reno, thinking a walk around the local marina would be fun in the sun.

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