Greetings from GrantLessons!
The days in Reno have been windy and warm, summer is definitely here. 😉 First let me say “Greetings to the 14 members who have joined in the last 2 weeks!” I would encourage you to read the last six months of blogs where we have discussed all the steps you need to do to plan a long-term strategy to develop a committee to write applications for foundation grants and corporate contributions. Be sure to ask your colleagues to join you by joining up as well. Working as a team makes for fun!
Today I would like to talk more about corporate contributions. This is an area where as chapters we probably have not examined deeply. You can find corporatins that want to give funding if their operation has a local community physical presence. As you drive around what corporations have a presence in your community? Do you have a Walmart, Target, Staples, Wendy’s in your location? What are the less known corporations where a logo is posted on a building in your community? Next complete an Internet search on the corporation. On the website look for a section that identifies the cities and states that the corporation has a presence. You want to be sure that your city is listed before you pursue an application or a contact with the store manager. Also at the bottom of the website you will often find a section labeled, “Social Responsibility” or “Community Giving” or similar words. Check the link out since this is where many corporations discuss their connection with the community and how they are sharing their wealth. Often times you will find a section that says “Grants” or “Donations” or “Contributions”.
An example is always useful. Check out http://www.staples.com so that you can see where you find information about the their giving opportunities and how they want to be approached. Be search to scroll to the bottom of their website. You can see that Staples tells you that they have an arm called, “Staples Foundation”. Do an Internet search and see what you find. Often times corporations work through their local store manager which means someone needs to talk with them. Does someone in the chapter have a connection?
Sometimes corporations will want an online application to be completed, they will ask for similar responses to questions that are required by foundations. Since the grants committee has started Dropbox and has filled out online applications they are primed to complete a corporate contribution application. They generally are much simpler than a foundation grant application.
Corporate contributions take some detective work and the amounts of the contributions can vary from a couple of hundred dollars to a couple of thousand dollars. In my book, every dollar counts to helping our communities. If you are going to pursue corporate contributions also know that their is often a question that asks if their are opportunities for the companies associates to volunteer within your operation. My research shows that many chapters use non-member community volunteers and many do not. Be sure you understand your Board’s position on this issue before you make an application.
Lastly, it is important that only one committee works on corporate contributions so the proper coordination can be done. Make sure that different committees are not making applications to the same corporation. Encourage members to refer to the committee that is handling corporate contribution applications. Put on your Sherlock Holmes hat and start looking and recording your results so that you don’t find yourself doing it twice.
Enjoy your summer and have fun searching! You may be surprised at what you find!
Catch me when you can and I will catch up with you soon. Sandie