Getting Started Again

Greetings from GrantLessons!

Okay vacation is over and finally, we have a drizzly rain for a few days and cooler temperatures. We had another meeting for our local chapter’s Grants Development Subcommittee. It is part of our strategy to ensure that our work continues into the future. So you are asking what does this subcommittee do? Our job is to find new opportunities for our chapter’s grant committee. We now have had two meetings. Most of the first two meetings were spent in helping my two colleagues understand the options we have for searching databases. There are three databases that can help us in our work: GrantStation, Foundation Directory Online, and GuideStar. We reviewed what options each database gave to us and how to access the information.

A brief review helps us understand the importance of each.

As you know from previous posts, GuideStar is valuable to a chapter. GuideStar collects and hosts data on every nonprofit organization in the country. A chapter wants to update their profile on GuideStar since it demonstrates to the public that we are transparent in their work. By completing all the elements required a chapter can become a GuideStar Gold Participant. A GuideStar Gold Participant allows a chapter to search the GuideStar database and identify all the foundations in a geographic location. It can be downloaded to an Excel spreadsheet and has names and address. GuideStar also lets a chapter view the published Form 990s of all organizations. GuideStar is free.

GrantStation, which is available to all chapters for $47 per year is available to look up foundations to attempt to determine if there is  a match between what the funder desires to give resources to and the needs of the nonprofit programs for funding.

Foundation Directory Online is another database available to chapters to identify and look up foundations. Foundation Directory Online is a subscription based database and costs $19.95 per month for access.

This is where the Grants Development Subcommittee comes in. Several members of the chapter’s grant committee take on the task of only looking for new leads. Once a lead is identified, the opportunity is reviewed with the chairman and brought to the committee to see who has time and expertise to write the application. The task of the subcommittee is simply to find new leads through a systematic approach to identifying new leads. Next week we will get into looking for new leads.

Look at your committee, are there one to three individuals who simply like to be detectives and find new opportunities? Ask them to join GrantLessons blog, as we explore more options to identify new leads for funding foundation grants and corporate contributions.

Time for a walk around the marina!

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

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