Archive | November 2014

PowerPoint Presentation and Happy Turkey Day

Greeting from GrantLessons!

I wish Buffalo, NY could share some of their snow! It is warm and sunny in Reno. Today most of us our busy in our homes either cooking or preparing to travel to see our friends and loved ones.

While I indicated there was a PowerPoint for chapters to use to demonstrate their work last week, it never got posted! You can find the draft presentation at PowerPoint – Grants Committee Presentation located at  under the Resource tab under Downloadable files for your reference.

Today I want to thank all of you for the great work you do to help find funding for your chapter’s philanthropic programs.

I am so glad my son is such a great cook and that he asked my husband and I to join his family for Thanksgiving. We all need a rest from our work so rest today with your family and friends.

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


Grants Committee PowerPoint Presentation

Greetings from GrantLessons!

Last week I discussed the option of making a presentation to your Grants Committee. You can make a short PowerPoint presentation using the following slides:

  • Presentation Title
  • What is a foundation grant or corporate contribution?
  • Budget – Expense Budget, Program Budget, and Grant Committee Budget
  • Comparison of Program Budget to Grant Committee Budget by Program
  • Comparison of Projected Grants Committee Budget with Actual Program Budget
  • In kind Contributions
  • Number of Applications Written Compared to Number of Applications Funded
  • Number of Funders by Funding Dollars
  • Names of Funders
  • Process Used by Grants Committee for Success
  • Names of Current Committee Members
  • Names of Committee Members Who have Worked on Grants in the Past
  • Summary

By making a presentation to your chapter once a year, your committee provides information to its members about the important work that the Grants Committee is doing to help fund its programs. You may find someone who sees the value of writing grants and want to join the efforts of the Grants Committee.

I have started a draft presentation for my chapter which is located at under the Resource tab under Downloadable files for your reference . I don’t expect we will give this presentation to our chapter members until January 2015 and before that time I will need to update some of the slides since I fully expect additional monies will come in to us during the next six weeks. You may decide that you want to do your presentation at a different time of the year.

You will need to adjust your chapter’s slide presentation to meet the needs of your chapter. The presentation provides an incentive to get new members to the Grant Committee, recognizes those members who work behind the scene to write grants, and may even find a new potential funder from a chapter member.

GuideStar Update

On September 10, we completed a search to see what our standing for GuideStar was with all Assistance League chapters and we did it again this week. Our numbers are increasing, we now have 38 Gold Participants (26 in September), 36 Silver Participants (40 in September), 9 Bronze Participants (9 in September), 37 No participants (45 in September).  CONGRATULATIONS!!!

For now have fun with devising your presentation and let us know if you have any questions.

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

This entry was posted on November 19, 2014. 1 Comment

Long-range Planning

Greetings from GrantLessons!

The temperature is getting colder but no snow yet! We could sure use some of the snow that I see on tv in Minneapolis!

Over the last couple of months we have spent a lot of time talking about GuideStar and writing goals. We have added new followers. Committees are developing. There is a wealth of information on the blog at .

We have discussed about every element of application writing. The new year is coming fast as evidenced by the change of music on my favorite local station. Now is a good time to give a thought or two to the long range development of your chapter’s application writing for foundation grants and corporate contributions.

How important is application writing to your chapter’s fund raising efforts? Is it included in your chapter’s strategic plan? Here are some of my thoughts on the topic for all of our chapters. In our evaluation we need to look at our geographic location and the size of our city. As the size increases there is more opportunity to find funders. But small chapters in close proximity still have opportunities.

Take the time to evaluate the time needed to write an application as opposed to putting a large fund raiser together. Once you are set-up with Dropbox and have your documents in place and you have obtained your GuideStar Gold status you are ready to search for and write  applications. Writing an application can take from one to ten hours depending on the complexity of the application.

Members with the right skill set to write applications can be relatively easy to find given we have so many professionals in our ranks who know how to evaluate requirements, fill out an application, and complete the requirements of the funder. The emphasis here has to be on mentoring the new individuals so they can find the documents they need and they don’t feel like they are alone in the process. Be sure that you tell new members about the opportunity to write grants at every new member orientation. You never know whom you are talking with!

Have you made a presentation at one of your chapter meetings? It is important that members realize the work that your committee is doing since so much of the work is done at our homes.  January would be a good month to do since it is the beginning of the new year. Putting a presentation together will be the topic of next week’s blog.

For now give some thought to the long range development of application writing for your chapter. What seeds need to be planted, what trimming is necessary to bring further new growth, what skill set are you missing in your work, and who needs to understand that they need to get involved to make it work. I am off to figuring out next week’s blog and I would appreciate it if you have a topic that you would like to hear more about, that you would hit the comment button and let us know. We are here as a resource to the National Assistance League chapters. Our mission is to help you write more applications and gain resources for your programs. 😉

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


Writing Goal Statements

Greetings from GrantLessons!

Today I am finishing up my road trip by driving back to Reno from Burbank where I have just finished having a great meeting with my colleagues on National Resource Development Committee.

Writing a goal statement can be a little overwhelming at first, but like any elephant let’s take a bite at a time. 😉

Lets use the SMART acronym to focus our attention on writing goal statements. Again back to Wikipedia, I needed to refresh my memory where the SMART acronym came from. According to Wikipedia, Peter Drucker was the first to use the aconym in his management work. SMART stands for writing goals that are (S)pecific, (M)easureable, (A)ttainable, (R)elevant, and (T)ime-bound.

Lets take our first bite:

(S)pecific – target a specific area for improvment (any one of the services provided by a chapter’s programs)

(M)easureable – how will we know when it is accomplished (dressed number of children is an output goal where % of children reporting increased satisfaction in attending school is an outcome goal)

(A)ttainable – what we can accomplish with our resources (dressed number of children in state of Nevada is not attainable with chapter resources but dressed number of children within Washoe County [Reno-Sparks] is attainable)

(R)elevant – choosing things that matter (dressing children who are being bullied as a result of inappropriate school clothing is suitable where dressing children who already have financial support and a full closet is not)

(T)ime-bound – time-based (within the next fiscal year is suitable where in the future is not)

So now that we have taken 5 bites of the elephant lets look at a few appropriate goals.

Program – Operation School Bell

Goal – Dress school children

Ouput Goal – Dress 3,000 unduplicated school children between the 6 and 12 years of age, each receiving $100 worth of clothes, during FYE 2015 (June 1, 2014 – May 31, 2015)

Outcome Goal – 80% of 3,000 children will report receiving school clothes increases their satisfaction with attending school, during FYE 2015 (June 1, 2014 – May 31, 2015)

Program – Kids on the Block

Goal – Teach children about social situations through puppet shows

Ouput Goal – Present 14 puppet shows to 2,000 students in 5  Washoe County elementary schools during FYE 2015 (June 1, 2014 – May 31, 2015)

Outcome Goal – 80% of 2,000 Washoe County students express increased understanding of appropriate options when met with social situations, i.e. bullying, during FYE 2015

Program – Food Pantry 

Goal – Provide food bags to seniors

Ouput Goal – Provide two food bags to 500 unduplicated over age 60 income eligible seniors  during FYE 2015 (June 1, 2014 – May 31, 2015)

Outcome Goal – 90% of unduplicated income eligibile over age 60 seniors report receiving food bags assists them to age in place

While we are writing output and outcomes goals for our application writing, this information would also be very powerful information for marketing our programs success and writing our annual community reports.

Enough for today.

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