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Fundamentals of Foundation Grant Research and Writing Linda Holliday, Vice President for Organizational Development.

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Presentation on theme: "Fundamentals of Foundation Grant Research and Writing Linda Holliday, Vice President for Organizational Development."— Presentation transcript:

1 Fundamentals of Foundation Grant Research and Writing Linda Holliday, Vice President for Organizational Development

2 Initiative Foundation Mission Unlock the power of central Minnesota people to build and sustain thriving communities.

3 Our Service Area

4 What we do… Make grants and loans Provide donor Services Provide leadership training and assistance Inspire local giving

5 Where are you coming from? What are your expectations?

6 Topics to be Covered Funding Sources Program/Project Planning Foundation Research Proposal Components Evaluation Grant Review/follow-up

7 Who Gives Us Money? Minnesota Trends Source: Minnesota Council on Foundations


9 Foundation Types Private Corporate Community/ Public 6% Corporate 9% Private 85% Minnesota

10 Areas of Giving in MN Grantmaking by Subject Area


12 MN Foundation Trends Grantmaking by Geographic Service Area Source: Minnesota Council on Foundations



15 Who Gets the Money? 501(c) 3 Nonprofit Organizations Local Units of Government / Federally Recognized Tribes School Districts

16 DO: Have a clear plan and then identify potential $$ DO NOT: See available $$ and design a project that may or may not be a fit Planning Activity Start with a Clear Plan

17 1.Low birth weights 2.Nutrition class for expectant parents 3.Parents, public health nurses, high school development class, U of M Extension 4.Expectant parents 5.School space/kitchen, Lions/Rotary $, Child Development class 6.Family Center staff 7.Food, transportation, staffing, postage, instructional supplies… 8.Nine months from now Workplan Worksheet

18 Area of Interest Types of Support –Operating –Planning –Start up –Project/Program –Capital –Endowment Geographic Focus Funder Research Activity Researching Funders

19 User Friendly! Strong Recommendation! $175-1,035 /year Up to nine users Free pass today! MN Guide to Grantmakers

20 1. Sheltering Arms Foundation 2. At risk children / 0-3 3. Greater MN okay 4. Project/Start Up 5. $10,000 6. Yes 7. Letter of Inquiry Funder Research Activity

21 Letter of Inquiry Who are you Why are you applying to this foundation Brief description of the program Rationale and purpose of program Amount you want to request Inquiry Letter vs. Proposal

22 Cover Letter Executive Summary Organizational Information Need/Situation Project/Activities/Methods Outcome/Evaluation Budget/Budget Narrative Supplementary/Attachments Proposal Components

23 2- 4 paragraphs Describe purpose Background Amount of funds requested Timelines THANK YOU! The Cover Letter

24 Summarize project at the start of a proposal – Typically two paragraphs to one page Describe purpose Background Amount of funds requested Timelines – See ES Examples Executive Summary


26 One - two pages that tell: History Mission Who you serve Programs & Successes! Organizational Background

27 Describe situation/issue/need Explain why it is important Don’t assume funder has knowledge of your area - you are the expert Explain program benefits Does not have to be all deficit model Need Statement

28 What does your organization plan to do about the situation, issue or opportunity? What project planning has taken place Target audience Units of service Who will do the work Start and end dates Project Activities/ Methodology

29 So What? What change is going to take place? Intended Outcomes/Evaluation

30 INPUTS: $$, staff, volunteers, clients OUTPUTS: Classes taught, educational materials distributed, participants served OUTCOMES: Change in skills, attitudes, behavior, new knowledge, increased skills, improved conditions An Outcome Recipe

31 Initial outcomes –change in knowledge, skills or attitude Intermediate outcomes –change in behavior Long-term outcomes –change in condition, status or situation Outcome Levels

32 Outputs vs. Outcomes Exercise Incarcerated parents attend an early childhood workshop. Incarcerated parents read more to their children during visiting hours. The food shelf hires a new program manager. There are fewer “missed meals” in the City of Brainerd. New immigrants receive ESL training. Immigrants report feeling less isolated.

33 Project vs. Organizational Revenue - Earned income - Contributed income Expenses - Personnel - Direct project expenses - Administrative or overhead See sample budget The Budget

34 IRS 501(c)3 determination letter Letters of support Financial statements Board approval Resumes What NOT to include... Supplementary Materials

35 Have a clear plan to track: – Upcoming grants – Pending grants – Funder reports – Grants denied See sample tracking form Tracking your Proposals

36 Be prepared, organized and educated! The Site Visit


38 The Minnesota Council on Foundations: The Foundation Center: The Initiative Foundation: See handouts! Other Resources

39 Thank YOU! Did we meet your expectations?

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