Barbara Floersch's blog

Who Gets General Operating Grants?

A general operating grant is the most prized type of funding award. In the best circumstances, it’s a significant chunk of money handed to your organization with the magnificent instructions to do what needs to be done. Private grantmakers increasingly recognize that general operating funds provide flexible support that enables nonprofits to be most effective.

Concept Papers and How to Use Them

There are many decisions involved in planning programs and developing grant proposals. While there are a lot of people involved in planning: program managers, financial staff, community members....They're each providing their input, their viewpoints, and contributing to decision-making. With all of the decisions and all of the people involved, it's easy to see how there can be misunderstandings.

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Grant Writing is Dead

Yes, really. It’s an old notion that’s run its course and that was never right in the first place. Time moves on, and in the best of circumstances people wise up. There’s a movement stirring, a new wind blowing. It’s a revolution that calls out to each and every person working in the field of grants, pushing them to wake up or to speak up, and to contribute their energy to move the work forward in the right direction.

What is a Capacity Building Grant for?

 
 
Grantmakers are amazingly consistent in their definition of “capacity-building,” but grantseekers are often unsure of what fits into that category. Capacity-building grants are not about expanding an organization’s services, adding a new program, or renovating a building. They are about strengthening an organization’s infrastructure, management, and governance.

Harness Logic Model Power

Logic models – charts that illustrate connections between program activities and outcomes – are great tools for planning programs to address community needs, but many nonprofits use them only to help explain a program they’ve already planned. That’s a backwards approach. You’re much more likely to have real impact on the problem your organization wants to address if you use a logic model to guide the planning process.

Sustainability After the Money Runs Out

 
Because grants are social investments meant to produce ongoing change, both funders and grantseekers are concerned about what happens after the grant ends.
 

Most people define sustainability as “obtaining funding to keep the program running.” That’s not quite right. It’s primarily about perpetuating the results that are being achieved. Sometimes sustaining outcomes requires that you continue the program or some part of it — but not always.

 

A Logical Call to Action: Grants as Advocacy, Not Just Asking

 

We all know what a grant proposal is. It’s a document we write and submit to private or government funders requesting money to support our organization’s work. Right? While grant proposals do indeed request funding, I think this standard definition falls short and points us in the wrong direction. Grant funding is a tool for making something better, and since the real goal is impact instead of money, I propose an expanded definition.

 

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