As a grant writer, I love having conversations with grant funders; I always learn so much. Top lessons have included:
If your organization has been awarded a grant, but is having trouble meeting the objectives – reach out to the funder. Have a conversation – earlier than later.
If you are thinking of submitting an application and have a question, do read all the materials before reaching out to the funder. You might find the answer in the materials.
But if you can’t find the answer in the materials, and if there is a contact listed, do consider reaching out to the foundation for an answer to your question.
So to summarize: communication is important!
If you are interested in learning more about grantmakers’ perspectives, be sure to join me and Austin Community College’s Center for Nonprofit Studies (aka Nonprofit Austin) for the Funder Focus series. These 90-minute virtual presentations will feature conversations with a grant funder – with plenty of time for your questions.
Find details on the series here; and some of the upcoming presentations are listed below. We hope you can join us!
I was thrilled to present a mini-session as part of this virtual conference, with tips that focused on using data as part of your grant proposals. If you’d like to learn more about using data to tell the story of your organization’s social impact, visit the Data Institute’s web site for links to resources.
Having a compass can help with direction-finding and making decisions about any journey. One of the key tasks for any grant professional is to have a strategy for getting to the “destination”: a winning proposal! To help with these goals, on March 5th, 2020, I’ll be making a presentation called ‘The Grant Writer’s Compass and Discovering Hidden Resources.’
The Grant Writer’s Compass and Discovering Hidden Resources
There are three elements that all Grant Writers should have a firm grasp of as they seek funding: knowledge of your organization; knowledge of your funder; knowledge of yourself (your job).
We’ll cover the ways to gather info on and communicate these elements efficiently and effectively to take your grant writing achievements to the next level. Susannah will share tips, secrets and resources she has developed in her decades as a successful grant writer. We will also have an opportunity for interaction and shared learning; and as an extra bonus, all who participate will be entered in to win a $10 Gift Card from a local coffee shop.
Susannah Erler, CFRE, took a 21-year career in public radio (starting at Austin’s KUT Radio) and morphed it into her current calling as a self-described Nonprofit Geek. She earned her master’s degree in Business with an Arts Administration (Nonprofit) specialization and is a Mission Capital Certified Interim Executive Director. As a grant writer, Susannah has obtained over $12 million in project funds for nonprofit organizations and educational institutions such as Austin Community College.
Creativity is a word Susannah loves: she has played her violin in several rock bands, she made a documentary about her favorite restaurant (Tamale House #3) and loves to tweet about nonprofits (handle: @GreaterGoodGeek ). Susannah grew up in Austin (but ask her about some of the other places she has lived too) and helps nonprofits in her role as Director of Greater Good Strategies. If you are going to SXSW EDU 2020 she would be delighted if you would attend the panel she is moderating: “Get that Grant! Tips and Trends from Philanthropists.”
Coordinating a national census is no small task. Those who attended the recent ‘Hispanic Central Texas, Economic Opportunity and the 2020 Census’ panel presented by the Hispanic Impact Fund of the Austin Community Foundation gained insights into how this monumental endeavor is unfolding in the Austin area.
One key concern to Central Texas is that some populations historically have been, or are at risk of being, missed in the census at disproportionately higher rates. The latest estimates indicate approximately 25%, or nearly 7 million, of Texans, including a large proportion who are Hispanic, live in hard-to-count neighborhoods.
The panelists emphasized the importance of an accurate count. The distribution hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funds, and grants are based on census data. This money is spent on schools, hospitals, roads and other vital programs. An undercount of the Texas population of just 1% could translate to a loss of $300 million in federal funding for the state and for Texans.
Spread the word that Census Day 2020 is April 1st. For more information on actions you can take to support an accurate count in Central Texas visit: The United Way for Greater Austin’s Central Texas 2020 Census Resource page.
This presentation will help education practitioners, administrators and nonprofits who are searching for project funding. The panelists will demystify the grant funding process. These grant-givers will describe what makes a successful project and how to make your grant request shine. You’ll learn what innovations today’s education funders are looking for, how to propose your project ideas and what you need to do to Get that Grant!
Their perspective and information will prove to be indispensable to grant-seekers. The scheduled panelists:
Some say your life’s purpose something you’d do for free. If that were true, why do so many feel burned out by purpose-driven work? Plus consider that the front-lines of these professions (nonprofits, NGOs, social impact, human services, advocacy…) are highly populated by women. Let’s talk about this! A meet-up is bring proposed for SXSW 2020 to do just that.
The proposed meet-up is titled Women changemakers – let’s talk self-care. And we need you, the public, to show your support for this idea during the community voting period (Aug. 5 – Aug. 23, 2019). Please go to panelpicker.sxsw.com , log in and vote-up and comment on this proposal if you’d like to see it at the next SXSW. Here is a video about it:
Do you have an idea for the next innovation in education and wonder if it could win a grant? A panel is being proposed for SXSW EDU 2020 that would help education practitioners, administrators and nonprofits who are searching for project funding.
The proposed panel is titled Get that Grant: Tips and Trends from Philanthropists. And we need you, the public, to show your support for this idea during the community voting period (Aug. 5 – Aug. 23, 2019). Please go to panelpicker.sxsw.com , log in and vote-up and comment on this proposal if you’d like to see it at the next SXSW EDU.
One very exciting bit of news is three very strong and knowledgeable philanthropists have already committed to participating! Their perspective and information will prove to be indispensable to grant-seekers. The grantmakers who have committed are:
These philanthropists will demystify the grant funding process during this proposed panel. They will describe what makes a successful project and how to make your grant request shine. You’ll learn what innovations today’s education funders are looking for, how to propose your project ideas and what you need to do to Get that Grant!
Please take a look at the video describing the details; and vote and comment here. Thank you very much, and we hope to see you at SXSW EDU.
Grant Writing Class at Austin’s Center for Nonprofit Studies
I am excited about helping nonprofits achieve their missions. Similarly, I love helping nonprofit orgs get grant funding. So I am thrilled to let you know here that I’ll be presenting a day-long Grant Writing seminar at Austin’s Center for Nonprofit Studies on June 26th, 2019. I hope you’ll join me!
Get ready to look at grant writing in a new way – and energize your fundraising efforts! We’ll cover the basics of applications that support nonprofit organizations. We’ll cover:
Overview of grant funding
Your “success compass” – Top-line information about three key areas will point the way to a strong application. In this class we will focus on what you need to know and how to gather that information.
Know your organization
Know your potential funder
Know yourself (and your job)
The application journey – Once you have the facts above, you are ready to take the application journey. A strong application process will help you build a successful application. This class will teach the essential activities of going from step to step to step.
Step one: Our Nonprofit Organization has a Dream
Step two: We Have Found a Potential Grant Funder
Step three: We Have Turned in the Application
(Step four: Celebrate Success!)
Key tools for success – Now that you have the outline of what you need and how to proceed, this last section will give you practical tips, tools and hacks for crafting a successful application.
I have been writing grant applications since the 1990s and have raised over $11 million in grant funds for recipient organizations. I also hold a master’s degree in Business with an Arts Administration (Nonprofit) specialization, and am Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE).
Here is the link for tickets. I hope you’ll join me to learn more about successful grant writing on Wednesday, June 26th, 2019 from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM at ACC Highland Business Center, 5930 Middle Fiskville Rd, Austin, TX 78752.
Nonprofits are here to change the world. And SXSW® is here to inspire do-gooders in their work.
Whether you are headed to #SXSW2019 or keeping up with the conference on social media – keep an eye on this site for this “nonprofit geek’s” descriptions of top offerings from the SXSW Social & Global Impact track.
Brené Brown (March 8th at 11:00 a.m. – Austin Convention Center)
The strength of our beliefs can be the foundation for positive changes. Storyteller, Researcher and Author Brené Brown (Daring Greatly, Rising Strong…) will address top questions that change-makers face in an age of increased polarization. Is it possible to improve the world in a culture of shaming and blaming? Brown’s keynote will shed light on the effort it takes to show up and make a difference in our communities.
Stay tuned to this page for more Social & Global Impact SXSW® picks from Your Nonprofit Geek.