Data for Nonprofit Professionals

This month, the Data Institute 2020 hosted by Good Measure and produced by Mission Capital, effectively helped nonprofit professionals see how insights, trends and other data can help increase social impact.

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.

Susannah Erler presenting at the Data Institute 2020 virtual conference.

Three little questions

Grant Writers loathe a blank page.

The blank page represents the beginning of a long road ahead.

But what if you had a way to strategically break that long road into manageable pieces? Then that blank page is not so menacing.

One of my strategies for facing a blank page is the “three little questions” strategy. Basically, you boil the information you need into three questions.

I’ll be talking about those three questions and about other grant writing strategies at a 90-minute zoom master class called Effective Grant Writing Strategies: Using Your Compass to Gain Treasures. This class will be presented on Monday, June 22nd, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. (central time) by the Center for Nonprofit Studies at Austin Community College. And as an extra bonus, the Center for Nonprofit Studies is currently offering classes as “pay what you can” because “learning never stops.” Jump in to this learning experience from anywhere in the world; RSVP here. I’m looking forward to seeing you there!

The Grant Writer’s Compass

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.’

Thank you to the Austin Chapter of the Grant Professionals Association for inviting me to share this information. The description of the presentation and a link to RSVP is below.

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. 

‘The Grant Writer’s Compass’ will be presented at the Austin Chapter of the Grant Professionals Association on March 5, 2020 from 12 to 1p. Link to RSVP:

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.”

Hispanic Central Texas and the 2020 Census

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.

The Austin Community Foundation panel included representatives from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the Housing Authority of the City of Austin, St. David’s Foundation, Todos Juntos Learning Center and the United Way for Greater Austin and was supported by Bank of America.

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.

Panelists and supporters of the ‘Hispanic Central Texas, Economic Opportunity and the 2020 Census Panel’ on February 27th, 2020 presented by the Hispanic Impact Fund of the Austin Community Foundation including representatives from Bank of America, the Housing Authority of the City of Austin, the Austin Community Foundation, St. David’s Foundation, the United Way for Greater Austin, Todos Juntos Learning Center and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Tips and Trends from Philanthropists

Educators! Do you have innovative project ideas, but are not sure how to get funding? Do you ever wish you could hear grant information directly from funders?

Well, at SXSW EDU 2020, there is a panel for you: Get that Grant: Tips and Trends from Philanthropists.

Get that Grant: Tips and Trends from Philanthropists – a panel at SXSW EDU 2020

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:

Click here for more info about SXSW EDU 2020, taking place in Austin March 9-12, 2020.

The Director of Greater Good Strategies (Susannah Erler) will be the moderator of this panel. We hope to see you there!