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Posted 4/15/11 at 9:02 AM | Dr. Jeffrey J. Rodman

What Does "The Giving Pledge" Mean for Your Small Nonprofit? In a Word, Nothing!

The Giving Pledge is a non-binding agreement initiated by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet to encourage the 1,000 billionaires to give generously at some point in their life or after death. So, what does The Giving Pledge mean to the nonprofit world and to your particular nonprofit specifically?

In a word, nothing.

The pledge, according to its website, "is an effort to invite the wealthiest individuals and families in America to commit to giving the majority of their wealth to philanthropy."

To date, 57 billionaires in the U.S. have signed the pledge and agreed to give 50 percent or more of their wealth to charity. The pledge states that the donation can happen while the individual is alive or after the death of the donor and is not in any way a legal contract. It is really more of a friendly agreement.

I know I sound terribly cynical. I am not saying that the pledge is a bad idea, that billionaires should not decide to give, or that people should not sign the pledge. I am saying that it really will not have any great impact on giving in general and will have an even lesser impact on your particular charity.

The Giving Pledge impact on giving FULL POST

Posted 4/15/11 at 8:52 AM | Dr. Jeffrey J. Rodman

Using a Foundation RFP Process to Provide Grant Funding to Charities

Most foundations are small and are run with little or no paid staff. They are often created by philanthropic individuals or families who have little experience in formalized philanthropy. Often, this lack of experience leads to a disorganized approach when the foundation begins to accept funding requests from charities. A helpful way to have an organized and more strategic approach is to issue a formal Request For Proposals (RFP) that applicants then respond to by providing specific and detailed information. In this way the foundation is more likely to receive the same information from each charity and can evaluate these applicants fairly. The template below can be helpful in understanding what to include in the RFP and how the RFP can be structured for maximum efficiency.

Foundation RFP Template

Background information about the foundation and the foundation's mission

The name of the foundation, founder, address and contact information, mission, and year founded, etc.

Goals of the foundation's funding program

What are the goals of this particular grant program? Is this particular RFP focused on specific types of projects or is it a more open application process? Is there a specific problem or concern that the foundation is addressing? Are grantees expected to participate in a foundation sponsored assessment or evaluation? FULL POST

Posted 12/8/10 at 11:34 AM | Dr. Jeffrey J. Rodman

See How We Secure 90% of the Drug-Free Communities Grants For Which We Apply!

Here-4-You Grant Consulting would like to announce the availability of federal government grant programs that may be applicable to your organization.

In 2010, we secured 5 out of 6 (86% success rate) federal grants submitted to the Drug-Free Communities Support Program and the DFC Mentoring Program awarding over $600,000 for each grant. Over the years we have secured this grant 12 out of the 14 times we applied.

Here-4-You Grant Consulting can help you understand this different programs, evaluate if it is appropriate for your organization, and apply to secure these funds for your coalition. 

However, because of the stringent requirements and demanding nature of this application, we will only accept FIVE clients for the 2011 grant cycle.

Contact us today at 540-635-3518 to see how we can help!

Successful Drug-Free Community Program and DFC Mentoring Program grantees are awarded up to $125,000 per year for up to 5 years. Over 150 Grants were awarded in 2010!

This is a Federal Grant Program with very specific requirements and expectations. You will only get this one opportunity to get this right and secure over $600,000 in funding for your organization.

If you review my experience you will see that I am not just a successful grant writer. FULL POST

Posted 12/6/10 at 11:15 AM | Dr. Jeffrey J. Rodman

Silly Nonprofits: Nonprofits can be so shortsighted when it comes to funding

Just recently, I was discussing grant writing services with a potential client.  When I told him how much he would need to invest in the first year he said, “if I had $10,000 I would not need grant funding.”

What a silly thing to say.  That would be like an unemployed person saying, “if I had $10,000 I would not need a job.”

Of course he would still need a job and of course the struggling nonprofit would still need funding even if they had a little money in the bank.

What we are essentially referring to is cash-flow management. It is common sense that when expenses exceed income, an organization is going to find itself in trouble. Due to the nature of nonprofit revenue sources, however, even if income matches expenses, the cash may not arrive in time to pay the bills.

Similarly, I hear many nonprofits say, “we do not need grant funding right now, but when we do we will give you a call.” 

Again, that is just silly!

The Alliance for Nonprofit Management website puts it this way: “a cash shortage can be very disruptive to your ability to carry out your mission. To avoid disruptions of business or to take advantage of temporary cash surpluses, cash flow can and should be projected, monitored, and controlled.” FULL POST

Posted 11/30/10 at 9:45 AM | Dr. Jeffrey J. Rodman

Philanthropy Survey results may signal promise for nonprofit fund raisers

An end of the year survey conducted in October 2010 finds the nonprofit funding drop off experienced in 2008 and 2009 may be leveling. Whereas 51 percent of survey responders experienced decreased funding in 2009, only 37 percent reported a decrease in funding in 2010.

In 2006 and 2007, before the economic downturn, the amount of respondents reporting decline in contributions was below 20 percent. This year, almost the same proportion of respondents reported experiencing an increase (36 percent) as respondents experiencing decrease (37 percent).

This likely means that the worst is over for the nonprofit sector, though only time will tell for sure. The Nonprofit Research Collaborative conducted the survey online between October 19 and November 3, 2010, polling 2,356 public charities and 163 private foundations.

The survey divides respondents into eight subcategories based upon the type of service the organization provides. The eight subcategories are: Arts, Education, Environment/Animals, Health, Human Services, International, Public-Society benefit and Religion.

In four of the eight subcategories, Arts, Education, Environment/Animals and Human Services, the percentage of respondents experiencing increase and the percentage experiencing decrease are nearly equal. FULL POST

Posted 10/26/10 at 9:10 AM | Dr. Jeffrey J. Rodman

Report finds grantseeking still a functioning source of revenue for nonprofits in 2010

Report finds grantseeking still a functioning source of revenue for nonprofits in 2010

In an October 2010 report released by GrantStation and Philantech, researchers find that grantseekers who actively pursue grants, even in the aftermath of the recession, have a high success rate. The conclusion is based on an online survey in which 839 nonprofits responded.

The online survey succeeds research done by Guidestar and The Chronicle of Giving, which found foundation giving likely to decrease or stagnate in 2010. This report confirms the foundation climate, finding that 42 percent of survey respondents received smaller grants in the first six months of 2010 than they did in the first six months of 2009.

In light of the decline in foundation funding, researchers attempt to assess actual nonprofit grantseeking success. From Aug. 7 to Sept. 7, 2010, researchers gathered data from nonprofit organizations focusing on education, arts, culture and humanities, human services, and social services.

The majority of survey respondents are small to midsize organizations and over half have budgets under $1 million. Though most nonprofits do not receive all of their funding from grants, the survey did not ask about non-grant funding sources. FULL POST

Posted 9/1/10 at 2:13 PM | Dr. Jeffrey J. Rodman

Congratulations Drug-Free Communities Grantees

Last night the grantees were announced for the Drug-Free Communities Support Program.

Here-4-You Christian Grant Consulting was successful in securing FIVE out of the SIX grants on which we worked. We secured all THREE of the grants that were fully written and developed by Here-4-You Christian Grant Consulting and TWO of the THREE proposals on which we consulted. The clients we consulted with received an easy-to-follow outline for writing the grant, a comprehensive review of the proposal, and scoring of the application using the same scoring system used by the Drug-Free Communities Support Program.

This brings our success rate with the DFC Program to 12 out of 14 or 86%.

We normally do not announce when we are successful at securing grants. We do not want to be boastful and, Lord knows, there are many grants that we are not successful in securing. However, knowing how competitive this year’s DFC funding program was going to be, we are particularly proud of our ongoing success with this federal grant program.

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) directs the Drug Free Communities Support Program in partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). This anti-drug program provides grants of up to $125,000 per year for 5 years ($625,000 total) to community coalitions that mobilize their communities to prevent youth alcohol, tobacco, illicit drug, and inhalant abuse. FULL POST

Posted 8/25/10 at 11:11 AM | Walton Marsh

Canned Sermons

Yesterday, while reading some blogs about preaching, I came across the term “canned sermons.” It was in a comment left by a disappointed church member who discovered that her preacher got “canned sermons” from the internet. I can understand her disappointment.

When I first started preaching (a long time before the internet), I bought a book of sermon outlines. I thought that it would come in handy on those busy weeks when I didn't have time or was just too lazy to write a new sermon of my own. But I discovered that these sermons just did not sound like me. They didn't fit my style, and they didn't address the needs of my congregation. Yes, I kept the books just in case I might need them. Over the next thirty years, I have scanned these sermons again and again, yet they are still as useless to me as they were the day I bought them.

Preaching is personal. It is you, the preacher, delivering a special message from God to your congregation at a particular time. Because of the personal timely nature of preaching, it is impossible for you to preach another preacher's sermons; that is, unless you work hard to make it your own sermon by totally rebuilding and re-creating it. Eternal truth is universal, so the great truths of a sermon may transfer from one preacher's sermon to another's, but the timing, the setting and the details cannot. The skeleton is the same, but the flesh is different. The look and feel are different. FULL POST

Posted 8/23/10 at 3:17 PM | Walton Marsh

Sermon Power

Sermons can be powerful. However, most sermons are not. Instead of powerful, they are lukewarm thirty-minute talks that do not accomplish much. This is not surprising considering the fact that most preachers have to deliver at least two sermons per week to the same congregation. Think about it for a moment. This is the equivalent of writing three or four books per year, all to be read by the same people! So the preacher has a gigantic challenge to be creative week after week. There are few authors or newspaper columnists who could produce at this level. So it is no surprise that the average sermon is lukewarm. But there is a cure for the lukewarm sermon. This cure is - purpose.

Have you ever noticed that, when someone has an important message, he can deliver it with convincing power? I don't mean to say that the message is grammatically correct or well organized, but that it is enthusiastically delivered. Why? The speaker has a purpose.

Lack of purpose is the main cause of lukewarm boring sermons. A sermon that is written and delivered just because it is Sunday at 11am will not be powerful. The preacher needs a purpose for the sermon. He needs to have a goal in mind for what he wants the sermon to accomplish. What does he want the listeners to do because they heard his sermon? This is the key to powerful preaching. The preacher needs to understand that having a definite purpose in mind gives direction and force to his message. He knows where he is going and he knows the result he wants from the sermon. FULL POST

Posted 8/9/10 at 11:42 AM | Dr. Jeffrey J. Rodman

Four Ways to Expand Your Ministry's Grant Writing Capacity

Four Ways to Expand Your Ministry’s Grant Writing Capacity

Your ministry will likely continue or develop a need to count on foundation grant support for your programs and projects. Yet funding is not easy to come by at this time. This makes expanding your grant writing capacity all-important. You need a strategy. The following are four key components of an effective strategy.

Explore collaborative grant writing opportunities for joint and/or regional grant applications. Partnering with local stakeholder organizations improves your ministry’s chances of gaining funding and reduces your grant writing costs.

Foundation support specifically for collaborative efforts is rising partly as a result of the economy. But even before the economy turned downward, foundations were supporting collaboration. Collaborative efforts are by no means easy and they can be quite difficult. Done right, it is well worth the efforts and can result in a significant win-win situation for ministries concerned. The reason is simple -- collaborating organizations address problems more effectively as a team rather than as independent organizations. Their programs benefit from more diverse expertise and ideas, from more people being involved in the program, and from more people lobbying for the program in the community and enlisting others to do the same. FULL POST

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