menubar
ximage

The Casebook Blog

Discover resources and insights into Human Services and Social Services. 

Explore Topics

  • There are no suggestions because the search field is empty.

Uncover Expert Insights on Our Blog!

Resolving Conflicts With Tech: 10 Strategies in Child Support Case Management

As a child support case manager, you play a pivotal role in ensuring children receive the support they need. However, managing child support cases can be complex, with many parties involved and the potential for conflicts. Fortunately, technology offers innovative...
by Casebook Editorial Team 15 min read
by Casebook Editorial Team 11 min read

What Is Intensive Case Management?

by Maryellen Hess Cameron 15 min read

How Can Workflows Support Home Visits?

Using Data for Enhanced Nonprofit Performance: Insights and Strategies

Whitepaper, Driving Nonprofit Impact With Data and Technology, synthesizes the findings from a survey Executive Directors of 27 agencies in human services.Survey Insights Data Utilization The survey illuminates a crucial gap, with 73% of agencies underutilizing data in...
by Casebook Editorial Team 7 min read

AI Tools for Human Services Nonprofits

Following are some AI tools for you to consider. There are many others available as well. These solutions will take some of the heavy lift off staff so your organization, and those you serve, can thrive! AI Solutions - Administrative With these tools, you can easily...
by Casebook Editorial Team 13 min read

Buy or Build Your Own Case Management System for Human Services?

You run a social services organization and you're keeping all of your records in a spreadsheet, and now you are wondering if the investment in a case management solution is right for you. You're probably already having trouble getting the reports you need and making...
by Andrew Pelletier 20 min read

Best Practices

The Ultimate Guide to Grant Funding Success

UPDATED for 2024: Discover best practices to securing grant funding with our comprehensive guide. From identifying opportunities to crafting winning proposals, we cover everything you need to succeed.

Download now and start your journey towards grant funding success.

Secure Your Funding Pt. 3 — Emphasis On The Data

So far, we’ve reviewed watchdog sites’ standards, detailing indicators for a nonprofit’s success, and articulating metrics. What do all of these have in common? DATA! Ratings, program development, case-making…all are driven by a drumbeat of qualitative and quantitative data. How the public v...

Reporting Impact and Communicating to Grant Funders

The previous post outlined the primary types of capacity-building projects and reviewed how transformational successful capacity-building implementation have been, for example, nonprofits...

by Sade Dozan4 min read

Capacity-Building Grants | Nonprofit Case Studies

In the previous post, we touched on how capacity-building grants are identified and developed in an effort to better position organizations for growth. Now, we’ll review the power of capacity-building g...

by Sade Dozan4 min read

Human Services Software Configurable to Your Needs.

Discover what’s possible with the power of Casebook

Want to partner with us?

Latest Blogs

5 Funding-for-Human-Services Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Explore the key challenges that funding for human services can raise, and discover strategic solutions to overcome them with our comprehensive guide
Explore the key challenges that funding for human services can raise, and discover strategic solutions to overcome them with our comprehensive guide Explore the key challenges that funding for human services can raise, and discover strategic solutions to overcome them with our comprehensive guide Explore the key challenges that funding for human services can raise, and discover strategic solutions to overcome them with our comprehensive guide Explore the key challenges that funding for human services can raise, and discover strategic solutions to overcome them with our comprehensive guide Explore the key challenges that funding for human services can raise, and discover strategic solutions to overcome them with our comprehensive guide Explore the key challenges that funding for human services can raise, and discover strategic solutions to overcome them with our comprehensive guide Explore the key challenges that funding for human services can raise, and discover strategic solutions to overcome them with our comprehensive guide Explore the key challenges that funding for human services can raise, and discover strategic solutions to overcome them with our comprehensive guide Explore the key challenges that funding for human services can raise, and discover strategic solutions to overcome them with our comprehensive guide Explore the key challenges that funding for human services can raise, and discover strategic solutions to overcome them with our comprehensive guide
by Casebook Editorial Team

Reporting Impact and Communicating to Grant Funders

The previous post outlined the primary types of capacity-building projects and reviewed how transformational successful capacity-building implementation have been, for example, nonprofits. In this post, we’ll delve into reporting as well as the need for positive and open lines of communication with ...
The previous post outlined the primary types of capacity-building projects and reviewed how transformational successful capacity-building implementation have been, for example, nonprofits. In this post, we’ll delve into reporting as well as the need for positive and open lines of communication with funders. Nonprofits, as public charities, are subject to investment from both public and private sources. Institutions (such as foundations and corporations) are examples of private sources of support necessary to nonprofits sustainable funding.Let’s say your organization has done a large amount of the work, and you just received your grant award! Beyond implementing the program, communicating with funders is key to ensuring you maintain good standing with their organization. Much of institutional giving is based on the promises you are making to these sources (your proposed programming/services, deliverables, etc.) however, equally important, is how you communicate with founders on your progress. There are the two main types of open communication with funders: formal reporting and relationship-building moments. Formal Reporting are updates given through either Interim Reporting or Impact Reports. They are often requested by each funder and have guidelines on what they should entail (typically sent in the same packet with the award letter/agreement). Interim Reports are updates that support the promised deliverables made to funders (how you’d use the funds). Even for general operating grants, updates to funders—or interim reports—are a necessary part of stewardship (aka maintaining positive relationships with funders which furthers ensure they continue to give/renew). Funding/Impact Reports are distributed to funders at the close of the grant period (typically 1-2 years, however, longer grant periods exist). They are a report back to funders on the full scope of work you’ve accomplished with their funding and a direct assessment of deliverables and key outcomes that were promised. Both of these reporting styles should have qualitative and quantitative examples that compare the progress you’re making to the deliverables you stated you would achieve. Things to detail in the more formal report include indicators of learnings, ways you improved the program, successes, and even challenges that explain where deficits occurred, and solutions you created to offset the barriers to success/implementation. This communication method leans more data driven, leveraging the quantitative efforts of your organization against the key outputs you stated that you would achieve within the initial proposal. Relationship-Building Moments are more informal updates within the stewardship process. This can take place in the form of phone calls to funders, emails, newsletter shares, and sometimes invitations to visit your program (when applicable/safe). One thing I must stress is that you can’t steward an ‘institution.’ You can only really form a bond and reputation with an individual (or group of individuals) at the foundation/corporation. These individuals, through updates, and phone calls, and ‘face- time’ begin to transition from funders to champions of your work. By communicating small victories throughout your grant period, you are showing an institution’s representative that your organization was a worthy investment, and that your impact is rippling beyond their initial grant distribution. This allows a program officer/funder to get to know you (and the organization you represent). Through your touchpoints they learn what your organization stands for at it’s core, beyond the outputs and outcomes outlined in the formal grant and impact reporting. The previous post outlined the primary types of capacity-building projects and reviewed how transformational successful capacity-building implementation have been, for example, nonprofits. In this post, we’ll delve into reporting as well as the need for positive and open lines of communication with funders. Nonprofits, as public charities, are subject to investment from both public and private sources. Institutions (such as foundations and corporations) are examples of private sources of support necessary to nonprofits sustainable funding.Let’s say your organization has done a large amount of the work, and you just received your grant award! Beyond implementing the program, communicating with funders is key to ensuring you maintain good standing with their organization. Much of institutional giving is based on the promises you are making to these sources (your proposed programming/services, deliverables, etc.) however, equally important, is how you communicate with founders on your progress. There are the two main types of open communication with funders: formal reporting and relationship-building moments. Formal Reporting are updates given through either Interim Reporting or Impact Reports. They are often requested by each funder and have guidelines on what they should entail (typically sent in the same packet with the award letter/agreement). Interim Reports are updates that support the promised deliverables made to funders (how you’d use the funds). Even for general operating grants, updates to funders—or interim reports—are a necessary part of stewardship (aka maintaining positive relationships with funders which furthers ensure they continue to give/renew). Funding/Impact Reports are distributed to funders at the close of the grant period (typically 1-2 years, however, longer grant periods exist). They are a report back to funders on the full scope of work you’ve accomplished with their funding and a direct assessment of deliverables and key outcomes that were promised. Both of these reporting styles should have qualitative and quantitative examples that compare the progress you’re making to the deliverables you stated you would achieve. Things to detail in the more formal report include indicators of learnings, ways you improved the program, successes, and even challenges that explain where deficits occurred, and solutions you created to offset the barriers to success/implementation. This communication method leans more data driven, leveraging the quantitative efforts of your organization against the key outputs you stated that you would achieve within the initial proposal. Relationship-Building Moments are more informal updates within the stewardship process. This can take place in the form of phone calls to funders, emails, newsletter shares, and sometimes invitations to visit your program (when applicable/safe). One thing I must stress is that you can’t steward an ‘institution.’ You can only really form a bond and reputation with an individual (or group of individuals) at the foundation/corporation. These individuals, through updates, and phone calls, and ‘face- time’ begin to transition from funders to champions of your work. By communicating small victories throughout your grant period, you are showing an institution’s representative that your organization was a worthy investment, and that your impact is rippling beyond their initial grant distribution. This allows a program officer/funder to get to know you (and the organization you represent). Through your touchpoints they learn what your organization stands for at it’s core, beyond the outputs and outcomes outlined in the formal grant and impact reporting. The previous post outlined the primary types of capacity-building projects and reviewed how transformational successful capacity-building implementation have been, for example, nonprofits. In this post, we’ll delve into reporting as well as the need for positive and open lines of communication with funders. Nonprofits, as public charities, are subject to investment from both public and private sources. Institutions (such as foundations and corporations) are examples of private sources of support necessary to nonprofits sustainable funding.Let’s say your organization has done a large amount of the work, and you just received your grant award! Beyond implementing the program, communicating with funders is key to ensuring you maintain good standing with their organization. Much of institutional giving is based on the promises you are making to these sources (your proposed programming/services, deliverables, etc.) however, equally important, is how you communicate with founders on your progress. There are the two main types of open communication with funders: formal reporting and relationship-building moments. Formal Reporting are updates given through either Interim Reporting or Impact Reports. They are often requested by each funder and have guidelines on what they should entail (typically sent in the same packet with the award letter/agreement). Interim Reports are updates that support the promised deliverables made to funders (how you’d use the funds). Even for general operating grants, updates to funders—or interim reports—are a necessary part of stewardship (aka maintaining positive relationships with funders which furthers ensure they continue to give/renew). Funding/Impact Reports are distributed to funders at the close of the grant period (typically 1-2 years, however, longer grant periods exist). They are a report back to funders on the full scope of work you’ve accomplished with their funding and a direct assessment of deliverables and key outcomes that were promised. Both of these reporting styles should have qualitative and quantitative examples that compare the progress you’re making to the deliverables you stated you would achieve. Things to detail in the more formal report include indicators of learnings, ways you improved the program, successes, and even challenges that explain where deficits occurred, and solutions you created to offset the barriers to success/implementation. This communication method leans more data driven, leveraging the quantitative efforts of your organization against the key outputs you stated that you would achieve within the initial proposal. Relationship-Building Moments are more informal updates within the stewardship process. This can take place in the form of phone calls to funders, emails, newsletter shares, and sometimes invitations to visit your program (when applicable/safe). One thing I must stress is that you can’t steward an ‘institution.’ You can only really form a bond and reputation with an individual (or group of individuals) at the foundation/corporation. These individuals, through updates, and phone calls, and ‘face- time’ begin to transition from funders to champions of your work. By communicating small victories throughout your grant period, you are showing an institution’s representative that your organization was a worthy investment, and that your impact is rippling beyond their initial grant distribution. This allows a program officer/funder to get to know you (and the organization you represent). Through your touchpoints they learn what your organization stands for at it’s core, beyond the outputs and outcomes outlined in the formal grant and impact reporting. The previous post outlined the primary types of capacity-building projects and reviewed how transformational successful capacity-building implementation have been, for example, nonprofits. In this post, we’ll delve into reporting as well as the need for positive and open lines of communication with funders. Nonprofits, as public charities, are subject to investment from both public and private sources. Institutions (such as foundations and corporations) are examples of private sources of support necessary to nonprofits sustainable funding.Let’s say your organization has done a large amount of the work, and you just received your grant award! Beyond implementing the program, communicating with funders is key to ensuring you maintain good standing with their organization. Much of institutional giving is based on the promises you are making to these sources (your proposed programming/services, deliverables, etc.) however, equally important, is how you communicate with founders on your progress. There are the two main types of open communication with funders: formal reporting and relationship-building moments. Formal Reporting are updates given through either Interim Reporting or Impact Reports. They are often requested by each funder and have guidelines on what they should entail (typically sent in the same packet with the award letter/agreement). Interim Reports are updates that support the promised deliverables made to funders (how you’d use the funds). Even for general operating grants, updates to funders—or interim reports—are a necessary part of stewardship (aka maintaining positive relationships with funders which furthers ensure they continue to give/renew). Funding/Impact Reports are distributed to funders at the close of the grant period (typically 1-2 years, however, longer grant periods exist). They are a report back to funders on the full scope of work you’ve accomplished with their funding and a direct assessment of deliverables and key outcomes that were promised. Both of these reporting styles should have qualitative and quantitative examples that compare the progress you’re making to the deliverables you stated you would achieve. Things to detail in the more formal report include indicators of learnings, ways you improved the program, successes, and even challenges that explain where deficits occurred, and solutions you created to offset the barriers to success/implementation. This communication method leans more data driven, leveraging the quantitative efforts of your organization against the key outputs you stated that you would achieve within the initial proposal. Relationship-Building Moments are more informal updates within the stewardship process. This can take place in the form of phone calls to funders, emails, newsletter shares, and sometimes invitations to visit your program (when applicable/safe). One thing I must stress is that you can’t steward an ‘institution.’ You can only really form a bond and reputation with an individual (or group of individuals) at the foundation/corporation. These individuals, through updates, and phone calls, and ‘face- time’ begin to transition from funders to champions of your work. By communicating small victories throughout your grant period, you are showing an institution’s representative that your organization was a worthy investment, and that your impact is rippling beyond their initial grant distribution. This allows a program officer/funder to get to know you (and the organization you represent). Through your touchpoints they learn what your organization stands for at it’s core, beyond the outputs and outcomes outlined in the formal grant and impact reporting. The previous post outlined the primary types of capacity-building projects and reviewed how transformational successful capacity-building implementation have been, for example, nonprofits. In this post, we’ll delve into reporting as well as the need for positive and open lines of communication with funders. Nonprofits, as public charities, are subject to investment from both public and private sources. Institutions (such as foundations and corporations) are examples of private sources of support necessary to nonprofits sustainable funding.Let’s say your organization has done a large amount of the work, and you just received your grant award! Beyond implementing the program, communicating with funders is key to ensuring you maintain good standing with their organization. Much of institutional giving is based on the promises you are making to these sources (your proposed programming/services, deliverables, etc.) however, equally important, is how you communicate with founders on your progress. There are the two main types of open communication with funders: formal reporting and relationship-building moments. Formal Reporting are updates given through either Interim Reporting or Impact Reports. They are often requested by each funder and have guidelines on what they should entail (typically sent in the same packet with the award letter/agreement). Interim Reports are updates that support the promised deliverables made to funders (how you’d use the funds). Even for general operating grants, updates to funders—or interim reports—are a necessary part of stewardship (aka maintaining positive relationships with funders which furthers ensure they continue to give/renew). Funding/Impact Reports are distributed to funders at the close of the grant period (typically 1-2 years, however, longer grant periods exist). They are a report back to funders on the full scope of work you’ve accomplished with their funding and a direct assessment of deliverables and key outcomes that were promised. Both of these reporting styles should have qualitative and quantitative examples that compare the progress you’re making to the deliverables you stated you would achieve. Things to detail in the more formal report include indicators of learnings, ways you improved the program, successes, and even challenges that explain where deficits occurred, and solutions you created to offset the barriers to success/implementation. This communication method leans more data driven, leveraging the quantitative efforts of your organization against the key outputs you stated that you would achieve within the initial proposal. Relationship-Building Moments are more informal updates within the stewardship process. This can take place in the form of phone calls to funders, emails, newsletter shares, and sometimes invitations to visit your program (when applicable/safe). One thing I must stress is that you can’t steward an ‘institution.’ You can only really form a bond and reputation with an individual (or group of individuals) at the foundation/corporation. These individuals, through updates, and phone calls, and ‘face- time’ begin to transition from funders to champions of your work. By communicating small victories throughout your grant period, you are showing an institution’s representative that your organization was a worthy investment, and that your impact is rippling beyond their initial grant distribution. This allows a program officer/funder to get to know you (and the organization you represent). Through your touchpoints they learn what your organization stands for at it’s core, beyond the outputs and outcomes outlined in the formal grant and impact reporting. The previous post outlined the primary types of capacity-building projects and reviewed how transformational successful capacity-building implementation have been, for example, nonprofits. In this post, we’ll delve into reporting as well as the need for positive and open lines of communication with funders. Nonprofits, as public charities, are subject to investment from both public and private sources. Institutions (such as foundations and corporations) are examples of private sources of support necessary to nonprofits sustainable funding.Let’s say your organization has done a large amount of the work, and you just received your grant award! Beyond implementing the program, communicating with funders is key to ensuring you maintain good standing with their organization. Much of institutional giving is based on the promises you are making to these sources (your proposed programming/services, deliverables, etc.) however, equally important, is how you communicate with founders on your progress. There are the two main types of open communication with funders: formal reporting and relationship-building moments. Formal Reporting are updates given through either Interim Reporting or Impact Reports. They are often requested by each funder and have guidelines on what they should entail (typically sent in the same packet with the award letter/agreement). Interim Reports are updates that support the promised deliverables made to funders (how you’d use the funds). Even for general operating grants, updates to funders—or interim reports—are a necessary part of stewardship (aka maintaining positive relationships with funders which furthers ensure they continue to give/renew). Funding/Impact Reports are distributed to funders at the close of the grant period (typically 1-2 years, however, longer grant periods exist). They are a report back to funders on the full scope of work you’ve accomplished with their funding and a direct assessment of deliverables and key outcomes that were promised. Both of these reporting styles should have qualitative and quantitative examples that compare the progress you’re making to the deliverables you stated you would achieve. Things to detail in the more formal report include indicators of learnings, ways you improved the program, successes, and even challenges that explain where deficits occurred, and solutions you created to offset the barriers to success/implementation. This communication method leans more data driven, leveraging the quantitative efforts of your organization against the key outputs you stated that you would achieve within the initial proposal. Relationship-Building Moments are more informal updates within the stewardship process. This can take place in the form of phone calls to funders, emails, newsletter shares, and sometimes invitations to visit your program (when applicable/safe). One thing I must stress is that you can’t steward an ‘institution.’ You can only really form a bond and reputation with an individual (or group of individuals) at the foundation/corporation. These individuals, through updates, and phone calls, and ‘face- time’ begin to transition from funders to champions of your work. By communicating small victories throughout your grant period, you are showing an institution’s representative that your organization was a worthy investment, and that your impact is rippling beyond their initial grant distribution. This allows a program officer/funder to get to know you (and the organization you represent). Through your touchpoints they learn what your organization stands for at it’s core, beyond the outputs and outcomes outlined in the formal grant and impact reporting. The previous post outlined the primary types of capacity-building projects and reviewed how transformational successful capacity-building implementation have been, for example, nonprofits. In this post, we’ll delve into reporting as well as the need for positive and open lines of communication with funders. Nonprofits, as public charities, are subject to investment from both public and private sources. Institutions (such as foundations and corporations) are examples of private sources of support necessary to nonprofits sustainable funding.Let’s say your organization has done a large amount of the work, and you just received your grant award! Beyond implementing the program, communicating with funders is key to ensuring you maintain good standing with their organization. Much of institutional giving is based on the promises you are making to these sources (your proposed programming/services, deliverables, etc.) however, equally important, is how you communicate with founders on your progress. There are the two main types of open communication with funders: formal reporting and relationship-building moments. Formal Reporting are updates given through either Interim Reporting or Impact Reports. They are often requested by each funder and have guidelines on what they should entail (typically sent in the same packet with the award letter/agreement). Interim Reports are updates that support the promised deliverables made to funders (how you’d use the funds). Even for general operating grants, updates to funders—or interim reports—are a necessary part of stewardship (aka maintaining positive relationships with funders which furthers ensure they continue to give/renew). Funding/Impact Reports are distributed to funders at the close of the grant period (typically 1-2 years, however, longer grant periods exist). They are a report back to funders on the full scope of work you’ve accomplished with their funding and a direct assessment of deliverables and key outcomes that were promised. Both of these reporting styles should have qualitative and quantitative examples that compare the progress you’re making to the deliverables you stated you would achieve. Things to detail in the more formal report include indicators of learnings, ways you improved the program, successes, and even challenges that explain where deficits occurred, and solutions you created to offset the barriers to success/implementation. This communication method leans more data driven, leveraging the quantitative efforts of your organization against the key outputs you stated that you would achieve within the initial proposal. Relationship-Building Moments are more informal updates within the stewardship process. This can take place in the form of phone calls to funders, emails, newsletter shares, and sometimes invitations to visit your program (when applicable/safe). One thing I must stress is that you can’t steward an ‘institution.’ You can only really form a bond and reputation with an individual (or group of individuals) at the foundation/corporation. These individuals, through updates, and phone calls, and ‘face- time’ begin to transition from funders to champions of your work. By communicating small victories throughout your grant period, you are showing an institution’s representative that your organization was a worthy investment, and that your impact is rippling beyond their initial grant distribution. This allows a program officer/funder to get to know you (and the organization you represent). Through your touchpoints they learn what your organization stands for at it’s core, beyond the outputs and outcomes outlined in the formal grant and impact reporting. The previous post outlined the primary types of capacity-building projects and reviewed how transformational successful capacity-building implementation have been, for example, nonprofits. In this post, we’ll delve into reporting as well as the need for positive and open lines of communication with funders. Nonprofits, as public charities, are subject to investment from both public and private sources. Institutions (such as foundations and corporations) are examples of private sources of support necessary to nonprofits sustainable funding.Let’s say your organization has done a large amount of the work, and you just received your grant award! Beyond implementing the program, communicating with funders is key to ensuring you maintain good standing with their organization. Much of institutional giving is based on the promises you are making to these sources (your proposed programming/services, deliverables, etc.) however, equally important, is how you communicate with founders on your progress. There are the two main types of open communication with funders: formal reporting and relationship-building moments. Formal Reporting are updates given through either Interim Reporting or Impact Reports. They are often requested by each funder and have guidelines on what they should entail (typically sent in the same packet with the award letter/agreement). Interim Reports are updates that support the promised deliverables made to funders (how you’d use the funds). Even for general operating grants, updates to funders—or interim reports—are a necessary part of stewardship (aka maintaining positive relationships with funders which furthers ensure they continue to give/renew). Funding/Impact Reports are distributed to funders at the close of the grant period (typically 1-2 years, however, longer grant periods exist). They are a report back to funders on the full scope of work you’ve accomplished with their funding and a direct assessment of deliverables and key outcomes that were promised. Both of these reporting styles should have qualitative and quantitative examples that compare the progress you’re making to the deliverables you stated you would achieve. Things to detail in the more formal report include indicators of learnings, ways you improved the program, successes, and even challenges that explain where deficits occurred, and solutions you created to offset the barriers to success/implementation. This communication method leans more data driven, leveraging the quantitative efforts of your organization against the key outputs you stated that you would achieve within the initial proposal. Relationship-Building Moments are more informal updates within the stewardship process. This can take place in the form of phone calls to funders, emails, newsletter shares, and sometimes invitations to visit your program (when applicable/safe). One thing I must stress is that you can’t steward an ‘institution.’ You can only really form a bond and reputation with an individual (or group of individuals) at the foundation/corporation. These individuals, through updates, and phone calls, and ‘face- time’ begin to transition from funders to champions of your work. By communicating small victories throughout your grant period, you are showing an institution’s representative that your organization was a worthy investment, and that your impact is rippling beyond their initial grant distribution. This allows a program officer/funder to get to know you (and the organization you represent). Through your touchpoints they learn what your organization stands for at it’s core, beyond the outputs and outcomes outlined in the formal grant and impact reporting. The previous post outlined the primary types of capacity-building projects and reviewed how transformational successful capacity-building implementation have been, for example, nonprofits. In this post, we’ll delve into reporting as well as the need for positive and open lines of communication with funders. Nonprofits, as public charities, are subject to investment from both public and private sources. Institutions (such as foundations and corporations) are examples of private sources of support necessary to nonprofits sustainable funding.Let’s say your organization has done a large amount of the work, and you just received your grant award! Beyond implementing the program, communicating with funders is key to ensuring you maintain good standing with their organization. Much of institutional giving is based on the promises you are making to these sources (your proposed programming/services, deliverables, etc.) however, equally important, is how you communicate with founders on your progress. There are the two main types of open communication with funders: formal reporting and relationship-building moments. Formal Reporting are updates given through either Interim Reporting or Impact Reports. They are often requested by each funder and have guidelines on what they should entail (typically sent in the same packet with the award letter/agreement). Interim Reports are updates that support the promised deliverables made to funders (how you’d use the funds). Even for general operating grants, updates to funders—or interim reports—are a necessary part of stewardship (aka maintaining positive relationships with funders which furthers ensure they continue to give/renew). Funding/Impact Reports are distributed to funders at the close of the grant period (typically 1-2 years, however, longer grant periods exist). They are a report back to funders on the full scope of work you’ve accomplished with their funding and a direct assessment of deliverables and key outcomes that were promised. Both of these reporting styles should have qualitative and quantitative examples that compare the progress you’re making to the deliverables you stated you would achieve. Things to detail in the more formal report include indicators of learnings, ways you improved the program, successes, and even challenges that explain where deficits occurred, and solutions you created to offset the barriers to success/implementation. This communication method leans more data driven, leveraging the quantitative efforts of your organization against the key outputs you stated that you would achieve within the initial proposal. Relationship-Building Moments are more informal updates within the stewardship process. This can take place in the form of phone calls to funders, emails, newsletter shares, and sometimes invitations to visit your program (when applicable/safe). One thing I must stress is that you can’t steward an ‘institution.’ You can only really form a bond and reputation with an individual (or group of individuals) at the foundation/corporation. These individuals, through updates, and phone calls, and ‘face- time’ begin to transition from funders to champions of your work. By communicating small victories throughout your grant period, you are showing an institution’s representative that your organization was a worthy investment, and that your impact is rippling beyond their initial grant distribution. This allows a program officer/funder to get to know you (and the organization you represent). Through your touchpoints they learn what your organization stands for at it’s core, beyond the outputs and outcomes outlined in the formal grant and impact reporting. The previous post outlined the primary types of capacity-building projects and reviewed how transformational successful capacity-building implementation have been, for example, nonprofits. In this post, we’ll delve into reporting as well as the need for positive and open lines of communication with funders. Nonprofits, as public charities, are subject to investment from both public and private sources. Institutions (such as foundations and corporations) are examples of private sources of support necessary to nonprofits sustainable funding.Let’s say your organization has done a large amount of the work, and you just received your grant award! Beyond implementing the program, communicating with funders is key to ensuring you maintain good standing with their organization. Much of institutional giving is based on the promises you are making to these sources (your proposed programming/services, deliverables, etc.) however, equally important, is how you communicate with founders on your progress. There are the two main types of open communication with funders: formal reporting and relationship-building moments. Formal Reporting are updates given through either Interim Reporting or Impact Reports. They are often requested by each funder and have guidelines on what they should entail (typically sent in the same packet with the award letter/agreement). Interim Reports are updates that support the promised deliverables made to funders (how you’d use the funds). Even for general operating grants, updates to funders—or interim reports—are a necessary part of stewardship (aka maintaining positive relationships with funders which furthers ensure they continue to give/renew). Funding/Impact Reports are distributed to funders at the close of the grant period (typically 1-2 years, however, longer grant periods exist). They are a report back to funders on the full scope of work you’ve accomplished with their funding and a direct assessment of deliverables and key outcomes that were promised. Both of these reporting styles should have qualitative and quantitative examples that compare the progress you’re making to the deliverables you stated you would achieve. Things to detail in the more formal report include indicators of learnings, ways you improved the program, successes, and even challenges that explain where deficits occurred, and solutions you created to offset the barriers to success/implementation. This communication method leans more data driven, leveraging the quantitative efforts of your organization against the key outputs you stated that you would achieve within the initial proposal. Relationship-Building Moments are more informal updates within the stewardship process. This can take place in the form of phone calls to funders, emails, newsletter shares, and sometimes invitations to visit your program (when applicable/safe). One thing I must stress is that you can’t steward an ‘institution.’ You can only really form a bond and reputation with an individual (or group of individuals) at the foundation/corporation. These individuals, through updates, and phone calls, and ‘face- time’ begin to transition from funders to champions of your work. By communicating small victories throughout your grant period, you are showing an institution’s representative that your organization was a worthy investment, and that your impact is rippling beyond their initial grant distribution. This allows a program officer/funder to get to know you (and the organization you represent). Through your touchpoints they learn what your organization stands for at it’s core, beyond the outputs and outcomes outlined in the formal grant and impact reporting.
by Sade Dozan 11 min read

Leveraging Nonprofit Software to Create a Successful Grant Proposal

In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and the great resignation, businesses across many industries have experienced an uptick in employee turnover. This trend has been especially prominent in the nonprofit sector, where limited budgets and resources often make it difficult for organizations to r...
In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and the great resignation, businesses across many industries have experienced an uptick in employee turnover. This trend has been especially prominent in the nonprofit sector, where limited budgets and resources often make it difficult for organizations to retain their top talent. High turnover can have serious consequences for nonprofits, including reduced productivity, decreased morale, and increased costs — all of which directly affect the quality of services these organizations provide to their constituents. Finding and receiving just the right grants for your growing nonprofit can be a crucial step in securing the funding you need to move forward with projects that will make a difference, and leveraging nonprofit case management database software when creating your applications can be an important step in keeping everything you need in one place and writing strong applications that showcase everything your organization has to offer. Here is an overview of how to write a grant using nonprofit software and why nonprofit grant writing case management systems play an important role in creating successful modern grant proposals! Keep Past Information Organized to Choose the Best Possible Donors Even the most charitable donors are often unable to contribute to every grant request that comes their way, and keeping track of a wide range of data about each donor you have worked with or requested funds from in the past can help you begin your search with the specific donors that are the most likely to be willing and able to support your project. Many donors prefer to work with the same grant recipients over time to build a strong professional relationship with promising newcomers to their field, while others prioritize spreading their funds out among more people to help them get their foot in the door. If you are requesting a second or third grant from a donor you have had success with in the past, it can be helpful to remind them of the results of projects you have previously applied their funding to and how much that work benefited you or the organization you represent. Nonprofit software provides an easy and streamlined option for keeping this information and details about past communication with potential donors in one convenient place, and reviewing this information before deciding who to reach out to first can increase your chances of finding early success and minimizing the time it will take to secure the funds you need. Quickly Find the Best Grants for Your Organization Many grants have very specific guidelines for the types of projects they are to be used for, and reading through dozens or even hundreds of grant descriptions to find options that may be appropriate for your nonprofit can be quite time-consuming and reduce the amount of time your team can spend on other aspects of running your organization. Many grant management software programs come with a built-in, searchable database of common grants, and these programs can quickly compile a list of grants that most closely match your criteria. With this option, you can be intentional about putting the majority of your time and other resources toward creating the best possible applications for the specific grants that are most likely to be a good fit for your nonprofit. Establish Your Credibility If you are new to your field or representing a new nonprofit organization that has applied for few or no grants in the past, it can be difficult to create a concise and accurate picture of what your organization stands for and how the project you are seeking a grant for will ultimately benefit your community or your field. A strong grant management software program can be a valuable tool for compiling background information about your nonprofit to share with potential donors to show them why you are representing a credible and reliable organization that will use their money wisely. Although it can be easy to assume the reader of your grant application knows something about a cause that is important to you, it is generally best to write your application as though they have never heard of it to provide the most well-rounded explanation for why they should consider supporting your organization. In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and the great resignation, businesses across many industries have experienced an uptick in employee turnover. This trend has been especially prominent in the nonprofit sector, where limited budgets and resources often make it difficult for organizations to retain their top talent. High turnover can have serious consequences for nonprofits, including reduced productivity, decreased morale, and increased costs — all of which directly affect the quality of services these organizations provide to their constituents. Finding and receiving just the right grants for your growing nonprofit can be a crucial step in securing the funding you need to move forward with projects that will make a difference, and leveraging nonprofit case management database software when creating your applications can be an important step in keeping everything you need in one place and writing strong applications that showcase everything your organization has to offer. Here is an overview of how to write a grant using nonprofit software and why nonprofit grant writing case management systems play an important role in creating successful modern grant proposals! Keep Past Information Organized to Choose the Best Possible Donors Even the most charitable donors are often unable to contribute to every grant request that comes their way, and keeping track of a wide range of data about each donor you have worked with or requested funds from in the past can help you begin your search with the specific donors that are the most likely to be willing and able to support your project. Many donors prefer to work with the same grant recipients over time to build a strong professional relationship with promising newcomers to their field, while others prioritize spreading their funds out among more people to help them get their foot in the door. If you are requesting a second or third grant from a donor you have had success with in the past, it can be helpful to remind them of the results of projects you have previously applied their funding to and how much that work benefited you or the organization you represent. Nonprofit software provides an easy and streamlined option for keeping this information and details about past communication with potential donors in one convenient place, and reviewing this information before deciding who to reach out to first can increase your chances of finding early success and minimizing the time it will take to secure the funds you need. Quickly Find the Best Grants for Your Organization Many grants have very specific guidelines for the types of projects they are to be used for, and reading through dozens or even hundreds of grant descriptions to find options that may be appropriate for your nonprofit can be quite time-consuming and reduce the amount of time your team can spend on other aspects of running your organization. Many grant management software programs come with a built-in, searchable database of common grants, and these programs can quickly compile a list of grants that most closely match your criteria. With this option, you can be intentional about putting the majority of your time and other resources toward creating the best possible applications for the specific grants that are most likely to be a good fit for your nonprofit. Establish Your Credibility If you are new to your field or representing a new nonprofit organization that has applied for few or no grants in the past, it can be difficult to create a concise and accurate picture of what your organization stands for and how the project you are seeking a grant for will ultimately benefit your community or your field. A strong grant management software program can be a valuable tool for compiling background information about your nonprofit to share with potential donors to show them why you are representing a credible and reliable organization that will use their money wisely. Although it can be easy to assume the reader of your grant application knows something about a cause that is important to you, it is generally best to write your application as though they have never heard of it to provide the most well-rounded explanation for why they should consider supporting your organization. In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and the great resignation, businesses across many industries have experienced an uptick in employee turnover. This trend has been especially prominent in the nonprofit sector, where limited budgets and resources often make it difficult for organizations to retain their top talent. High turnover can have serious consequences for nonprofits, including reduced productivity, decreased morale, and increased costs — all of which directly affect the quality of services these organizations provide to their constituents. Finding and receiving just the right grants for your growing nonprofit can be a crucial step in securing the funding you need to move forward with projects that will make a difference, and leveraging nonprofit case management database software when creating your applications can be an important step in keeping everything you need in one place and writing strong applications that showcase everything your organization has to offer. Here is an overview of how to write a grant using nonprofit software and why nonprofit grant writing case management systems play an important role in creating successful modern grant proposals! Keep Past Information Organized to Choose the Best Possible Donors Even the most charitable donors are often unable to contribute to every grant request that comes their way, and keeping track of a wide range of data about each donor you have worked with or requested funds from in the past can help you begin your search with the specific donors that are the most likely to be willing and able to support your project. Many donors prefer to work with the same grant recipients over time to build a strong professional relationship with promising newcomers to their field, while others prioritize spreading their funds out among more people to help them get their foot in the door. If you are requesting a second or third grant from a donor you have had success with in the past, it can be helpful to remind them of the results of projects you have previously applied their funding to and how much that work benefited you or the organization you represent. Nonprofit software provides an easy and streamlined option for keeping this information and details about past communication with potential donors in one convenient place, and reviewing this information before deciding who to reach out to first can increase your chances of finding early success and minimizing the time it will take to secure the funds you need. Quickly Find the Best Grants for Your Organization Many grants have very specific guidelines for the types of projects they are to be used for, and reading through dozens or even hundreds of grant descriptions to find options that may be appropriate for your nonprofit can be quite time-consuming and reduce the amount of time your team can spend on other aspects of running your organization. Many grant management software programs come with a built-in, searchable database of common grants, and these programs can quickly compile a list of grants that most closely match your criteria. With this option, you can be intentional about putting the majority of your time and other resources toward creating the best possible applications for the specific grants that are most likely to be a good fit for your nonprofit. Establish Your Credibility If you are new to your field or representing a new nonprofit organization that has applied for few or no grants in the past, it can be difficult to create a concise and accurate picture of what your organization stands for and how the project you are seeking a grant for will ultimately benefit your community or your field. A strong grant management software program can be a valuable tool for compiling background information about your nonprofit to share with potential donors to show them why you are representing a credible and reliable organization that will use their money wisely. Although it can be easy to assume the reader of your grant application knows something about a cause that is important to you, it is generally best to write your application as though they have never heard of it to provide the most well-rounded explanation for why they should consider supporting your organization. In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and the great resignation, businesses across many industries have experienced an uptick in employee turnover. This trend has been especially prominent in the nonprofit sector, where limited budgets and resources often make it difficult for organizations to retain their top talent. High turnover can have serious consequences for nonprofits, including reduced productivity, decreased morale, and increased costs — all of which directly affect the quality of services these organizations provide to their constituents. Finding and receiving just the right grants for your growing nonprofit can be a crucial step in securing the funding you need to move forward with projects that will make a difference, and leveraging nonprofit case management database software when creating your applications can be an important step in keeping everything you need in one place and writing strong applications that showcase everything your organization has to offer. Here is an overview of how to write a grant using nonprofit software and why nonprofit grant writing case management systems play an important role in creating successful modern grant proposals! Keep Past Information Organized to Choose the Best Possible Donors Even the most charitable donors are often unable to contribute to every grant request that comes their way, and keeping track of a wide range of data about each donor you have worked with or requested funds from in the past can help you begin your search with the specific donors that are the most likely to be willing and able to support your project. Many donors prefer to work with the same grant recipients over time to build a strong professional relationship with promising newcomers to their field, while others prioritize spreading their funds out among more people to help them get their foot in the door. If you are requesting a second or third grant from a donor you have had success with in the past, it can be helpful to remind them of the results of projects you have previously applied their funding to and how much that work benefited you or the organization you represent. Nonprofit software provides an easy and streamlined option for keeping this information and details about past communication with potential donors in one convenient place, and reviewing this information before deciding who to reach out to first can increase your chances of finding early success and minimizing the time it will take to secure the funds you need. Quickly Find the Best Grants for Your Organization Many grants have very specific guidelines for the types of projects they are to be used for, and reading through dozens or even hundreds of grant descriptions to find options that may be appropriate for your nonprofit can be quite time-consuming and reduce the amount of time your team can spend on other aspects of running your organization. Many grant management software programs come with a built-in, searchable database of common grants, and these programs can quickly compile a list of grants that most closely match your criteria. With this option, you can be intentional about putting the majority of your time and other resources toward creating the best possible applications for the specific grants that are most likely to be a good fit for your nonprofit. Establish Your Credibility If you are new to your field or representing a new nonprofit organization that has applied for few or no grants in the past, it can be difficult to create a concise and accurate picture of what your organization stands for and how the project you are seeking a grant for will ultimately benefit your community or your field. A strong grant management software program can be a valuable tool for compiling background information about your nonprofit to share with potential donors to show them why you are representing a credible and reliable organization that will use their money wisely. Although it can be easy to assume the reader of your grant application knows something about a cause that is important to you, it is generally best to write your application as though they have never heard of it to provide the most well-rounded explanation for why they should consider supporting your organization. In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and the great resignation, businesses across many industries have experienced an uptick in employee turnover. This trend has been especially prominent in the nonprofit sector, where limited budgets and resources often make it difficult for organizations to retain their top talent. High turnover can have serious consequences for nonprofits, including reduced productivity, decreased morale, and increased costs — all of which directly affect the quality of services these organizations provide to their constituents. Finding and receiving just the right grants for your growing nonprofit can be a crucial step in securing the funding you need to move forward with projects that will make a difference, and leveraging nonprofit case management database software when creating your applications can be an important step in keeping everything you need in one place and writing strong applications that showcase everything your organization has to offer. Here is an overview of how to write a grant using nonprofit software and why nonprofit grant writing case management systems play an important role in creating successful modern grant proposals! Keep Past Information Organized to Choose the Best Possible Donors Even the most charitable donors are often unable to contribute to every grant request that comes their way, and keeping track of a wide range of data about each donor you have worked with or requested funds from in the past can help you begin your search with the specific donors that are the most likely to be willing and able to support your project. Many donors prefer to work with the same grant recipients over time to build a strong professional relationship with promising newcomers to their field, while others prioritize spreading their funds out among more people to help them get their foot in the door. If you are requesting a second or third grant from a donor you have had success with in the past, it can be helpful to remind them of the results of projects you have previously applied their funding to and how much that work benefited you or the organization you represent. Nonprofit software provides an easy and streamlined option for keeping this information and details about past communication with potential donors in one convenient place, and reviewing this information before deciding who to reach out to first can increase your chances of finding early success and minimizing the time it will take to secure the funds you need. Quickly Find the Best Grants for Your Organization Many grants have very specific guidelines for the types of projects they are to be used for, and reading through dozens or even hundreds of grant descriptions to find options that may be appropriate for your nonprofit can be quite time-consuming and reduce the amount of time your team can spend on other aspects of running your organization. Many grant management software programs come with a built-in, searchable database of common grants, and these programs can quickly compile a list of grants that most closely match your criteria. With this option, you can be intentional about putting the majority of your time and other resources toward creating the best possible applications for the specific grants that are most likely to be a good fit for your nonprofit. Establish Your Credibility If you are new to your field or representing a new nonprofit organization that has applied for few or no grants in the past, it can be difficult to create a concise and accurate picture of what your organization stands for and how the project you are seeking a grant for will ultimately benefit your community or your field. A strong grant management software program can be a valuable tool for compiling background information about your nonprofit to share with potential donors to show them why you are representing a credible and reliable organization that will use their money wisely. Although it can be easy to assume the reader of your grant application knows something about a cause that is important to you, it is generally best to write your application as though they have never heard of it to provide the most well-rounded explanation for why they should consider supporting your organization. In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and the great resignation, businesses across many industries have experienced an uptick in employee turnover. This trend has been especially prominent in the nonprofit sector, where limited budgets and resources often make it difficult for organizations to retain their top talent. High turnover can have serious consequences for nonprofits, including reduced productivity, decreased morale, and increased costs — all of which directly affect the quality of services these organizations provide to their constituents. Finding and receiving just the right grants for your growing nonprofit can be a crucial step in securing the funding you need to move forward with projects that will make a difference, and leveraging nonprofit case management database software when creating your applications can be an important step in keeping everything you need in one place and writing strong applications that showcase everything your organization has to offer. Here is an overview of how to write a grant using nonprofit software and why nonprofit grant writing case management systems play an important role in creating successful modern grant proposals! Keep Past Information Organized to Choose the Best Possible Donors Even the most charitable donors are often unable to contribute to every grant request that comes their way, and keeping track of a wide range of data about each donor you have worked with or requested funds from in the past can help you begin your search with the specific donors that are the most likely to be willing and able to support your project. Many donors prefer to work with the same grant recipients over time to build a strong professional relationship with promising newcomers to their field, while others prioritize spreading their funds out among more people to help them get their foot in the door. If you are requesting a second or third grant from a donor you have had success with in the past, it can be helpful to remind them of the results of projects you have previously applied their funding to and how much that work benefited you or the organization you represent. Nonprofit software provides an easy and streamlined option for keeping this information and details about past communication with potential donors in one convenient place, and reviewing this information before deciding who to reach out to first can increase your chances of finding early success and minimizing the time it will take to secure the funds you need. Quickly Find the Best Grants for Your Organization Many grants have very specific guidelines for the types of projects they are to be used for, and reading through dozens or even hundreds of grant descriptions to find options that may be appropriate for your nonprofit can be quite time-consuming and reduce the amount of time your team can spend on other aspects of running your organization. Many grant management software programs come with a built-in, searchable database of common grants, and these programs can quickly compile a list of grants that most closely match your criteria. With this option, you can be intentional about putting the majority of your time and other resources toward creating the best possible applications for the specific grants that are most likely to be a good fit for your nonprofit. Establish Your Credibility If you are new to your field or representing a new nonprofit organization that has applied for few or no grants in the past, it can be difficult to create a concise and accurate picture of what your organization stands for and how the project you are seeking a grant for will ultimately benefit your community or your field. A strong grant management software program can be a valuable tool for compiling background information about your nonprofit to share with potential donors to show them why you are representing a credible and reliable organization that will use their money wisely. Although it can be easy to assume the reader of your grant application knows something about a cause that is important to you, it is generally best to write your application as though they have never heard of it to provide the most well-rounded explanation for why they should consider supporting your organization. In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and the great resignation, businesses across many industries have experienced an uptick in employee turnover. This trend has been especially prominent in the nonprofit sector, where limited budgets and resources often make it difficult for organizations to retain their top talent. High turnover can have serious consequences for nonprofits, including reduced productivity, decreased morale, and increased costs — all of which directly affect the quality of services these organizations provide to their constituents. Finding and receiving just the right grants for your growing nonprofit can be a crucial step in securing the funding you need to move forward with projects that will make a difference, and leveraging nonprofit case management database software when creating your applications can be an important step in keeping everything you need in one place and writing strong applications that showcase everything your organization has to offer. Here is an overview of how to write a grant using nonprofit software and why nonprofit grant writing case management systems play an important role in creating successful modern grant proposals! Keep Past Information Organized to Choose the Best Possible Donors Even the most charitable donors are often unable to contribute to every grant request that comes their way, and keeping track of a wide range of data about each donor you have worked with or requested funds from in the past can help you begin your search with the specific donors that are the most likely to be willing and able to support your project. Many donors prefer to work with the same grant recipients over time to build a strong professional relationship with promising newcomers to their field, while others prioritize spreading their funds out among more people to help them get their foot in the door. If you are requesting a second or third grant from a donor you have had success with in the past, it can be helpful to remind them of the results of projects you have previously applied their funding to and how much that work benefited you or the organization you represent. Nonprofit software provides an easy and streamlined option for keeping this information and details about past communication with potential donors in one convenient place, and reviewing this information before deciding who to reach out to first can increase your chances of finding early success and minimizing the time it will take to secure the funds you need. Quickly Find the Best Grants for Your Organization Many grants have very specific guidelines for the types of projects they are to be used for, and reading through dozens or even hundreds of grant descriptions to find options that may be appropriate for your nonprofit can be quite time-consuming and reduce the amount of time your team can spend on other aspects of running your organization. Many grant management software programs come with a built-in, searchable database of common grants, and these programs can quickly compile a list of grants that most closely match your criteria. With this option, you can be intentional about putting the majority of your time and other resources toward creating the best possible applications for the specific grants that are most likely to be a good fit for your nonprofit. Establish Your Credibility If you are new to your field or representing a new nonprofit organization that has applied for few or no grants in the past, it can be difficult to create a concise and accurate picture of what your organization stands for and how the project you are seeking a grant for will ultimately benefit your community or your field. A strong grant management software program can be a valuable tool for compiling background information about your nonprofit to share with potential donors to show them why you are representing a credible and reliable organization that will use their money wisely. Although it can be easy to assume the reader of your grant application knows something about a cause that is important to you, it is generally best to write your application as though they have never heard of it to provide the most well-rounded explanation for why they should consider supporting your organization. In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and the great resignation, businesses across many industries have experienced an uptick in employee turnover. This trend has been especially prominent in the nonprofit sector, where limited budgets and resources often make it difficult for organizations to retain their top talent. High turnover can have serious consequences for nonprofits, including reduced productivity, decreased morale, and increased costs — all of which directly affect the quality of services these organizations provide to their constituents. Finding and receiving just the right grants for your growing nonprofit can be a crucial step in securing the funding you need to move forward with projects that will make a difference, and leveraging nonprofit case management database software when creating your applications can be an important step in keeping everything you need in one place and writing strong applications that showcase everything your organization has to offer. Here is an overview of how to write a grant using nonprofit software and why nonprofit grant writing case management systems play an important role in creating successful modern grant proposals! Keep Past Information Organized to Choose the Best Possible Donors Even the most charitable donors are often unable to contribute to every grant request that comes their way, and keeping track of a wide range of data about each donor you have worked with or requested funds from in the past can help you begin your search with the specific donors that are the most likely to be willing and able to support your project. Many donors prefer to work with the same grant recipients over time to build a strong professional relationship with promising newcomers to their field, while others prioritize spreading their funds out among more people to help them get their foot in the door. If you are requesting a second or third grant from a donor you have had success with in the past, it can be helpful to remind them of the results of projects you have previously applied their funding to and how much that work benefited you or the organization you represent. Nonprofit software provides an easy and streamlined option for keeping this information and details about past communication with potential donors in one convenient place, and reviewing this information before deciding who to reach out to first can increase your chances of finding early success and minimizing the time it will take to secure the funds you need. Quickly Find the Best Grants for Your Organization Many grants have very specific guidelines for the types of projects they are to be used for, and reading through dozens or even hundreds of grant descriptions to find options that may be appropriate for your nonprofit can be quite time-consuming and reduce the amount of time your team can spend on other aspects of running your organization. Many grant management software programs come with a built-in, searchable database of common grants, and these programs can quickly compile a list of grants that most closely match your criteria. With this option, you can be intentional about putting the majority of your time and other resources toward creating the best possible applications for the specific grants that are most likely to be a good fit for your nonprofit. Establish Your Credibility If you are new to your field or representing a new nonprofit organization that has applied for few or no grants in the past, it can be difficult to create a concise and accurate picture of what your organization stands for and how the project you are seeking a grant for will ultimately benefit your community or your field. A strong grant management software program can be a valuable tool for compiling background information about your nonprofit to share with potential donors to show them why you are representing a credible and reliable organization that will use their money wisely. Although it can be easy to assume the reader of your grant application knows something about a cause that is important to you, it is generally best to write your application as though they have never heard of it to provide the most well-rounded explanation for why they should consider supporting your organization. In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and the great resignation, businesses across many industries have experienced an uptick in employee turnover. This trend has been especially prominent in the nonprofit sector, where limited budgets and resources often make it difficult for organizations to retain their top talent. High turnover can have serious consequences for nonprofits, including reduced productivity, decreased morale, and increased costs — all of which directly affect the quality of services these organizations provide to their constituents. Finding and receiving just the right grants for your growing nonprofit can be a crucial step in securing the funding you need to move forward with projects that will make a difference, and leveraging nonprofit case management database software when creating your applications can be an important step in keeping everything you need in one place and writing strong applications that showcase everything your organization has to offer. Here is an overview of how to write a grant using nonprofit software and why nonprofit grant writing case management systems play an important role in creating successful modern grant proposals! Keep Past Information Organized to Choose the Best Possible Donors Even the most charitable donors are often unable to contribute to every grant request that comes their way, and keeping track of a wide range of data about each donor you have worked with or requested funds from in the past can help you begin your search with the specific donors that are the most likely to be willing and able to support your project. Many donors prefer to work with the same grant recipients over time to build a strong professional relationship with promising newcomers to their field, while others prioritize spreading their funds out among more people to help them get their foot in the door. If you are requesting a second or third grant from a donor you have had success with in the past, it can be helpful to remind them of the results of projects you have previously applied their funding to and how much that work benefited you or the organization you represent. Nonprofit software provides an easy and streamlined option for keeping this information and details about past communication with potential donors in one convenient place, and reviewing this information before deciding who to reach out to first can increase your chances of finding early success and minimizing the time it will take to secure the funds you need. Quickly Find the Best Grants for Your Organization Many grants have very specific guidelines for the types of projects they are to be used for, and reading through dozens or even hundreds of grant descriptions to find options that may be appropriate for your nonprofit can be quite time-consuming and reduce the amount of time your team can spend on other aspects of running your organization. Many grant management software programs come with a built-in, searchable database of common grants, and these programs can quickly compile a list of grants that most closely match your criteria. With this option, you can be intentional about putting the majority of your time and other resources toward creating the best possible applications for the specific grants that are most likely to be a good fit for your nonprofit. Establish Your Credibility If you are new to your field or representing a new nonprofit organization that has applied for few or no grants in the past, it can be difficult to create a concise and accurate picture of what your organization stands for and how the project you are seeking a grant for will ultimately benefit your community or your field. A strong grant management software program can be a valuable tool for compiling background information about your nonprofit to share with potential donors to show them why you are representing a credible and reliable organization that will use their money wisely. Although it can be easy to assume the reader of your grant application knows something about a cause that is important to you, it is generally best to write your application as though they have never heard of it to provide the most well-rounded explanation for why they should consider supporting your organization. In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and the great resignation, businesses across many industries have experienced an uptick in employee turnover. This trend has been especially prominent in the nonprofit sector, where limited budgets and resources often make it difficult for organizations to retain their top talent. High turnover can have serious consequences for nonprofits, including reduced productivity, decreased morale, and increased costs — all of which directly affect the quality of services these organizations provide to their constituents. Finding and receiving just the right grants for your growing nonprofit can be a crucial step in securing the funding you need to move forward with projects that will make a difference, and leveraging nonprofit case management database software when creating your applications can be an important step in keeping everything you need in one place and writing strong applications that showcase everything your organization has to offer. Here is an overview of how to write a grant using nonprofit software and why nonprofit grant writing case management systems play an important role in creating successful modern grant proposals! Keep Past Information Organized to Choose the Best Possible Donors Even the most charitable donors are often unable to contribute to every grant request that comes their way, and keeping track of a wide range of data about each donor you have worked with or requested funds from in the past can help you begin your search with the specific donors that are the most likely to be willing and able to support your project. Many donors prefer to work with the same grant recipients over time to build a strong professional relationship with promising newcomers to their field, while others prioritize spreading their funds out among more people to help them get their foot in the door. If you are requesting a second or third grant from a donor you have had success with in the past, it can be helpful to remind them of the results of projects you have previously applied their funding to and how much that work benefited you or the organization you represent. Nonprofit software provides an easy and streamlined option for keeping this information and details about past communication with potential donors in one convenient place, and reviewing this information before deciding who to reach out to first can increase your chances of finding early success and minimizing the time it will take to secure the funds you need. Quickly Find the Best Grants for Your Organization Many grants have very specific guidelines for the types of projects they are to be used for, and reading through dozens or even hundreds of grant descriptions to find options that may be appropriate for your nonprofit can be quite time-consuming and reduce the amount of time your team can spend on other aspects of running your organization. Many grant management software programs come with a built-in, searchable database of common grants, and these programs can quickly compile a list of grants that most closely match your criteria. With this option, you can be intentional about putting the majority of your time and other resources toward creating the best possible applications for the specific grants that are most likely to be a good fit for your nonprofit. Establish Your Credibility If you are new to your field or representing a new nonprofit organization that has applied for few or no grants in the past, it can be difficult to create a concise and accurate picture of what your organization stands for and how the project you are seeking a grant for will ultimately benefit your community or your field. A strong grant management software program can be a valuable tool for compiling background information about your nonprofit to share with potential donors to show them why you are representing a credible and reliable organization that will use their money wisely. Although it can be easy to assume the reader of your grant application knows something about a cause that is important to you, it is generally best to write your application as though they have never heard of it to provide the most well-rounded explanation for why they should consider supporting your organization.
by Casebook Editorial Team 14 min read

How To Build Healthy Relationships With Funders

Donors are individuals who give funds to help your organization achieve its mission! Program/Grant Administrators/Officers are employees of institutions and represent the foundations’ interest. Typically, they are individuals who have extensive knowledge in the field of interest and carry a portfoli...
Donors are individuals who give funds to help your organization achieve its mission! Program/Grant Administrators/Officers are employees of institutions and represent the foundations’ interest. Typically, they are individuals who have extensive knowledge in the field of interest and carry a portfolio of grantees of which they advise and advocate for within their greater institutions.Donors are individuals who give funds to help your organization achieve its mission! Program/Grant Administrators/Officers are employees of institutions and represent the foundations’ interest. Typically, they are individuals who have extensive knowledge in the field of interest and carry a portfolio of grantees of which they advise and advocate for within their greater institutions. So now that we understand the difference between the two, what’s the magic secret to receiving sustainable funding from program officers? It boils down to two things: trust and engagement. There’s no real sorcery involved, but there are a few ‘magic’ truths in fundraising. Some include: those who don’t ask don’t receive (a squeaky wheel gets the oil sort of ideology); and if a program officer wouldn’t trust you with their own money, they’re probably not going to trust you with their foundation’s money either. Fundraising success is usually strengthened by two things: strong data and strong relationships. Relationship building in particular is fundamental. Yes, the collateral you provide to funders matter. The strength of your proposal, and the alignment of your work as it relates to the funder’s vision, matters. Your reputation in the community matters. AND one big indicator of long-term sustainable funding is the relationship you build with your program officer as an extension of the foundation. Relationships matter. And all of this brings us back to understanding how to build trust and drive engagement. Let’s start with engagement. There’s a working theory in fundraising called the ‘rule of 7’. Simple put, expert fundraisers (yours included) believe that you need seven quality touch points between requesting gifts. The majority of these engagement touch points should be thank yours and updates. This practice doesn’t just go for individual donors, it also is helpful for foundation program officers as well. An example of engagement timeline which may work for you could include: Donors are individuals who give funds to help your organization achieve its mission! Program/Grant Administrators/Officers are employees of institutions and represent the foundations’ interest. Typically, they are individuals who have extensive knowledge in the field of interest and carry a portfolio of grantees of which they advise and advocate for within their greater institutions.Donors are individuals who give funds to help your organization achieve its mission! Program/Grant Administrators/Officers are employees of institutions and represent the foundations’ interest. Typically, they are individuals who have extensive knowledge in the field of interest and carry a portfolio of grantees of which they advise and advocate for within their greater institutions. So now that we understand the difference between the two, what’s the magic secret to receiving sustainable funding from program officers? It boils down to two things: trust and engagement. There’s no real sorcery involved, but there are a few ‘magic’ truths in fundraising. Some include: those who don’t ask don’t receive (a squeaky wheel gets the oil sort of ideology); and if a program officer wouldn’t trust you with their own money, they’re probably not going to trust you with their foundation’s money either. Fundraising success is usually strengthened by two things: strong data and strong relationships. Relationship building in particular is fundamental. Yes, the collateral you provide to funders matter. The strength of your proposal, and the alignment of your work as it relates to the funder’s vision, matters. Your reputation in the community matters. AND one big indicator of long-term sustainable funding is the relationship you build with your program officer as an extension of the foundation. Relationships matter. And all of this brings us back to understanding how to build trust and drive engagement. Let’s start with engagement. There’s a working theory in fundraising called the ‘rule of 7’. Simple put, expert fundraisers (yours included) believe that you need seven quality touch points between requesting gifts. The majority of these engagement touch points should be thank yours and updates. This practice doesn’t just go for individual donors, it also is helpful for foundation program officers as well. An example of engagement timeline which may work for you could include: Donors are individuals who give funds to help your organization achieve its mission! Program/Grant Administrators/Officers are employees of institutions and represent the foundations’ interest. Typically, they are individuals who have extensive knowledge in the field of interest and carry a portfolio of grantees of which they advise and advocate for within their greater institutions.Donors are individuals who give funds to help your organization achieve its mission! Program/Grant Administrators/Officers are employees of institutions and represent the foundations’ interest. Typically, they are individuals who have extensive knowledge in the field of interest and carry a portfolio of grantees of which they advise and advocate for within their greater institutions. So now that we understand the difference between the two, what’s the magic secret to receiving sustainable funding from program officers? It boils down to two things: trust and engagement. There’s no real sorcery involved, but there are a few ‘magic’ truths in fundraising. Some include: those who don’t ask don’t receive (a squeaky wheel gets the oil sort of ideology); and if a program officer wouldn’t trust you with their own money, they’re probably not going to trust you with their foundation’s money either. Fundraising success is usually strengthened by two things: strong data and strong relationships. Relationship building in particular is fundamental. Yes, the collateral you provide to funders matter. The strength of your proposal, and the alignment of your work as it relates to the funder’s vision, matters. Your reputation in the community matters. AND one big indicator of long-term sustainable funding is the relationship you build with your program officer as an extension of the foundation. Relationships matter. And all of this brings us back to understanding how to build trust and drive engagement. Let’s start with engagement. There’s a working theory in fundraising called the ‘rule of 7’. Simple put, expert fundraisers (yours included) believe that you need seven quality touch points between requesting gifts. The majority of these engagement touch points should be thank yours and updates. This practice doesn’t just go for individual donors, it also is helpful for foundation program officers as well. An example of engagement timeline which may work for you could include: Donors are individuals who give funds to help your organization achieve its mission! Program/Grant Administrators/Officers are employees of institutions and represent the foundations’ interest. Typically, they are individuals who have extensive knowledge in the field of interest and carry a portfolio of grantees of which they advise and advocate for within their greater institutions.Donors are individuals who give funds to help your organization achieve its mission! Program/Grant Administrators/Officers are employees of institutions and represent the foundations’ interest. Typically, they are individuals who have extensive knowledge in the field of interest and carry a portfolio of grantees of which they advise and advocate for within their greater institutions. So now that we understand the difference between the two, what’s the magic secret to receiving sustainable funding from program officers? It boils down to two things: trust and engagement. There’s no real sorcery involved, but there are a few ‘magic’ truths in fundraising. Some include: those who don’t ask don’t receive (a squeaky wheel gets the oil sort of ideology); and if a program officer wouldn’t trust you with their own money, they’re probably not going to trust you with their foundation’s money either. Fundraising success is usually strengthened by two things: strong data and strong relationships. Relationship building in particular is fundamental. Yes, the collateral you provide to funders matter. The strength of your proposal, and the alignment of your work as it relates to the funder’s vision, matters. Your reputation in the community matters. AND one big indicator of long-term sustainable funding is the relationship you build with your program officer as an extension of the foundation. Relationships matter. And all of this brings us back to understanding how to build trust and drive engagement. Let’s start with engagement. There’s a working theory in fundraising called the ‘rule of 7’. Simple put, expert fundraisers (yours included) believe that you need seven quality touch points between requesting gifts. The majority of these engagement touch points should be thank yours and updates. This practice doesn’t just go for individual donors, it also is helpful for foundation program officers as well. An example of engagement timeline which may work for you could include: Donors are individuals who give funds to help your organization achieve its mission! Program/Grant Administrators/Officers are employees of institutions and represent the foundations’ interest. Typically, they are individuals who have extensive knowledge in the field of interest and carry a portfolio of grantees of which they advise and advocate for within their greater institutions.Donors are individuals who give funds to help your organization achieve its mission! Program/Grant Administrators/Officers are employees of institutions and represent the foundations’ interest. Typically, they are individuals who have extensive knowledge in the field of interest and carry a portfolio of grantees of which they advise and advocate for within their greater institutions. So now that we understand the difference between the two, what’s the magic secret to receiving sustainable funding from program officers? It boils down to two things: trust and engagement. There’s no real sorcery involved, but there are a few ‘magic’ truths in fundraising. Some include: those who don’t ask don’t receive (a squeaky wheel gets the oil sort of ideology); and if a program officer wouldn’t trust you with their own money, they’re probably not going to trust you with their foundation’s money either. Fundraising success is usually strengthened by two things: strong data and strong relationships. Relationship building in particular is fundamental. Yes, the collateral you provide to funders matter. The strength of your proposal, and the alignment of your work as it relates to the funder’s vision, matters. Your reputation in the community matters. AND one big indicator of long-term sustainable funding is the relationship you build with your program officer as an extension of the foundation. Relationships matter. And all of this brings us back to understanding how to build trust and drive engagement. Let’s start with engagement. There’s a working theory in fundraising called the ‘rule of 7’. Simple put, expert fundraisers (yours included) believe that you need seven quality touch points between requesting gifts. The majority of these engagement touch points should be thank yours and updates. This practice doesn’t just go for individual donors, it also is helpful for foundation program officers as well. An example of engagement timeline which may work for you could include: Donors are individuals who give funds to help your organization achieve its mission! Program/Grant Administrators/Officers are employees of institutions and represent the foundations’ interest. Typically, they are individuals who have extensive knowledge in the field of interest and carry a portfolio of grantees of which they advise and advocate for within their greater institutions.Donors are individuals who give funds to help your organization achieve its mission! Program/Grant Administrators/Officers are employees of institutions and represent the foundations’ interest. Typically, they are individuals who have extensive knowledge in the field of interest and carry a portfolio of grantees of which they advise and advocate for within their greater institutions. So now that we understand the difference between the two, what’s the magic secret to receiving sustainable funding from program officers? It boils down to two things: trust and engagement. There’s no real sorcery involved, but there are a few ‘magic’ truths in fundraising. Some include: those who don’t ask don’t receive (a squeaky wheel gets the oil sort of ideology); and if a program officer wouldn’t trust you with their own money, they’re probably not going to trust you with their foundation’s money either. Fundraising success is usually strengthened by two things: strong data and strong relationships. Relationship building in particular is fundamental. Yes, the collateral you provide to funders matter. The strength of your proposal, and the alignment of your work as it relates to the funder’s vision, matters. Your reputation in the community matters. AND one big indicator of long-term sustainable funding is the relationship you build with your program officer as an extension of the foundation. Relationships matter. And all of this brings us back to understanding how to build trust and drive engagement. Let’s start with engagement. There’s a working theory in fundraising called the ‘rule of 7’. Simple put, expert fundraisers (yours included) believe that you need seven quality touch points between requesting gifts. The majority of these engagement touch points should be thank yours and updates. This practice doesn’t just go for individual donors, it also is helpful for foundation program officers as well. An example of engagement timeline which may work for you could include: Donors are individuals who give funds to help your organization achieve its mission! Program/Grant Administrators/Officers are employees of institutions and represent the foundations’ interest. Typically, they are individuals who have extensive knowledge in the field of interest and carry a portfolio of grantees of which they advise and advocate for within their greater institutions.Donors are individuals who give funds to help your organization achieve its mission! Program/Grant Administrators/Officers are employees of institutions and represent the foundations’ interest. Typically, they are individuals who have extensive knowledge in the field of interest and carry a portfolio of grantees of which they advise and advocate for within their greater institutions. So now that we understand the difference between the two, what’s the magic secret to receiving sustainable funding from program officers? It boils down to two things: trust and engagement. There’s no real sorcery involved, but there are a few ‘magic’ truths in fundraising. Some include: those who don’t ask don’t receive (a squeaky wheel gets the oil sort of ideology); and if a program officer wouldn’t trust you with their own money, they’re probably not going to trust you with their foundation’s money either. Fundraising success is usually strengthened by two things: strong data and strong relationships. Relationship building in particular is fundamental. Yes, the collateral you provide to funders matter. The strength of your proposal, and the alignment of your work as it relates to the funder’s vision, matters. Your reputation in the community matters. AND one big indicator of long-term sustainable funding is the relationship you build with your program officer as an extension of the foundation. Relationships matter. And all of this brings us back to understanding how to build trust and drive engagement. Let’s start with engagement. There’s a working theory in fundraising called the ‘rule of 7’. Simple put, expert fundraisers (yours included) believe that you need seven quality touch points between requesting gifts. The majority of these engagement touch points should be thank yours and updates. This practice doesn’t just go for individual donors, it also is helpful for foundation program officers as well. An example of engagement timeline which may work for you could include: Donors are individuals who give funds to help your organization achieve its mission! Program/Grant Administrators/Officers are employees of institutions and represent the foundations’ interest. Typically, they are individuals who have extensive knowledge in the field of interest and carry a portfolio of grantees of which they advise and advocate for within their greater institutions.Donors are individuals who give funds to help your organization achieve its mission! Program/Grant Administrators/Officers are employees of institutions and represent the foundations’ interest. Typically, they are individuals who have extensive knowledge in the field of interest and carry a portfolio of grantees of which they advise and advocate for within their greater institutions. So now that we understand the difference between the two, what’s the magic secret to receiving sustainable funding from program officers? It boils down to two things: trust and engagement. There’s no real sorcery involved, but there are a few ‘magic’ truths in fundraising. Some include: those who don’t ask don’t receive (a squeaky wheel gets the oil sort of ideology); and if a program officer wouldn’t trust you with their own money, they’re probably not going to trust you with their foundation’s money either. Fundraising success is usually strengthened by two things: strong data and strong relationships. Relationship building in particular is fundamental. Yes, the collateral you provide to funders matter. The strength of your proposal, and the alignment of your work as it relates to the funder’s vision, matters. Your reputation in the community matters. AND one big indicator of long-term sustainable funding is the relationship you build with your program officer as an extension of the foundation. Relationships matter. And all of this brings us back to understanding how to build trust and drive engagement. Let’s start with engagement. There’s a working theory in fundraising called the ‘rule of 7’. Simple put, expert fundraisers (yours included) believe that you need seven quality touch points between requesting gifts. The majority of these engagement touch points should be thank yours and updates. This practice doesn’t just go for individual donors, it also is helpful for foundation program officers as well. An example of engagement timeline which may work for you could include: Donors are individuals who give funds to help your organization achieve its mission! Program/Grant Administrators/Officers are employees of institutions and represent the foundations’ interest. Typically, they are individuals who have extensive knowledge in the field of interest and carry a portfolio of grantees of which they advise and advocate for within their greater institutions.Donors are individuals who give funds to help your organization achieve its mission! Program/Grant Administrators/Officers are employees of institutions and represent the foundations’ interest. Typically, they are individuals who have extensive knowledge in the field of interest and carry a portfolio of grantees of which they advise and advocate for within their greater institutions. So now that we understand the difference between the two, what’s the magic secret to receiving sustainable funding from program officers? It boils down to two things: trust and engagement. There’s no real sorcery involved, but there are a few ‘magic’ truths in fundraising. Some include: those who don’t ask don’t receive (a squeaky wheel gets the oil sort of ideology); and if a program officer wouldn’t trust you with their own money, they’re probably not going to trust you with their foundation’s money either. Fundraising success is usually strengthened by two things: strong data and strong relationships. Relationship building in particular is fundamental. Yes, the collateral you provide to funders matter. The strength of your proposal, and the alignment of your work as it relates to the funder’s vision, matters. Your reputation in the community matters. AND one big indicator of long-term sustainable funding is the relationship you build with your program officer as an extension of the foundation. Relationships matter. And all of this brings us back to understanding how to build trust and drive engagement. Let’s start with engagement. There’s a working theory in fundraising called the ‘rule of 7’. Simple put, expert fundraisers (yours included) believe that you need seven quality touch points between requesting gifts. The majority of these engagement touch points should be thank yours and updates. This practice doesn’t just go for individual donors, it also is helpful for foundation program officers as well. An example of engagement timeline which may work for you could include: Donors are individuals who give funds to help your organization achieve its mission! Program/Grant Administrators/Officers are employees of institutions and represent the foundations’ interest. Typically, they are individuals who have extensive knowledge in the field of interest and carry a portfolio of grantees of which they advise and advocate for within their greater institutions.Donors are individuals who give funds to help your organization achieve its mission! Program/Grant Administrators/Officers are employees of institutions and represent the foundations’ interest. Typically, they are individuals who have extensive knowledge in the field of interest and carry a portfolio of grantees of which they advise and advocate for within their greater institutions. So now that we understand the difference between the two, what’s the magic secret to receiving sustainable funding from program officers? It boils down to two things: trust and engagement. There’s no real sorcery involved, but there are a few ‘magic’ truths in fundraising. Some include: those who don’t ask don’t receive (a squeaky wheel gets the oil sort of ideology); and if a program officer wouldn’t trust you with their own money, they’re probably not going to trust you with their foundation’s money either. Fundraising success is usually strengthened by two things: strong data and strong relationships. Relationship building in particular is fundamental. Yes, the collateral you provide to funders matter. The strength of your proposal, and the alignment of your work as it relates to the funder’s vision, matters. Your reputation in the community matters. AND one big indicator of long-term sustainable funding is the relationship you build with your program officer as an extension of the foundation. Relationships matter. And all of this brings us back to understanding how to build trust and drive engagement. Let’s start with engagement. There’s a working theory in fundraising called the ‘rule of 7’. Simple put, expert fundraisers (yours included) believe that you need seven quality touch points between requesting gifts. The majority of these engagement touch points should be thank yours and updates. This practice doesn’t just go for individual donors, it also is helpful for foundation program officers as well. An example of engagement timeline which may work for you could include:
by Sade Dozan 8 min read

The Power of SMARTIE Deliverables

So, how do we build trust? You build trust by ensuring that you’re following through on your commitments and promises to funders. This is partly why the engagement phase is so important, each follow-up, touch point engagement moment underline commitments and builds trust. As you’re moving through th...
So, how do we build trust? You build trust by ensuring that you’re following through on your commitments and promises to funders. This is partly why the engagement phase is so important, each follow-up, touch point engagement moment underline commitments and builds trust. As you’re moving through the initial cultivation process or renewal phase, funders will often be interested in your current accomplishments and what you intend to do if awarded funding. This is where deliverables come in as central to communicating and building to trust with donors. Simply put, deliverables are goods or services produced as a result of a project that is intended to be delivered. These goals need to be concrete but they almost must be within the organizations field of interest and realistic to their giving patterns. Field of Interest is what it sounds like! —the scopes of work funders are interested in funding, usually defined in categories like Health Care, Technology Innovation, Youth, Families, etc. Sometimes these fields of interest have sub-categories and fancy titles such as Equity in Hospitals or Future of Work(ers). However, an institution’s giving pattern shows how large, frequent, and the scale of the investment funders make within those sections. A funder can distribute funds across multiple fields of interest, but how deeply (such as 85% of their giving going towards Healthy Children & Family v. Research) and how much (1M average grants v. 10K) is the structure of their giving pattern. Keep this in mind as you think about your engagement and trust-building with funder—the field of interest and potential giving request should all be aligned with the scope of work you’re proposing. Best practices teach us that deliverables need to follow a specific format —SMARTIE—to articulate that they are equitable, tangible, and actionable actions. SMARTIE goals often resonate best with program officers as you work to convey your organization’s trustworthiness. When creating outcomes for your work, use the below prompts to determine if the deliverable is a SMARTIE goal? Strategic - Is the deliverable consistent with our priorities? Measurable - Can you quantitatively or qualitatively measure it? Ambitious - Does the deliverable meaningfully progress our work? Realistic - Can the deliverable be achieved with a set amount of resources and time? Time-bound - Is it tied to a specific date/time? Inclusive - Does the deliverable afford power to those who are marginalized? Equitable - Does the deliverable address systemic injustice? Of special note, it is easier to write a grant proposal when you have deliverables to frame it around. Having clear deliverables ahead of moving into the cultivation phase also makes it easier to answer funders’ questions during meetings. Deliverables are a roadmap for not just the funder but also for you. When executive leadership, development teams and program staff are co-developing deliverables it helps improve collaboration and productivity. Key to the success of grant programs and deliverables development is maintaining a solid database. Because you’re reading this, your organization is likely at a stage where it has (or desires to have) multiple on-going grants and cultivation opportunities. Customer relationship management (CRM) tools are also key to keeping track of all the touch points needed to stay the course on the pathway to funding success. CRMs are cloud-based platforms that support data management. Without an effective platform, it can be difficult to remember which deliverables are for which projects -- as well as when they are due. Effectively tracking en So, how do we build trust? You build trust by ensuring that you’re following through on your commitments and promises to funders. This is partly why the engagement phase is so important, each follow-up, touch point engagement moment underline commitments and builds trust. As you’re moving through the initial cultivation process or renewal phase, funders will often be interested in your current accomplishments and what you intend to do if awarded funding. This is where deliverables come in as central to communicating and building to trust with donors. Simply put, deliverables are goods or services produced as a result of a project that is intended to be delivered. These goals need to be concrete but they almost must be within the organizations field of interest and realistic to their giving patterns. Field of Interest is what it sounds like! —the scopes of work funders are interested in funding, usually defined in categories like Health Care, Technology Innovation, Youth, Families, etc. Sometimes these fields of interest have sub-categories and fancy titles such as Equity in Hospitals or Future of Work(ers). However, an institution’s giving pattern shows how large, frequent, and the scale of the investment funders make within those sections. A funder can distribute funds across multiple fields of interest, but how deeply (such as 85% of their giving going towards Healthy Children & Family v. Research) and how much (1M average grants v. 10K) is the structure of their giving pattern. Keep this in mind as you think about your engagement and trust-building with funder—the field of interest and potential giving request should all be aligned with the scope of work you’re proposing. Best practices teach us that deliverables need to follow a specific format —SMARTIE—to articulate that they are equitable, tangible, and actionable actions. SMARTIE goals often resonate best with program officers as you work to convey your organization’s trustworthiness. When creating outcomes for your work, use the below prompts to determine if the deliverable is a SMARTIE goal? Strategic - Is the deliverable consistent with our priorities? Measurable - Can you quantitatively or qualitatively measure it? Ambitious - Does the deliverable meaningfully progress our work? Realistic - Can the deliverable be achieved with a set amount of resources and time? Time-bound - Is it tied to a specific date/time? Inclusive - Does the deliverable afford power to those who are marginalized? Equitable - Does the deliverable address systemic injustice? Of special note, it is easier to write a grant proposal when you have deliverables to frame it around. Having clear deliverables ahead of moving into the cultivation phase also makes it easier to answer funders’ questions during meetings. Deliverables are a roadmap for not just the funder but also for you. When executive leadership, development teams and program staff are co-developing deliverables it helps improve collaboration and productivity. Key to the success of grant programs and deliverables development is maintaining a solid database. Because you’re reading this, your organization is likely at a stage where it has (or desires to have) multiple on-going grants and cultivation opportunities. Customer relationship management (CRM) tools are also key to keeping track of all the touch points needed to stay the course on the pathway to funding success. CRMs are cloud-based platforms that support data management. Without an effective platform, it can be difficult to remember which deliverables are for which projects -- as well as when they are due. Effectively tracking en So, how do we build trust? You build trust by ensuring that you’re following through on your commitments and promises to funders. This is partly why the engagement phase is so important, each follow-up, touch point engagement moment underline commitments and builds trust. As you’re moving through the initial cultivation process or renewal phase, funders will often be interested in your current accomplishments and what you intend to do if awarded funding. This is where deliverables come in as central to communicating and building to trust with donors. Simply put, deliverables are goods or services produced as a result of a project that is intended to be delivered. These goals need to be concrete but they almost must be within the organizations field of interest and realistic to their giving patterns. Field of Interest is what it sounds like! —the scopes of work funders are interested in funding, usually defined in categories like Health Care, Technology Innovation, Youth, Families, etc. Sometimes these fields of interest have sub-categories and fancy titles such as Equity in Hospitals or Future of Work(ers). However, an institution’s giving pattern shows how large, frequent, and the scale of the investment funders make within those sections. A funder can distribute funds across multiple fields of interest, but how deeply (such as 85% of their giving going towards Healthy Children & Family v. Research) and how much (1M average grants v. 10K) is the structure of their giving pattern. Keep this in mind as you think about your engagement and trust-building with funder—the field of interest and potential giving request should all be aligned with the scope of work you’re proposing. Best practices teach us that deliverables need to follow a specific format —SMARTIE—to articulate that they are equitable, tangible, and actionable actions. SMARTIE goals often resonate best with program officers as you work to convey your organization’s trustworthiness. When creating outcomes for your work, use the below prompts to determine if the deliverable is a SMARTIE goal? Strategic - Is the deliverable consistent with our priorities? Measurable - Can you quantitatively or qualitatively measure it? Ambitious - Does the deliverable meaningfully progress our work? Realistic - Can the deliverable be achieved with a set amount of resources and time? Time-bound - Is it tied to a specific date/time? Inclusive - Does the deliverable afford power to those who are marginalized? Equitable - Does the deliverable address systemic injustice? Of special note, it is easier to write a grant proposal when you have deliverables to frame it around. Having clear deliverables ahead of moving into the cultivation phase also makes it easier to answer funders’ questions during meetings. Deliverables are a roadmap for not just the funder but also for you. When executive leadership, development teams and program staff are co-developing deliverables it helps improve collaboration and productivity. Key to the success of grant programs and deliverables development is maintaining a solid database. Because you’re reading this, your organization is likely at a stage where it has (or desires to have) multiple on-going grants and cultivation opportunities. Customer relationship management (CRM) tools are also key to keeping track of all the touch points needed to stay the course on the pathway to funding success. CRMs are cloud-based platforms that support data management. Without an effective platform, it can be difficult to remember which deliverables are for which projects -- as well as when they are due. Effectively tracking en So, how do we build trust? You build trust by ensuring that you’re following through on your commitments and promises to funders. This is partly why the engagement phase is so important, each follow-up, touch point engagement moment underline commitments and builds trust. As you’re moving through the initial cultivation process or renewal phase, funders will often be interested in your current accomplishments and what you intend to do if awarded funding. This is where deliverables come in as central to communicating and building to trust with donors. Simply put, deliverables are goods or services produced as a result of a project that is intended to be delivered. These goals need to be concrete but they almost must be within the organizations field of interest and realistic to their giving patterns. Field of Interest is what it sounds like! —the scopes of work funders are interested in funding, usually defined in categories like Health Care, Technology Innovation, Youth, Families, etc. Sometimes these fields of interest have sub-categories and fancy titles such as Equity in Hospitals or Future of Work(ers). However, an institution’s giving pattern shows how large, frequent, and the scale of the investment funders make within those sections. A funder can distribute funds across multiple fields of interest, but how deeply (such as 85% of their giving going towards Healthy Children & Family v. Research) and how much (1M average grants v. 10K) is the structure of their giving pattern. Keep this in mind as you think about your engagement and trust-building with funder—the field of interest and potential giving request should all be aligned with the scope of work you’re proposing. Best practices teach us that deliverables need to follow a specific format —SMARTIE—to articulate that they are equitable, tangible, and actionable actions. SMARTIE goals often resonate best with program officers as you work to convey your organization’s trustworthiness. When creating outcomes for your work, use the below prompts to determine if the deliverable is a SMARTIE goal? Strategic - Is the deliverable consistent with our priorities? Measurable - Can you quantitatively or qualitatively measure it? Ambitious - Does the deliverable meaningfully progress our work? Realistic - Can the deliverable be achieved with a set amount of resources and time? Time-bound - Is it tied to a specific date/time? Inclusive - Does the deliverable afford power to those who are marginalized? Equitable - Does the deliverable address systemic injustice? Of special note, it is easier to write a grant proposal when you have deliverables to frame it around. Having clear deliverables ahead of moving into the cultivation phase also makes it easier to answer funders’ questions during meetings. Deliverables are a roadmap for not just the funder but also for you. When executive leadership, development teams and program staff are co-developing deliverables it helps improve collaboration and productivity. Key to the success of grant programs and deliverables development is maintaining a solid database. Because you’re reading this, your organization is likely at a stage where it has (or desires to have) multiple on-going grants and cultivation opportunities. Customer relationship management (CRM) tools are also key to keeping track of all the touch points needed to stay the course on the pathway to funding success. CRMs are cloud-based platforms that support data management. Without an effective platform, it can be difficult to remember which deliverables are for which projects -- as well as when they are due. Effectively tracking en So, how do we build trust? You build trust by ensuring that you’re following through on your commitments and promises to funders. This is partly why the engagement phase is so important, each follow-up, touch point engagement moment underline commitments and builds trust. As you’re moving through the initial cultivation process or renewal phase, funders will often be interested in your current accomplishments and what you intend to do if awarded funding. This is where deliverables come in as central to communicating and building to trust with donors. Simply put, deliverables are goods or services produced as a result of a project that is intended to be delivered. These goals need to be concrete but they almost must be within the organizations field of interest and realistic to their giving patterns. Field of Interest is what it sounds like! —the scopes of work funders are interested in funding, usually defined in categories like Health Care, Technology Innovation, Youth, Families, etc. Sometimes these fields of interest have sub-categories and fancy titles such as Equity in Hospitals or Future of Work(ers). However, an institution’s giving pattern shows how large, frequent, and the scale of the investment funders make within those sections. A funder can distribute funds across multiple fields of interest, but how deeply (such as 85% of their giving going towards Healthy Children & Family v. Research) and how much (1M average grants v. 10K) is the structure of their giving pattern. Keep this in mind as you think about your engagement and trust-building with funder—the field of interest and potential giving request should all be aligned with the scope of work you’re proposing. Best practices teach us that deliverables need to follow a specific format —SMARTIE—to articulate that they are equitable, tangible, and actionable actions. SMARTIE goals often resonate best with program officers as you work to convey your organization’s trustworthiness. When creating outcomes for your work, use the below prompts to determine if the deliverable is a SMARTIE goal? Strategic - Is the deliverable consistent with our priorities? Measurable - Can you quantitatively or qualitatively measure it? Ambitious - Does the deliverable meaningfully progress our work? Realistic - Can the deliverable be achieved with a set amount of resources and time? Time-bound - Is it tied to a specific date/time? Inclusive - Does the deliverable afford power to those who are marginalized? Equitable - Does the deliverable address systemic injustice? Of special note, it is easier to write a grant proposal when you have deliverables to frame it around. Having clear deliverables ahead of moving into the cultivation phase also makes it easier to answer funders’ questions during meetings. Deliverables are a roadmap for not just the funder but also for you. When executive leadership, development teams and program staff are co-developing deliverables it helps improve collaboration and productivity. Key to the success of grant programs and deliverables development is maintaining a solid database. Because you’re reading this, your organization is likely at a stage where it has (or desires to have) multiple on-going grants and cultivation opportunities. Customer relationship management (CRM) tools are also key to keeping track of all the touch points needed to stay the course on the pathway to funding success. CRMs are cloud-based platforms that support data management. Without an effective platform, it can be difficult to remember which deliverables are for which projects -- as well as when they are due. Effectively tracking en So, how do we build trust? You build trust by ensuring that you’re following through on your commitments and promises to funders. This is partly why the engagement phase is so important, each follow-up, touch point engagement moment underline commitments and builds trust. As you’re moving through the initial cultivation process or renewal phase, funders will often be interested in your current accomplishments and what you intend to do if awarded funding. This is where deliverables come in as central to communicating and building to trust with donors. Simply put, deliverables are goods or services produced as a result of a project that is intended to be delivered. These goals need to be concrete but they almost must be within the organizations field of interest and realistic to their giving patterns. Field of Interest is what it sounds like! —the scopes of work funders are interested in funding, usually defined in categories like Health Care, Technology Innovation, Youth, Families, etc. Sometimes these fields of interest have sub-categories and fancy titles such as Equity in Hospitals or Future of Work(ers). However, an institution’s giving pattern shows how large, frequent, and the scale of the investment funders make within those sections. A funder can distribute funds across multiple fields of interest, but how deeply (such as 85% of their giving going towards Healthy Children & Family v. Research) and how much (1M average grants v. 10K) is the structure of their giving pattern. Keep this in mind as you think about your engagement and trust-building with funder—the field of interest and potential giving request should all be aligned with the scope of work you’re proposing. Best practices teach us that deliverables need to follow a specific format —SMARTIE—to articulate that they are equitable, tangible, and actionable actions. SMARTIE goals often resonate best with program officers as you work to convey your organization’s trustworthiness. When creating outcomes for your work, use the below prompts to determine if the deliverable is a SMARTIE goal? Strategic - Is the deliverable consistent with our priorities? Measurable - Can you quantitatively or qualitatively measure it? Ambitious - Does the deliverable meaningfully progress our work? Realistic - Can the deliverable be achieved with a set amount of resources and time? Time-bound - Is it tied to a specific date/time? Inclusive - Does the deliverable afford power to those who are marginalized? Equitable - Does the deliverable address systemic injustice? Of special note, it is easier to write a grant proposal when you have deliverables to frame it around. Having clear deliverables ahead of moving into the cultivation phase also makes it easier to answer funders’ questions during meetings. Deliverables are a roadmap for not just the funder but also for you. When executive leadership, development teams and program staff are co-developing deliverables it helps improve collaboration and productivity. Key to the success of grant programs and deliverables development is maintaining a solid database. Because you’re reading this, your organization is likely at a stage where it has (or desires to have) multiple on-going grants and cultivation opportunities. Customer relationship management (CRM) tools are also key to keeping track of all the touch points needed to stay the course on the pathway to funding success. CRMs are cloud-based platforms that support data management. Without an effective platform, it can be difficult to remember which deliverables are for which projects -- as well as when they are due. Effectively tracking en So, how do we build trust? You build trust by ensuring that you’re following through on your commitments and promises to funders. This is partly why the engagement phase is so important, each follow-up, touch point engagement moment underline commitments and builds trust. As you’re moving through the initial cultivation process or renewal phase, funders will often be interested in your current accomplishments and what you intend to do if awarded funding. This is where deliverables come in as central to communicating and building to trust with donors. Simply put, deliverables are goods or services produced as a result of a project that is intended to be delivered. These goals need to be concrete but they almost must be within the organizations field of interest and realistic to their giving patterns. Field of Interest is what it sounds like! —the scopes of work funders are interested in funding, usually defined in categories like Health Care, Technology Innovation, Youth, Families, etc. Sometimes these fields of interest have sub-categories and fancy titles such as Equity in Hospitals or Future of Work(ers). However, an institution’s giving pattern shows how large, frequent, and the scale of the investment funders make within those sections. A funder can distribute funds across multiple fields of interest, but how deeply (such as 85% of their giving going towards Healthy Children & Family v. Research) and how much (1M average grants v. 10K) is the structure of their giving pattern. Keep this in mind as you think about your engagement and trust-building with funder—the field of interest and potential giving request should all be aligned with the scope of work you’re proposing. Best practices teach us that deliverables need to follow a specific format —SMARTIE—to articulate that they are equitable, tangible, and actionable actions. SMARTIE goals often resonate best with program officers as you work to convey your organization’s trustworthiness. When creating outcomes for your work, use the below prompts to determine if the deliverable is a SMARTIE goal? Strategic - Is the deliverable consistent with our priorities? Measurable - Can you quantitatively or qualitatively measure it? Ambitious - Does the deliverable meaningfully progress our work? Realistic - Can the deliverable be achieved with a set amount of resources and time? Time-bound - Is it tied to a specific date/time? Inclusive - Does the deliverable afford power to those who are marginalized? Equitable - Does the deliverable address systemic injustice? Of special note, it is easier to write a grant proposal when you have deliverables to frame it around. Having clear deliverables ahead of moving into the cultivation phase also makes it easier to answer funders’ questions during meetings. Deliverables are a roadmap for not just the funder but also for you. When executive leadership, development teams and program staff are co-developing deliverables it helps improve collaboration and productivity. Key to the success of grant programs and deliverables development is maintaining a solid database. Because you’re reading this, your organization is likely at a stage where it has (or desires to have) multiple on-going grants and cultivation opportunities. Customer relationship management (CRM) tools are also key to keeping track of all the touch points needed to stay the course on the pathway to funding success. CRMs are cloud-based platforms that support data management. Without an effective platform, it can be difficult to remember which deliverables are for which projects -- as well as when they are due. Effectively tracking en So, how do we build trust? You build trust by ensuring that you’re following through on your commitments and promises to funders. This is partly why the engagement phase is so important, each follow-up, touch point engagement moment underline commitments and builds trust. As you’re moving through the initial cultivation process or renewal phase, funders will often be interested in your current accomplishments and what you intend to do if awarded funding. This is where deliverables come in as central to communicating and building to trust with donors. Simply put, deliverables are goods or services produced as a result of a project that is intended to be delivered. These goals need to be concrete but they almost must be within the organizations field of interest and realistic to their giving patterns. Field of Interest is what it sounds like! —the scopes of work funders are interested in funding, usually defined in categories like Health Care, Technology Innovation, Youth, Families, etc. Sometimes these fields of interest have sub-categories and fancy titles such as Equity in Hospitals or Future of Work(ers). However, an institution’s giving pattern shows how large, frequent, and the scale of the investment funders make within those sections. A funder can distribute funds across multiple fields of interest, but how deeply (such as 85% of their giving going towards Healthy Children & Family v. Research) and how much (1M average grants v. 10K) is the structure of their giving pattern. Keep this in mind as you think about your engagement and trust-building with funder—the field of interest and potential giving request should all be aligned with the scope of work you’re proposing. Best practices teach us that deliverables need to follow a specific format —SMARTIE—to articulate that they are equitable, tangible, and actionable actions. SMARTIE goals often resonate best with program officers as you work to convey your organization’s trustworthiness. When creating outcomes for your work, use the below prompts to determine if the deliverable is a SMARTIE goal? Strategic - Is the deliverable consistent with our priorities? Measurable - Can you quantitatively or qualitatively measure it? Ambitious - Does the deliverable meaningfully progress our work? Realistic - Can the deliverable be achieved with a set amount of resources and time? Time-bound - Is it tied to a specific date/time? Inclusive - Does the deliverable afford power to those who are marginalized? Equitable - Does the deliverable address systemic injustice? Of special note, it is easier to write a grant proposal when you have deliverables to frame it around. Having clear deliverables ahead of moving into the cultivation phase also makes it easier to answer funders’ questions during meetings. Deliverables are a roadmap for not just the funder but also for you. When executive leadership, development teams and program staff are co-developing deliverables it helps improve collaboration and productivity. Key to the success of grant programs and deliverables development is maintaining a solid database. Because you’re reading this, your organization is likely at a stage where it has (or desires to have) multiple on-going grants and cultivation opportunities. Customer relationship management (CRM) tools are also key to keeping track of all the touch points needed to stay the course on the pathway to funding success. CRMs are cloud-based platforms that support data management. Without an effective platform, it can be difficult to remember which deliverables are for which projects -- as well as when they are due. Effectively tracking en So, how do we build trust? You build trust by ensuring that you’re following through on your commitments and promises to funders. This is partly why the engagement phase is so important, each follow-up, touch point engagement moment underline commitments and builds trust. As you’re moving through the initial cultivation process or renewal phase, funders will often be interested in your current accomplishments and what you intend to do if awarded funding. This is where deliverables come in as central to communicating and building to trust with donors. Simply put, deliverables are goods or services produced as a result of a project that is intended to be delivered. These goals need to be concrete but they almost must be within the organizations field of interest and realistic to their giving patterns. Field of Interest is what it sounds like! —the scopes of work funders are interested in funding, usually defined in categories like Health Care, Technology Innovation, Youth, Families, etc. Sometimes these fields of interest have sub-categories and fancy titles such as Equity in Hospitals or Future of Work(ers). However, an institution’s giving pattern shows how large, frequent, and the scale of the investment funders make within those sections. A funder can distribute funds across multiple fields of interest, but how deeply (such as 85% of their giving going towards Healthy Children & Family v. Research) and how much (1M average grants v. 10K) is the structure of their giving pattern. Keep this in mind as you think about your engagement and trust-building with funder—the field of interest and potential giving request should all be aligned with the scope of work you’re proposing. Best practices teach us that deliverables need to follow a specific format —SMARTIE—to articulate that they are equitable, tangible, and actionable actions. SMARTIE goals often resonate best with program officers as you work to convey your organization’s trustworthiness. When creating outcomes for your work, use the below prompts to determine if the deliverable is a SMARTIE goal? Strategic - Is the deliverable consistent with our priorities? Measurable - Can you quantitatively or qualitatively measure it? Ambitious - Does the deliverable meaningfully progress our work? Realistic - Can the deliverable be achieved with a set amount of resources and time? Time-bound - Is it tied to a specific date/time? Inclusive - Does the deliverable afford power to those who are marginalized? Equitable - Does the deliverable address systemic injustice? Of special note, it is easier to write a grant proposal when you have deliverables to frame it around. Having clear deliverables ahead of moving into the cultivation phase also makes it easier to answer funders’ questions during meetings. Deliverables are a roadmap for not just the funder but also for you. When executive leadership, development teams and program staff are co-developing deliverables it helps improve collaboration and productivity. Key to the success of grant programs and deliverables development is maintaining a solid database. Because you’re reading this, your organization is likely at a stage where it has (or desires to have) multiple on-going grants and cultivation opportunities. Customer relationship management (CRM) tools are also key to keeping track of all the touch points needed to stay the course on the pathway to funding success. CRMs are cloud-based platforms that support data management. Without an effective platform, it can be difficult to remember which deliverables are for which projects -- as well as when they are due. Effectively tracking en So, how do we build trust? You build trust by ensuring that you’re following through on your commitments and promises to funders. This is partly why the engagement phase is so important, each follow-up, touch point engagement moment underline commitments and builds trust. As you’re moving through the initial cultivation process or renewal phase, funders will often be interested in your current accomplishments and what you intend to do if awarded funding. This is where deliverables come in as central to communicating and building to trust with donors. Simply put, deliverables are goods or services produced as a result of a project that is intended to be delivered. These goals need to be concrete but they almost must be within the organizations field of interest and realistic to their giving patterns. Field of Interest is what it sounds like! —the scopes of work funders are interested in funding, usually defined in categories like Health Care, Technology Innovation, Youth, Families, etc. Sometimes these fields of interest have sub-categories and fancy titles such as Equity in Hospitals or Future of Work(ers). However, an institution’s giving pattern shows how large, frequent, and the scale of the investment funders make within those sections. A funder can distribute funds across multiple fields of interest, but how deeply (such as 85% of their giving going towards Healthy Children & Family v. Research) and how much (1M average grants v. 10K) is the structure of their giving pattern. Keep this in mind as you think about your engagement and trust-building with funder—the field of interest and potential giving request should all be aligned with the scope of work you’re proposing. Best practices teach us that deliverables need to follow a specific format —SMARTIE—to articulate that they are equitable, tangible, and actionable actions. SMARTIE goals often resonate best with program officers as you work to convey your organization’s trustworthiness. When creating outcomes for your work, use the below prompts to determine if the deliverable is a SMARTIE goal? Strategic - Is the deliverable consistent with our priorities? Measurable - Can you quantitatively or qualitatively measure it? Ambitious - Does the deliverable meaningfully progress our work? Realistic - Can the deliverable be achieved with a set amount of resources and time? Time-bound - Is it tied to a specific date/time? Inclusive - Does the deliverable afford power to those who are marginalized? Equitable - Does the deliverable address systemic injustice? Of special note, it is easier to write a grant proposal when you have deliverables to frame it around. Having clear deliverables ahead of moving into the cultivation phase also makes it easier to answer funders’ questions during meetings. Deliverables are a roadmap for not just the funder but also for you. When executive leadership, development teams and program staff are co-developing deliverables it helps improve collaboration and productivity. Key to the success of grant programs and deliverables development is maintaining a solid database. Because you’re reading this, your organization is likely at a stage where it has (or desires to have) multiple on-going grants and cultivation opportunities. Customer relationship management (CRM) tools are also key to keeping track of all the touch points needed to stay the course on the pathway to funding success. CRMs are cloud-based platforms that support data management. Without an effective platform, it can be difficult to remember which deliverables are for which projects -- as well as when they are due. Effectively tracking en
by Sade Dozan 12 min read

Positioning Your Organization for Capacity-Building Grants

Building a legacy that stands the test of time is difficult. On average, US-based nonprofits have expenses of less than $1 million; and the majority of those focus on youth, education, community development, or human services at large. For every ‘powerhouse’ nonprofit (with budgets in the billions) ...
Building a legacy that stands the test of time is difficult. On average, US-based nonprofits have expenses of less than $1 million; and the majority of those focus on youth, education, community development, or human services at large. For every ‘powerhouse’ nonprofit (with budgets in the billions) there are thousands of grassroots organizations with expenses under that $1M mark. It is a tough market out there; institutional support is competitive and setting your organization up for success is key. The previous posts touched on the types of institutional support available, and how to best communicate your mission and solutions to funders based on their preferred tones. Now, let’s dive deeper into how to further position your organization for capacity-building success so that your organization can grow effectively and sustainably. One cornerstone of strong organizational growth is strategically increasing capacity. Successful programmatic implementation is the vehicle that drives your mission and vision, but the institutional support of an organization is equally as important. In addition to program support funding opportunities, there are funders such as the Annie E. Casey Foundation (who work primarily to strengthen organizations that support children and families) or The David and Lucile Packard Foundation (which focuses on nonprofit leadership & governance at large) that directly support the capacity-building efforts of nonprofits or general funds. Capacity Development grants in a nutshell are funds used specifically to build resources and tools that help your organization strengthen its infrastructure; whereas general operating funds can be used for anything your organization needs (programmatic, capital, or capacity-development). Learn a little more about why capacity-building grants are game-changing opportunities here. Three Tips to Keep in Mind when Applying for Capacity-building Grants: Develop a Framework: Create a Strength Weakness Opportunities and Threat (SWOT) analysis of your nonprofit systems and structures before looking for funding. This is important for two reasons: Prioritization of Requests. You need to have a comprehensive understanding of your immediate growth needs, and what could wait for later. For example, is it more important that you build out a finance department to better track expenses and reporting; or is a software or database that helps you streamline your communication with community stakeholders and track data the top priority? Don’t Set Yourself Up to Chase Funding: Without a comprehensive SWOT analysis of your organization, you may be inclined to pursue funding based regardless of what your key needs are. By applying for open opportunities that do not necessarily align with your priorities, you end up chasing funding without responding to your organization’s needs. Often developing nonprofits will try and apply for any and everything, but what happens when you get a grant that focuses on building out your marketing team, but you really need a comprehensive database that tracks client success before implementing additional outreach? All of this is to say -- create a framework and game plan before you even begin to look for funding. Do a SWOT analysis, it will help you frame your priorities. Build your Appeal Network Out: Once you have your framework and have conceptualized priorities, appeal to funders that are already in your network. Get referrals from current foundation funders, let them know your capacity-building needs. Even if they only fund program-specific projects, funders have a network; they talk to each other. Leverage your connections to gain additional leads on potential partners and funding sources. Prospecting tools like Instrumentl or Candid help, but nothing is as good as a recommendation from someone who already believes in your work. Scaffold Funding Phases: Think in long-term solutions once you have your priorities, create a timeline that allows for continuous growth. You’ve prioritized your capacity-development focus areas for the next 6 months, what are your plans and needs to accomplish those goals in the next 18 months or the next 3 years? Think about your grant writing needs, there are funds for that; leadership and management trainings, there are funds for that; growing your board….there are funds for that! Separate your strategic growth points into milestones and fundraise around those buckets of work— this goes not only for programmatic goals but also for your institutional structure and scaling efforts. Managing finances, updated website design, evaluation strategy, and data collection are all examples of building blocks that are critical to programmatic growth because they amplify the might of your organization. Without people power, and solid tools, nonprofits can face barriers to growing beyond the shoestring budget. Funders that distribute capacity-building grants recognize that organizations need to develop competent management systems in addition to programming and services. Ensure that your organization is researching general operating and capacity-development funding opportunities concurrently with program-specific support. Remember, every nonprofit with a $50 million budget, used to be a much smaller one. Every grant is an opportunity for your organization to expand its network and scale one more ring of growth. Clear direction, well-equipped staff with effective tools, and pursuit of strategic funding will help you climb that ladder. Building a legacy that stands the test of time is difficult. On average, US-based nonprofits have expenses of less than $1 million; and the majority of those focus on youth, education, community development, or human services at large. For every ‘powerhouse’ nonprofit (with budgets in the billions) there are thousands of grassroots organizations with expenses under that $1M mark. It is a tough market out there; institutional support is competitive and setting your organization up for success is key. The previous posts touched on the types of institutional support available, and how to best communicate your mission and solutions to funders based on their preferred tones. Now, let’s dive deeper into how to further position your organization for capacity-building success so that your organization can grow effectively and sustainably. One cornerstone of strong organizational growth is strategically increasing capacity. Successful programmatic implementation is the vehicle that drives your mission and vision, but the institutional support of an organization is equally as important. In addition to program support funding opportunities, there are funders such as the Annie E. Casey Foundation (who work primarily to strengthen organizations that support children and families) or The David and Lucile Packard Foundation (which focuses on nonprofit leadership & governance at large) that directly support the capacity-building efforts of nonprofits or general funds. Capacity Development grants in a nutshell are funds used specifically to build resources and tools that help your organization strengthen its infrastructure; whereas general operating funds can be used for anything your organization needs (programmatic, capital, or capacity-development). Learn a little more about why capacity-building grants are game-changing opportunities here. Three Tips to Keep in Mind when Applying for Capacity-building Grants: Develop a Framework: Create a Strength Weakness Opportunities and Threat (SWOT) analysis of your nonprofit systems and structures before looking for funding. This is important for two reasons: Prioritization of Requests. You need to have a comprehensive understanding of your immediate growth needs, and what could wait for later. For example, is it more important that you build out a finance department to better track expenses and reporting; or is a software or database that helps you streamline your communication with community stakeholders and track data the top priority? Don’t Set Yourself Up to Chase Funding: Without a comprehensive SWOT analysis of your organization, you may be inclined to pursue funding based regardless of what your key needs are. By applying for open opportunities that do not necessarily align with your priorities, you end up chasing funding without responding to your organization’s needs. Often developing nonprofits will try and apply for any and everything, but what happens when you get a grant that focuses on building out your marketing team, but you really need a comprehensive database that tracks client success before implementing additional outreach? All of this is to say -- create a framework and game plan before you even begin to look for funding. Do a SWOT analysis, it will help you frame your priorities. Build your Appeal Network Out: Once you have your framework and have conceptualized priorities, appeal to funders that are already in your network. Get referrals from current foundation funders, let them know your capacity-building needs. Even if they only fund program-specific projects, funders have a network; they talk to each other. Leverage your connections to gain additional leads on potential partners and funding sources. Prospecting tools like Instrumentl or Candid help, but nothing is as good as a recommendation from someone who already believes in your work. Scaffold Funding Phases: Think in long-term solutions once you have your priorities, create a timeline that allows for continuous growth. You’ve prioritized your capacity-development focus areas for the next 6 months, what are your plans and needs to accomplish those goals in the next 18 months or the next 3 years? Think about your grant writing needs, there are funds for that; leadership and management trainings, there are funds for that; growing your board….there are funds for that! Separate your strategic growth points into milestones and fundraise around those buckets of work— this goes not only for programmatic goals but also for your institutional structure and scaling efforts. Managing finances, updated website design, evaluation strategy, and data collection are all examples of building blocks that are critical to programmatic growth because they amplify the might of your organization. Without people power, and solid tools, nonprofits can face barriers to growing beyond the shoestring budget. Funders that distribute capacity-building grants recognize that organizations need to develop competent management systems in addition to programming and services. Ensure that your organization is researching general operating and capacity-development funding opportunities concurrently with program-specific support. Remember, every nonprofit with a $50 million budget, used to be a much smaller one. Every grant is an opportunity for your organization to expand its network and scale one more ring of growth. Clear direction, well-equipped staff with effective tools, and pursuit of strategic funding will help you climb that ladder. Building a legacy that stands the test of time is difficult. On average, US-based nonprofits have expenses of less than $1 million; and the majority of those focus on youth, education, community development, or human services at large. For every ‘powerhouse’ nonprofit (with budgets in the billions) there are thousands of grassroots organizations with expenses under that $1M mark. It is a tough market out there; institutional support is competitive and setting your organization up for success is key. The previous posts touched on the types of institutional support available, and how to best communicate your mission and solutions to funders based on their preferred tones. Now, let’s dive deeper into how to further position your organization for capacity-building success so that your organization can grow effectively and sustainably. One cornerstone of strong organizational growth is strategically increasing capacity. Successful programmatic implementation is the vehicle that drives your mission and vision, but the institutional support of an organization is equally as important. In addition to program support funding opportunities, there are funders such as the Annie E. Casey Foundation (who work primarily to strengthen organizations that support children and families) or The David and Lucile Packard Foundation (which focuses on nonprofit leadership & governance at large) that directly support the capacity-building efforts of nonprofits or general funds. Capacity Development grants in a nutshell are funds used specifically to build resources and tools that help your organization strengthen its infrastructure; whereas general operating funds can be used for anything your organization needs (programmatic, capital, or capacity-development). Learn a little more about why capacity-building grants are game-changing opportunities here. Three Tips to Keep in Mind when Applying for Capacity-building Grants: Develop a Framework: Create a Strength Weakness Opportunities and Threat (SWOT) analysis of your nonprofit systems and structures before looking for funding. This is important for two reasons: Prioritization of Requests. You need to have a comprehensive understanding of your immediate growth needs, and what could wait for later. For example, is it more important that you build out a finance department to better track expenses and reporting; or is a software or database that helps you streamline your communication with community stakeholders and track data the top priority? Don’t Set Yourself Up to Chase Funding: Without a comprehensive SWOT analysis of your organization, you may be inclined to pursue funding based regardless of what your key needs are. By applying for open opportunities that do not necessarily align with your priorities, you end up chasing funding without responding to your organization’s needs. Often developing nonprofits will try and apply for any and everything, but what happens when you get a grant that focuses on building out your marketing team, but you really need a comprehensive database that tracks client success before implementing additional outreach? All of this is to say -- create a framework and game plan before you even begin to look for funding. Do a SWOT analysis, it will help you frame your priorities. Build your Appeal Network Out: Once you have your framework and have conceptualized priorities, appeal to funders that are already in your network. Get referrals from current foundation funders, let them know your capacity-building needs. Even if they only fund program-specific projects, funders have a network; they talk to each other. Leverage your connections to gain additional leads on potential partners and funding sources. Prospecting tools like Instrumentl or Candid help, but nothing is as good as a recommendation from someone who already believes in your work. Scaffold Funding Phases: Think in long-term solutions once you have your priorities, create a timeline that allows for continuous growth. You’ve prioritized your capacity-development focus areas for the next 6 months, what are your plans and needs to accomplish those goals in the next 18 months or the next 3 years? Think about your grant writing needs, there are funds for that; leadership and management trainings, there are funds for that; growing your board….there are funds for that! Separate your strategic growth points into milestones and fundraise around those buckets of work— this goes not only for programmatic goals but also for your institutional structure and scaling efforts. Managing finances, updated website design, evaluation strategy, and data collection are all examples of building blocks that are critical to programmatic growth because they amplify the might of your organization. Without people power, and solid tools, nonprofits can face barriers to growing beyond the shoestring budget. Funders that distribute capacity-building grants recognize that organizations need to develop competent management systems in addition to programming and services. Ensure that your organization is researching general operating and capacity-development funding opportunities concurrently with program-specific support. Remember, every nonprofit with a $50 million budget, used to be a much smaller one. Every grant is an opportunity for your organization to expand its network and scale one more ring of growth. Clear direction, well-equipped staff with effective tools, and pursuit of strategic funding will help you climb that ladder. Building a legacy that stands the test of time is difficult. On average, US-based nonprofits have expenses of less than $1 million; and the majority of those focus on youth, education, community development, or human services at large. For every ‘powerhouse’ nonprofit (with budgets in the billions) there are thousands of grassroots organizations with expenses under that $1M mark. It is a tough market out there; institutional support is competitive and setting your organization up for success is key. The previous posts touched on the types of institutional support available, and how to best communicate your mission and solutions to funders based on their preferred tones. Now, let’s dive deeper into how to further position your organization for capacity-building success so that your organization can grow effectively and sustainably. One cornerstone of strong organizational growth is strategically increasing capacity. Successful programmatic implementation is the vehicle that drives your mission and vision, but the institutional support of an organization is equally as important. In addition to program support funding opportunities, there are funders such as the Annie E. Casey Foundation (who work primarily to strengthen organizations that support children and families) or The David and Lucile Packard Foundation (which focuses on nonprofit leadership & governance at large) that directly support the capacity-building efforts of nonprofits or general funds. Capacity Development grants in a nutshell are funds used specifically to build resources and tools that help your organization strengthen its infrastructure; whereas general operating funds can be used for anything your organization needs (programmatic, capital, or capacity-development). Learn a little more about why capacity-building grants are game-changing opportunities here. Three Tips to Keep in Mind when Applying for Capacity-building Grants: Develop a Framework: Create a Strength Weakness Opportunities and Threat (SWOT) analysis of your nonprofit systems and structures before looking for funding. This is important for two reasons: Prioritization of Requests. You need to have a comprehensive understanding of your immediate growth needs, and what could wait for later. For example, is it more important that you build out a finance department to better track expenses and reporting; or is a software or database that helps you streamline your communication with community stakeholders and track data the top priority? Don’t Set Yourself Up to Chase Funding: Without a comprehensive SWOT analysis of your organization, you may be inclined to pursue funding based regardless of what your key needs are. By applying for open opportunities that do not necessarily align with your priorities, you end up chasing funding without responding to your organization’s needs. Often developing nonprofits will try and apply for any and everything, but what happens when you get a grant that focuses on building out your marketing team, but you really need a comprehensive database that tracks client success before implementing additional outreach? All of this is to say -- create a framework and game plan before you even begin to look for funding. Do a SWOT analysis, it will help you frame your priorities. Build your Appeal Network Out: Once you have your framework and have conceptualized priorities, appeal to funders that are already in your network. Get referrals from current foundation funders, let them know your capacity-building needs. Even if they only fund program-specific projects, funders have a network; they talk to each other. Leverage your connections to gain additional leads on potential partners and funding sources. Prospecting tools like Instrumentl or Candid help, but nothing is as good as a recommendation from someone who already believes in your work. Scaffold Funding Phases: Think in long-term solutions once you have your priorities, create a timeline that allows for continuous growth. You’ve prioritized your capacity-development focus areas for the next 6 months, what are your plans and needs to accomplish those goals in the next 18 months or the next 3 years? Think about your grant writing needs, there are funds for that; leadership and management trainings, there are funds for that; growing your board….there are funds for that! Separate your strategic growth points into milestones and fundraise around those buckets of work— this goes not only for programmatic goals but also for your institutional structure and scaling efforts. Managing finances, updated website design, evaluation strategy, and data collection are all examples of building blocks that are critical to programmatic growth because they amplify the might of your organization. Without people power, and solid tools, nonprofits can face barriers to growing beyond the shoestring budget. Funders that distribute capacity-building grants recognize that organizations need to develop competent management systems in addition to programming and services. Ensure that your organization is researching general operating and capacity-development funding opportunities concurrently with program-specific support. Remember, every nonprofit with a $50 million budget, used to be a much smaller one. Every grant is an opportunity for your organization to expand its network and scale one more ring of growth. Clear direction, well-equipped staff with effective tools, and pursuit of strategic funding will help you climb that ladder. Building a legacy that stands the test of time is difficult. On average, US-based nonprofits have expenses of less than $1 million; and the majority of those focus on youth, education, community development, or human services at large. For every ‘powerhouse’ nonprofit (with budgets in the billions) there are thousands of grassroots organizations with expenses under that $1M mark. It is a tough market out there; institutional support is competitive and setting your organization up for success is key. The previous posts touched on the types of institutional support available, and how to best communicate your mission and solutions to funders based on their preferred tones. Now, let’s dive deeper into how to further position your organization for capacity-building success so that your organization can grow effectively and sustainably. One cornerstone of strong organizational growth is strategically increasing capacity. Successful programmatic implementation is the vehicle that drives your mission and vision, but the institutional support of an organization is equally as important. In addition to program support funding opportunities, there are funders such as the Annie E. Casey Foundation (who work primarily to strengthen organizations that support children and families) or The David and Lucile Packard Foundation (which focuses on nonprofit leadership & governance at large) that directly support the capacity-building efforts of nonprofits or general funds. Capacity Development grants in a nutshell are funds used specifically to build resources and tools that help your organization strengthen its infrastructure; whereas general operating funds can be used for anything your organization needs (programmatic, capital, or capacity-development). Learn a little more about why capacity-building grants are game-changing opportunities here. Three Tips to Keep in Mind when Applying for Capacity-building Grants: Develop a Framework: Create a Strength Weakness Opportunities and Threat (SWOT) analysis of your nonprofit systems and structures before looking for funding. This is important for two reasons: Prioritization of Requests. You need to have a comprehensive understanding of your immediate growth needs, and what could wait for later. For example, is it more important that you build out a finance department to better track expenses and reporting; or is a software or database that helps you streamline your communication with community stakeholders and track data the top priority? Don’t Set Yourself Up to Chase Funding: Without a comprehensive SWOT analysis of your organization, you may be inclined to pursue funding based regardless of what your key needs are. By applying for open opportunities that do not necessarily align with your priorities, you end up chasing funding without responding to your organization’s needs. Often developing nonprofits will try and apply for any and everything, but what happens when you get a grant that focuses on building out your marketing team, but you really need a comprehensive database that tracks client success before implementing additional outreach? All of this is to say -- create a framework and game plan before you even begin to look for funding. Do a SWOT analysis, it will help you frame your priorities. Build your Appeal Network Out: Once you have your framework and have conceptualized priorities, appeal to funders that are already in your network. Get referrals from current foundation funders, let them know your capacity-building needs. Even if they only fund program-specific projects, funders have a network; they talk to each other. Leverage your connections to gain additional leads on potential partners and funding sources. Prospecting tools like Instrumentl or Candid help, but nothing is as good as a recommendation from someone who already believes in your work. Scaffold Funding Phases: Think in long-term solutions once you have your priorities, create a timeline that allows for continuous growth. You’ve prioritized your capacity-development focus areas for the next 6 months, what are your plans and needs to accomplish those goals in the next 18 months or the next 3 years? Think about your grant writing needs, there are funds for that; leadership and management trainings, there are funds for that; growing your board….there are funds for that! Separate your strategic growth points into milestones and fundraise around those buckets of work— this goes not only for programmatic goals but also for your institutional structure and scaling efforts. Managing finances, updated website design, evaluation strategy, and data collection are all examples of building blocks that are critical to programmatic growth because they amplify the might of your organization. Without people power, and solid tools, nonprofits can face barriers to growing beyond the shoestring budget. Funders that distribute capacity-building grants recognize that organizations need to develop competent management systems in addition to programming and services. Ensure that your organization is researching general operating and capacity-development funding opportunities concurrently with program-specific support. Remember, every nonprofit with a $50 million budget, used to be a much smaller one. Every grant is an opportunity for your organization to expand its network and scale one more ring of growth. Clear direction, well-equipped staff with effective tools, and pursuit of strategic funding will help you climb that ladder. Building a legacy that stands the test of time is difficult. On average, US-based nonprofits have expenses of less than $1 million; and the majority of those focus on youth, education, community development, or human services at large. For every ‘powerhouse’ nonprofit (with budgets in the billions) there are thousands of grassroots organizations with expenses under that $1M mark. It is a tough market out there; institutional support is competitive and setting your organization up for success is key. The previous posts touched on the types of institutional support available, and how to best communicate your mission and solutions to funders based on their preferred tones. Now, let’s dive deeper into how to further position your organization for capacity-building success so that your organization can grow effectively and sustainably. One cornerstone of strong organizational growth is strategically increasing capacity. Successful programmatic implementation is the vehicle that drives your mission and vision, but the institutional support of an organization is equally as important. In addition to program support funding opportunities, there are funders such as the Annie E. Casey Foundation (who work primarily to strengthen organizations that support children and families) or The David and Lucile Packard Foundation (which focuses on nonprofit leadership & governance at large) that directly support the capacity-building efforts of nonprofits or general funds. Capacity Development grants in a nutshell are funds used specifically to build resources and tools that help your organization strengthen its infrastructure; whereas general operating funds can be used for anything your organization needs (programmatic, capital, or capacity-development). Learn a little more about why capacity-building grants are game-changing opportunities here. Three Tips to Keep in Mind when Applying for Capacity-building Grants: Develop a Framework: Create a Strength Weakness Opportunities and Threat (SWOT) analysis of your nonprofit systems and structures before looking for funding. This is important for two reasons: Prioritization of Requests. You need to have a comprehensive understanding of your immediate growth needs, and what could wait for later. For example, is it more important that you build out a finance department to better track expenses and reporting; or is a software or database that helps you streamline your communication with community stakeholders and track data the top priority? Don’t Set Yourself Up to Chase Funding: Without a comprehensive SWOT analysis of your organization, you may be inclined to pursue funding based regardless of what your key needs are. By applying for open opportunities that do not necessarily align with your priorities, you end up chasing funding without responding to your organization’s needs. Often developing nonprofits will try and apply for any and everything, but what happens when you get a grant that focuses on building out your marketing team, but you really need a comprehensive database that tracks client success before implementing additional outreach? All of this is to say -- create a framework and game plan before you even begin to look for funding. Do a SWOT analysis, it will help you frame your priorities. Build your Appeal Network Out: Once you have your framework and have conceptualized priorities, appeal to funders that are already in your network. Get referrals from current foundation funders, let them know your capacity-building needs. Even if they only fund program-specific projects, funders have a network; they talk to each other. Leverage your connections to gain additional leads on potential partners and funding sources. Prospecting tools like Instrumentl or Candid help, but nothing is as good as a recommendation from someone who already believes in your work. Scaffold Funding Phases: Think in long-term solutions once you have your priorities, create a timeline that allows for continuous growth. You’ve prioritized your capacity-development focus areas for the next 6 months, what are your plans and needs to accomplish those goals in the next 18 months or the next 3 years? Think about your grant writing needs, there are funds for that; leadership and management trainings, there are funds for that; growing your board….there are funds for that! Separate your strategic growth points into milestones and fundraise around those buckets of work— this goes not only for programmatic goals but also for your institutional structure and scaling efforts. Managing finances, updated website design, evaluation strategy, and data collection are all examples of building blocks that are critical to programmatic growth because they amplify the might of your organization. Without people power, and solid tools, nonprofits can face barriers to growing beyond the shoestring budget. Funders that distribute capacity-building grants recognize that organizations need to develop competent management systems in addition to programming and services. Ensure that your organization is researching general operating and capacity-development funding opportunities concurrently with program-specific support. Remember, every nonprofit with a $50 million budget, used to be a much smaller one. Every grant is an opportunity for your organization to expand its network and scale one more ring of growth. Clear direction, well-equipped staff with effective tools, and pursuit of strategic funding will help you climb that ladder. Building a legacy that stands the test of time is difficult. On average, US-based nonprofits have expenses of less than $1 million; and the majority of those focus on youth, education, community development, or human services at large. For every ‘powerhouse’ nonprofit (with budgets in the billions) there are thousands of grassroots organizations with expenses under that $1M mark. It is a tough market out there; institutional support is competitive and setting your organization up for success is key. The previous posts touched on the types of institutional support available, and how to best communicate your mission and solutions to funders based on their preferred tones. Now, let’s dive deeper into how to further position your organization for capacity-building success so that your organization can grow effectively and sustainably. One cornerstone of strong organizational growth is strategically increasing capacity. Successful programmatic implementation is the vehicle that drives your mission and vision, but the institutional support of an organization is equally as important. In addition to program support funding opportunities, there are funders such as the Annie E. Casey Foundation (who work primarily to strengthen organizations that support children and families) or The David and Lucile Packard Foundation (which focuses on nonprofit leadership & governance at large) that directly support the capacity-building efforts of nonprofits or general funds. Capacity Development grants in a nutshell are funds used specifically to build resources and tools that help your organization strengthen its infrastructure; whereas general operating funds can be used for anything your organization needs (programmatic, capital, or capacity-development). Learn a little more about why capacity-building grants are game-changing opportunities here. Three Tips to Keep in Mind when Applying for Capacity-building Grants: Develop a Framework: Create a Strength Weakness Opportunities and Threat (SWOT) analysis of your nonprofit systems and structures before looking for funding. This is important for two reasons: Prioritization of Requests. You need to have a comprehensive understanding of your immediate growth needs, and what could wait for later. For example, is it more important that you build out a finance department to better track expenses and reporting; or is a software or database that helps you streamline your communication with community stakeholders and track data the top priority? Don’t Set Yourself Up to Chase Funding: Without a comprehensive SWOT analysis of your organization, you may be inclined to pursue funding based regardless of what your key needs are. By applying for open opportunities that do not necessarily align with your priorities, you end up chasing funding without responding to your organization’s needs. Often developing nonprofits will try and apply for any and everything, but what happens when you get a grant that focuses on building out your marketing team, but you really need a comprehensive database that tracks client success before implementing additional outreach? All of this is to say -- create a framework and game plan before you even begin to look for funding. Do a SWOT analysis, it will help you frame your priorities. Build your Appeal Network Out: Once you have your framework and have conceptualized priorities, appeal to funders that are already in your network. Get referrals from current foundation funders, let them know your capacity-building needs. Even if they only fund program-specific projects, funders have a network; they talk to each other. Leverage your connections to gain additional leads on potential partners and funding sources. Prospecting tools like Instrumentl or Candid help, but nothing is as good as a recommendation from someone who already believes in your work. Scaffold Funding Phases: Think in long-term solutions once you have your priorities, create a timeline that allows for continuous growth. You’ve prioritized your capacity-development focus areas for the next 6 months, what are your plans and needs to accomplish those goals in the next 18 months or the next 3 years? Think about your grant writing needs, there are funds for that; leadership and management trainings, there are funds for that; growing your board….there are funds for that! Separate your strategic growth points into milestones and fundraise around those buckets of work— this goes not only for programmatic goals but also for your institutional structure and scaling efforts. Managing finances, updated website design, evaluation strategy, and data collection are all examples of building blocks that are critical to programmatic growth because they amplify the might of your organization. Without people power, and solid tools, nonprofits can face barriers to growing beyond the shoestring budget. Funders that distribute capacity-building grants recognize that organizations need to develop competent management systems in addition to programming and services. Ensure that your organization is researching general operating and capacity-development funding opportunities concurrently with program-specific support. Remember, every nonprofit with a $50 million budget, used to be a much smaller one. Every grant is an opportunity for your organization to expand its network and scale one more ring of growth. Clear direction, well-equipped staff with effective tools, and pursuit of strategic funding will help you climb that ladder. Building a legacy that stands the test of time is difficult. On average, US-based nonprofits have expenses of less than $1 million; and the majority of those focus on youth, education, community development, or human services at large. For every ‘powerhouse’ nonprofit (with budgets in the billions) there are thousands of grassroots organizations with expenses under that $1M mark. It is a tough market out there; institutional support is competitive and setting your organization up for success is key. The previous posts touched on the types of institutional support available, and how to best communicate your mission and solutions to funders based on their preferred tones. Now, let’s dive deeper into how to further position your organization for capacity-building success so that your organization can grow effectively and sustainably. One cornerstone of strong organizational growth is strategically increasing capacity. Successful programmatic implementation is the vehicle that drives your mission and vision, but the institutional support of an organization is equally as important. In addition to program support funding opportunities, there are funders such as the Annie E. Casey Foundation (who work primarily to strengthen organizations that support children and families) or The David and Lucile Packard Foundation (which focuses on nonprofit leadership & governance at large) that directly support the capacity-building efforts of nonprofits or general funds. Capacity Development grants in a nutshell are funds used specifically to build resources and tools that help your organization strengthen its infrastructure; whereas general operating funds can be used for anything your organization needs (programmatic, capital, or capacity-development). Learn a little more about why capacity-building grants are game-changing opportunities here. Three Tips to Keep in Mind when Applying for Capacity-building Grants: Develop a Framework: Create a Strength Weakness Opportunities and Threat (SWOT) analysis of your nonprofit systems and structures before looking for funding. This is important for two reasons: Prioritization of Requests. You need to have a comprehensive understanding of your immediate growth needs, and what could wait for later. For example, is it more important that you build out a finance department to better track expenses and reporting; or is a software or database that helps you streamline your communication with community stakeholders and track data the top priority? Don’t Set Yourself Up to Chase Funding: Without a comprehensive SWOT analysis of your organization, you may be inclined to pursue funding based regardless of what your key needs are. By applying for open opportunities that do not necessarily align with your priorities, you end up chasing funding without responding to your organization’s needs. Often developing nonprofits will try and apply for any and everything, but what happens when you get a grant that focuses on building out your marketing team, but you really need a comprehensive database that tracks client success before implementing additional outreach? All of this is to say -- create a framework and game plan before you even begin to look for funding. Do a SWOT analysis, it will help you frame your priorities. Build your Appeal Network Out: Once you have your framework and have conceptualized priorities, appeal to funders that are already in your network. Get referrals from current foundation funders, let them know your capacity-building needs. Even if they only fund program-specific projects, funders have a network; they talk to each other. Leverage your connections to gain additional leads on potential partners and funding sources. Prospecting tools like Instrumentl or Candid help, but nothing is as good as a recommendation from someone who already believes in your work. Scaffold Funding Phases: Think in long-term solutions once you have your priorities, create a timeline that allows for continuous growth. You’ve prioritized your capacity-development focus areas for the next 6 months, what are your plans and needs to accomplish those goals in the next 18 months or the next 3 years? Think about your grant writing needs, there are funds for that; leadership and management trainings, there are funds for that; growing your board….there are funds for that! Separate your strategic growth points into milestones and fundraise around those buckets of work— this goes not only for programmatic goals but also for your institutional structure and scaling efforts. Managing finances, updated website design, evaluation strategy, and data collection are all examples of building blocks that are critical to programmatic growth because they amplify the might of your organization. Without people power, and solid tools, nonprofits can face barriers to growing beyond the shoestring budget. Funders that distribute capacity-building grants recognize that organizations need to develop competent management systems in addition to programming and services. Ensure that your organization is researching general operating and capacity-development funding opportunities concurrently with program-specific support. Remember, every nonprofit with a $50 million budget, used to be a much smaller one. Every grant is an opportunity for your organization to expand its network and scale one more ring of growth. Clear direction, well-equipped staff with effective tools, and pursuit of strategic funding will help you climb that ladder. Building a legacy that stands the test of time is difficult. On average, US-based nonprofits have expenses of less than $1 million; and the majority of those focus on youth, education, community development, or human services at large. For every ‘powerhouse’ nonprofit (with budgets in the billions) there are thousands of grassroots organizations with expenses under that $1M mark. It is a tough market out there; institutional support is competitive and setting your organization up for success is key. The previous posts touched on the types of institutional support available, and how to best communicate your mission and solutions to funders based on their preferred tones. Now, let’s dive deeper into how to further position your organization for capacity-building success so that your organization can grow effectively and sustainably. One cornerstone of strong organizational growth is strategically increasing capacity. Successful programmatic implementation is the vehicle that drives your mission and vision, but the institutional support of an organization is equally as important. In addition to program support funding opportunities, there are funders such as the Annie E. Casey Foundation (who work primarily to strengthen organizations that support children and families) or The David and Lucile Packard Foundation (which focuses on nonprofit leadership & governance at large) that directly support the capacity-building efforts of nonprofits or general funds. Capacity Development grants in a nutshell are funds used specifically to build resources and tools that help your organization strengthen its infrastructure; whereas general operating funds can be used for anything your organization needs (programmatic, capital, or capacity-development). Learn a little more about why capacity-building grants are game-changing opportunities here. Three Tips to Keep in Mind when Applying for Capacity-building Grants: Develop a Framework: Create a Strength Weakness Opportunities and Threat (SWOT) analysis of your nonprofit systems and structures before looking for funding. This is important for two reasons: Prioritization of Requests. You need to have a comprehensive understanding of your immediate growth needs, and what could wait for later. For example, is it more important that you build out a finance department to better track expenses and reporting; or is a software or database that helps you streamline your communication with community stakeholders and track data the top priority? Don’t Set Yourself Up to Chase Funding: Without a comprehensive SWOT analysis of your organization, you may be inclined to pursue funding based regardless of what your key needs are. By applying for open opportunities that do not necessarily align with your priorities, you end up chasing funding without responding to your organization’s needs. Often developing nonprofits will try and apply for any and everything, but what happens when you get a grant that focuses on building out your marketing team, but you really need a comprehensive database that tracks client success before implementing additional outreach? All of this is to say -- create a framework and game plan before you even begin to look for funding. Do a SWOT analysis, it will help you frame your priorities. Build your Appeal Network Out: Once you have your framework and have conceptualized priorities, appeal to funders that are already in your network. Get referrals from current foundation funders, let them know your capacity-building needs. Even if they only fund program-specific projects, funders have a network; they talk to each other. Leverage your connections to gain additional leads on potential partners and funding sources. Prospecting tools like Instrumentl or Candid help, but nothing is as good as a recommendation from someone who already believes in your work. Scaffold Funding Phases: Think in long-term solutions once you have your priorities, create a timeline that allows for continuous growth. You’ve prioritized your capacity-development focus areas for the next 6 months, what are your plans and needs to accomplish those goals in the next 18 months or the next 3 years? Think about your grant writing needs, there are funds for that; leadership and management trainings, there are funds for that; growing your board….there are funds for that! Separate your strategic growth points into milestones and fundraise around those buckets of work— this goes not only for programmatic goals but also for your institutional structure and scaling efforts. Managing finances, updated website design, evaluation strategy, and data collection are all examples of building blocks that are critical to programmatic growth because they amplify the might of your organization. Without people power, and solid tools, nonprofits can face barriers to growing beyond the shoestring budget. Funders that distribute capacity-building grants recognize that organizations need to develop competent management systems in addition to programming and services. Ensure that your organization is researching general operating and capacity-development funding opportunities concurrently with program-specific support. Remember, every nonprofit with a $50 million budget, used to be a much smaller one. Every grant is an opportunity for your organization to expand its network and scale one more ring of growth. Clear direction, well-equipped staff with effective tools, and pursuit of strategic funding will help you climb that ladder. Building a legacy that stands the test of time is difficult. On average, US-based nonprofits have expenses of less than $1 million; and the majority of those focus on youth, education, community development, or human services at large. For every ‘powerhouse’ nonprofit (with budgets in the billions) there are thousands of grassroots organizations with expenses under that $1M mark. It is a tough market out there; institutional support is competitive and setting your organization up for success is key. The previous posts touched on the types of institutional support available, and how to best communicate your mission and solutions to funders based on their preferred tones. Now, let’s dive deeper into how to further position your organization for capacity-building success so that your organization can grow effectively and sustainably. One cornerstone of strong organizational growth is strategically increasing capacity. Successful programmatic implementation is the vehicle that drives your mission and vision, but the institutional support of an organization is equally as important. In addition to program support funding opportunities, there are funders such as the Annie E. Casey Foundation (who work primarily to strengthen organizations that support children and families) or The David and Lucile Packard Foundation (which focuses on nonprofit leadership & governance at large) that directly support the capacity-building efforts of nonprofits or general funds. Capacity Development grants in a nutshell are funds used specifically to build resources and tools that help your organization strengthen its infrastructure; whereas general operating funds can be used for anything your organization needs (programmatic, capital, or capacity-development). Learn a little more about why capacity-building grants are game-changing opportunities here. Three Tips to Keep in Mind when Applying for Capacity-building Grants: Develop a Framework: Create a Strength Weakness Opportunities and Threat (SWOT) analysis of your nonprofit systems and structures before looking for funding. This is important for two reasons: Prioritization of Requests. You need to have a comprehensive understanding of your immediate growth needs, and what could wait for later. For example, is it more important that you build out a finance department to better track expenses and reporting; or is a software or database that helps you streamline your communication with community stakeholders and track data the top priority? Don’t Set Yourself Up to Chase Funding: Without a comprehensive SWOT analysis of your organization, you may be inclined to pursue funding based regardless of what your key needs are. By applying for open opportunities that do not necessarily align with your priorities, you end up chasing funding without responding to your organization’s needs. Often developing nonprofits will try and apply for any and everything, but what happens when you get a grant that focuses on building out your marketing team, but you really need a comprehensive database that tracks client success before implementing additional outreach? All of this is to say -- create a framework and game plan before you even begin to look for funding. Do a SWOT analysis, it will help you frame your priorities. Build your Appeal Network Out: Once you have your framework and have conceptualized priorities, appeal to funders that are already in your network. Get referrals from current foundation funders, let them know your capacity-building needs. Even if they only fund program-specific projects, funders have a network; they talk to each other. Leverage your connections to gain additional leads on potential partners and funding sources. Prospecting tools like Instrumentl or Candid help, but nothing is as good as a recommendation from someone who already believes in your work. Scaffold Funding Phases: Think in long-term solutions once you have your priorities, create a timeline that allows for continuous growth. You’ve prioritized your capacity-development focus areas for the next 6 months, what are your plans and needs to accomplish those goals in the next 18 months or the next 3 years? Think about your grant writing needs, there are funds for that; leadership and management trainings, there are funds for that; growing your board….there are funds for that! Separate your strategic growth points into milestones and fundraise around those buckets of work— this goes not only for programmatic goals but also for your institutional structure and scaling efforts. Managing finances, updated website design, evaluation strategy, and data collection are all examples of building blocks that are critical to programmatic growth because they amplify the might of your organization. Without people power, and solid tools, nonprofits can face barriers to growing beyond the shoestring budget. Funders that distribute capacity-building grants recognize that organizations need to develop competent management systems in addition to programming and services. Ensure that your organization is researching general operating and capacity-development funding opportunities concurrently with program-specific support. Remember, every nonprofit with a $50 million budget, used to be a much smaller one. Every grant is an opportunity for your organization to expand its network and scale one more ring of growth. Clear direction, well-equipped staff with effective tools, and pursuit of strategic funding will help you climb that ladder.
by Sade Dozan 17 min read

Capacity-Building Grants | Nonprofit Case Studies

In the previous post, we touched on how capacity-building grants are identified and developed in an effort to better position organizations for growth. Now, we’ll review the power of capacity-building grants and the impact they can have on an organization’s development.There are three main types of ...
In the previous post, we touched on how capacity-building grants are identified and developed in an effort to better position organizations for growth. Now, we’ll review the power of capacity-building grants and the impact they can have on an organization’s development.There are three main types of capacity-building efforts: People-Power Building: the implementation of training and development programming which strengthens the knowledge and skill of an organization’s staff and the recruitment of people (volunteers, staff, and board members) that can further an organization's capacity. Organizational & Structural: the approach of blending supporting the overall organization’s communication and inter-departmental collaboration with systems and best-practice procedures. Equipment & Materials: gaining the tools, and physical resources necessary (anywhere from databases to smart devices) to ensure the efficacy of the organizations’ programming and services. To better illustrate how capacity-building grants can support an organization’s strengthening and scale, let's look at two example organizations whose capacity-building process touches on core aspects of the three main categories of capacity-building. ABC Youth Network ABC Youth Network is a west-coast based nonprofit that formed in 2003. For the past 5 years, they maintained an average annual budget of $3 million, relying heavily on board-driven individual contributions--with less than 10% of the budget coming from institutional funds. Community-focused, it has historically had an active board representative of its focus population. However, the board, the majority of whom have been with the organization for over 15 years, are transitioning out due to retirement, relocation, etc. Additionally, senior leadership has decided to launch a new program, which will require increased funds (30% over their budget), far beyond the current individual donor-driven network they maintain. Senior Leadership knows something has to change. They begin with an analysis of their current assets and the highest needs. Individual fundraising has always worked for them, but they need to grow and scale—they apply to several foundations outlining their need for a fundraising specialist who can develop their institutional giving program and support their board development. ABC Youth Network is awarded two grants—one takes the form of a $300,000 two-year grant restricted to their development needs. With these funds, they are able to hire a Development Director and Grant Writer, who are able to secure additional funds in an effort to launch the expansion project from other institutional donors. The second capacity-grant they were awarded is an in-kind grant, which provides the nonprofit with a consultant, free of charge, who builds a board-member recruitment and retention program. This board advancement opportunity acts with dual purpose, raising the organization's profile, and generating a new, stronger network, for the organization to leverage for additional resources. In less than 9 months, they have grown their budget over 35% through institutional support alone. Overall, these capacity-building grants catalyzed ABC Youth Network’s ability to diversify its funding streams, scale its organization’s programming, and build a pathway to sustainable funding. Veterans Today Org Veterans Today Org started in 2015 in the founders’ home. They used whatever resources available (from borrowed clipboards to found pens)—operating with a barebones budget and scarce materials. As they grew out of the home and into an office, and eventually into a multi-suite space to support the scale of supportive programming, they continued to use the same paper filing, excel sheets, and materials. Despite growing from a budget of $100,000 to over 1 million, Veterans Today Org was not prioritizing their data collection and evaluation methods. Client tracking was done with historical data often secured through informal conversations, and there was no comprehensive system for tracking the progress the clients and the organization was making. In the previous post, we touched on how capacity-building grants are identified and developed in an effort to better position organizations for growth. Now, we’ll review the power of capacity-building grants and the impact they can have on an organization’s development.There are three main types of capacity-building efforts: People-Power Building: the implementation of training and development programming which strengthens the knowledge and skill of an organization’s staff and the recruitment of people (volunteers, staff, and board members) that can further an organization's capacity. Organizational & Structural: the approach of blending supporting the overall organization’s communication and inter-departmental collaboration with systems and best-practice procedures. Equipment & Materials: gaining the tools, and physical resources necessary (anywhere from databases to smart devices) to ensure the efficacy of the organizations’ programming and services. To better illustrate how capacity-building grants can support an organization’s strengthening and scale, let's look at two example organizations whose capacity-building process touches on core aspects of the three main categories of capacity-building. ABC Youth Network ABC Youth Network is a west-coast based nonprofit that formed in 2003. For the past 5 years, they maintained an average annual budget of $3 million, relying heavily on board-driven individual contributions--with less than 10% of the budget coming from institutional funds. Community-focused, it has historically had an active board representative of its focus population. However, the board, the majority of whom have been with the organization for over 15 years, are transitioning out due to retirement, relocation, etc. Additionally, senior leadership has decided to launch a new program, which will require increased funds (30% over their budget), far beyond the current individual donor-driven network they maintain. Senior Leadership knows something has to change. They begin with an analysis of their current assets and the highest needs. Individual fundraising has always worked for them, but they need to grow and scale—they apply to several foundations outlining their need for a fundraising specialist who can develop their institutional giving program and support their board development. ABC Youth Network is awarded two grants—one takes the form of a $300,000 two-year grant restricted to their development needs. With these funds, they are able to hire a Development Director and Grant Writer, who are able to secure additional funds in an effort to launch the expansion project from other institutional donors. The second capacity-grant they were awarded is an in-kind grant, which provides the nonprofit with a consultant, free of charge, who builds a board-member recruitment and retention program. This board advancement opportunity acts with dual purpose, raising the organization's profile, and generating a new, stronger network, for the organization to leverage for additional resources. In less than 9 months, they have grown their budget over 35% through institutional support alone. Overall, these capacity-building grants catalyzed ABC Youth Network’s ability to diversify its funding streams, scale its organization’s programming, and build a pathway to sustainable funding. Veterans Today Org Veterans Today Org started in 2015 in the founders’ home. They used whatever resources available (from borrowed clipboards to found pens)—operating with a barebones budget and scarce materials. As they grew out of the home and into an office, and eventually into a multi-suite space to support the scale of supportive programming, they continued to use the same paper filing, excel sheets, and materials. Despite growing from a budget of $100,000 to over 1 million, Veterans Today Org was not prioritizing their data collection and evaluation methods. Client tracking was done with historical data often secured through informal conversations, and there was no comprehensive system for tracking the progress the clients and the organization was making. In the previous post, we touched on how capacity-building grants are identified and developed in an effort to better position organizations for growth. Now, we’ll review the power of capacity-building grants and the impact they can have on an organization’s development.There are three main types of capacity-building efforts: People-Power Building: the implementation of training and development programming which strengthens the knowledge and skill of an organization’s staff and the recruitment of people (volunteers, staff, and board members) that can further an organization's capacity. Organizational & Structural: the approach of blending supporting the overall organization’s communication and inter-departmental collaboration with systems and best-practice procedures. Equipment & Materials: gaining the tools, and physical resources necessary (anywhere from databases to smart devices) to ensure the efficacy of the organizations’ programming and services. To better illustrate how capacity-building grants can support an organization’s strengthening and scale, let's look at two example organizations whose capacity-building process touches on core aspects of the three main categories of capacity-building. ABC Youth Network ABC Youth Network is a west-coast based nonprofit that formed in 2003. For the past 5 years, they maintained an average annual budget of $3 million, relying heavily on board-driven individual contributions--with less than 10% of the budget coming from institutional funds. Community-focused, it has historically had an active board representative of its focus population. However, the board, the majority of whom have been with the organization for over 15 years, are transitioning out due to retirement, relocation, etc. Additionally, senior leadership has decided to launch a new program, which will require increased funds (30% over their budget), far beyond the current individual donor-driven network they maintain. Senior Leadership knows something has to change. They begin with an analysis of their current assets and the highest needs. Individual fundraising has always worked for them, but they need to grow and scale—they apply to several foundations outlining their need for a fundraising specialist who can develop their institutional giving program and support their board development. ABC Youth Network is awarded two grants—one takes the form of a $300,000 two-year grant restricted to their development needs. With these funds, they are able to hire a Development Director and Grant Writer, who are able to secure additional funds in an effort to launch the expansion project from other institutional donors. The second capacity-grant they were awarded is an in-kind grant, which provides the nonprofit with a consultant, free of charge, who builds a board-member recruitment and retention program. This board advancement opportunity acts with dual purpose, raising the organization's profile, and generating a new, stronger network, for the organization to leverage for additional resources. In less than 9 months, they have grown their budget over 35% through institutional support alone. Overall, these capacity-building grants catalyzed ABC Youth Network’s ability to diversify its funding streams, scale its organization’s programming, and build a pathway to sustainable funding. Veterans Today Org Veterans Today Org started in 2015 in the founders’ home. They used whatever resources available (from borrowed clipboards to found pens)—operating with a barebones budget and scarce materials. As they grew out of the home and into an office, and eventually into a multi-suite space to support the scale of supportive programming, they continued to use the same paper filing, excel sheets, and materials. Despite growing from a budget of $100,000 to over 1 million, Veterans Today Org was not prioritizing their data collection and evaluation methods. Client tracking was done with historical data often secured through informal conversations, and there was no comprehensive system for tracking the progress the clients and the organization was making. In the previous post, we touched on how capacity-building grants are identified and developed in an effort to better position organizations for growth. Now, we’ll review the power of capacity-building grants and the impact they can have on an organization’s development.There are three main types of capacity-building efforts: People-Power Building: the implementation of training and development programming which strengthens the knowledge and skill of an organization’s staff and the recruitment of people (volunteers, staff, and board members) that can further an organization's capacity. Organizational & Structural: the approach of blending supporting the overall organization’s communication and inter-departmental collaboration with systems and best-practice procedures. Equipment & Materials: gaining the tools, and physical resources necessary (anywhere from databases to smart devices) to ensure the efficacy of the organizations’ programming and services. To better illustrate how capacity-building grants can support an organization’s strengthening and scale, let's look at two example organizations whose capacity-building process touches on core aspects of the three main categories of capacity-building. ABC Youth Network ABC Youth Network is a west-coast based nonprofit that formed in 2003. For the past 5 years, they maintained an average annual budget of $3 million, relying heavily on board-driven individual contributions--with less than 10% of the budget coming from institutional funds. Community-focused, it has historically had an active board representative of its focus population. However, the board, the majority of whom have been with the organization for over 15 years, are transitioning out due to retirement, relocation, etc. Additionally, senior leadership has decided to launch a new program, which will require increased funds (30% over their budget), far beyond the current individual donor-driven network they maintain. Senior Leadership knows something has to change. They begin with an analysis of their current assets and the highest needs. Individual fundraising has always worked for them, but they need to grow and scale—they apply to several foundations outlining their need for a fundraising specialist who can develop their institutional giving program and support their board development. ABC Youth Network is awarded two grants—one takes the form of a $300,000 two-year grant restricted to their development needs. With these funds, they are able to hire a Development Director and Grant Writer, who are able to secure additional funds in an effort to launch the expansion project from other institutional donors. The second capacity-grant they were awarded is an in-kind grant, which provides the nonprofit with a consultant, free of charge, who builds a board-member recruitment and retention program. This board advancement opportunity acts with dual purpose, raising the organization's profile, and generating a new, stronger network, for the organization to leverage for additional resources. In less than 9 months, they have grown their budget over 35% through institutional support alone. Overall, these capacity-building grants catalyzed ABC Youth Network’s ability to diversify its funding streams, scale its organization’s programming, and build a pathway to sustainable funding. Veterans Today Org Veterans Today Org started in 2015 in the founders’ home. They used whatever resources available (from borrowed clipboards to found pens)—operating with a barebones budget and scarce materials. As they grew out of the home and into an office, and eventually into a multi-suite space to support the scale of supportive programming, they continued to use the same paper filing, excel sheets, and materials. Despite growing from a budget of $100,000 to over 1 million, Veterans Today Org was not prioritizing their data collection and evaluation methods. Client tracking was done with historical data often secured through informal conversations, and there was no comprehensive system for tracking the progress the clients and the organization was making. In the previous post, we touched on how capacity-building grants are identified and developed in an effort to better position organizations for growth. Now, we’ll review the power of capacity-building grants and the impact they can have on an organization’s development.There are three main types of capacity-building efforts: People-Power Building: the implementation of training and development programming which strengthens the knowledge and skill of an organization’s staff and the recruitment of people (volunteers, staff, and board members) that can further an organization's capacity. Organizational & Structural: the approach of blending supporting the overall organization’s communication and inter-departmental collaboration with systems and best-practice procedures. Equipment & Materials: gaining the tools, and physical resources necessary (anywhere from databases to smart devices) to ensure the efficacy of the organizations’ programming and services. To better illustrate how capacity-building grants can support an organization’s strengthening and scale, let's look at two example organizations whose capacity-building process touches on core aspects of the three main categories of capacity-building. ABC Youth Network ABC Youth Network is a west-coast based nonprofit that formed in 2003. For the past 5 years, they maintained an average annual budget of $3 million, relying heavily on board-driven individual contributions--with less than 10% of the budget coming from institutional funds. Community-focused, it has historically had an active board representative of its focus population. However, the board, the majority of whom have been with the organization for over 15 years, are transitioning out due to retirement, relocation, etc. Additionally, senior leadership has decided to launch a new program, which will require increased funds (30% over their budget), far beyond the current individual donor-driven network they maintain. Senior Leadership knows something has to change. They begin with an analysis of their current assets and the highest needs. Individual fundraising has always worked for them, but they need to grow and scale—they apply to several foundations outlining their need for a fundraising specialist who can develop their institutional giving program and support their board development. ABC Youth Network is awarded two grants—one takes the form of a $300,000 two-year grant restricted to their development needs. With these funds, they are able to hire a Development Director and Grant Writer, who are able to secure additional funds in an effort to launch the expansion project from other institutional donors. The second capacity-grant they were awarded is an in-kind grant, which provides the nonprofit with a consultant, free of charge, who builds a board-member recruitment and retention program. This board advancement opportunity acts with dual purpose, raising the organization's profile, and generating a new, stronger network, for the organization to leverage for additional resources. In less than 9 months, they have grown their budget over 35% through institutional support alone. Overall, these capacity-building grants catalyzed ABC Youth Network’s ability to diversify its funding streams, scale its organization’s programming, and build a pathway to sustainable funding. Veterans Today Org Veterans Today Org started in 2015 in the founders’ home. They used whatever resources available (from borrowed clipboards to found pens)—operating with a barebones budget and scarce materials. As they grew out of the home and into an office, and eventually into a multi-suite space to support the scale of supportive programming, they continued to use the same paper filing, excel sheets, and materials. Despite growing from a budget of $100,000 to over 1 million, Veterans Today Org was not prioritizing their data collection and evaluation methods. Client tracking was done with historical data often secured through informal conversations, and there was no comprehensive system for tracking the progress the clients and the organization was making. In the previous post, we touched on how capacity-building grants are identified and developed in an effort to better position organizations for growth. Now, we’ll review the power of capacity-building grants and the impact they can have on an organization’s development.There are three main types of capacity-building efforts: People-Power Building: the implementation of training and development programming which strengthens the knowledge and skill of an organization’s staff and the recruitment of people (volunteers, staff, and board members) that can further an organization's capacity. Organizational & Structural: the approach of blending supporting the overall organization’s communication and inter-departmental collaboration with systems and best-practice procedures. Equipment & Materials: gaining the tools, and physical resources necessary (anywhere from databases to smart devices) to ensure the efficacy of the organizations’ programming and services. To better illustrate how capacity-building grants can support an organization’s strengthening and scale, let's look at two example organizations whose capacity-building process touches on core aspects of the three main categories of capacity-building. ABC Youth Network ABC Youth Network is a west-coast based nonprofit that formed in 2003. For the past 5 years, they maintained an average annual budget of $3 million, relying heavily on board-driven individual contributions--with less than 10% of the budget coming from institutional funds. Community-focused, it has historically had an active board representative of its focus population. However, the board, the majority of whom have been with the organization for over 15 years, are transitioning out due to retirement, relocation, etc. Additionally, senior leadership has decided to launch a new program, which will require increased funds (30% over their budget), far beyond the current individual donor-driven network they maintain. Senior Leadership knows something has to change. They begin with an analysis of their current assets and the highest needs. Individual fundraising has always worked for them, but they need to grow and scale—they apply to several foundations outlining their need for a fundraising specialist who can develop their institutional giving program and support their board development. ABC Youth Network is awarded two grants—one takes the form of a $300,000 two-year grant restricted to their development needs. With these funds, they are able to hire a Development Director and Grant Writer, who are able to secure additional funds in an effort to launch the expansion project from other institutional donors. The second capacity-grant they were awarded is an in-kind grant, which provides the nonprofit with a consultant, free of charge, who builds a board-member recruitment and retention program. This board advancement opportunity acts with dual purpose, raising the organization's profile, and generating a new, stronger network, for the organization to leverage for additional resources. In less than 9 months, they have grown their budget over 35% through institutional support alone. Overall, these capacity-building grants catalyzed ABC Youth Network’s ability to diversify its funding streams, scale its organization’s programming, and build a pathway to sustainable funding. Veterans Today Org Veterans Today Org started in 2015 in the founders’ home. They used whatever resources available (from borrowed clipboards to found pens)—operating with a barebones budget and scarce materials. As they grew out of the home and into an office, and eventually into a multi-suite space to support the scale of supportive programming, they continued to use the same paper filing, excel sheets, and materials. Despite growing from a budget of $100,000 to over 1 million, Veterans Today Org was not prioritizing their data collection and evaluation methods. Client tracking was done with historical data often secured through informal conversations, and there was no comprehensive system for tracking the progress the clients and the organization was making. In the previous post, we touched on how capacity-building grants are identified and developed in an effort to better position organizations for growth. Now, we’ll review the power of capacity-building grants and the impact they can have on an organization’s development.There are three main types of capacity-building efforts: People-Power Building: the implementation of training and development programming which strengthens the knowledge and skill of an organization’s staff and the recruitment of people (volunteers, staff, and board members) that can further an organization's capacity. Organizational & Structural: the approach of blending supporting the overall organization’s communication and inter-departmental collaboration with systems and best-practice procedures. Equipment & Materials: gaining the tools, and physical resources necessary (anywhere from databases to smart devices) to ensure the efficacy of the organizations’ programming and services. To better illustrate how capacity-building grants can support an organization’s strengthening and scale, let's look at two example organizations whose capacity-building process touches on core aspects of the three main categories of capacity-building. ABC Youth Network ABC Youth Network is a west-coast based nonprofit that formed in 2003. For the past 5 years, they maintained an average annual budget of $3 million, relying heavily on board-driven individual contributions--with less than 10% of the budget coming from institutional funds. Community-focused, it has historically had an active board representative of its focus population. However, the board, the majority of whom have been with the organization for over 15 years, are transitioning out due to retirement, relocation, etc. Additionally, senior leadership has decided to launch a new program, which will require increased funds (30% over their budget), far beyond the current individual donor-driven network they maintain. Senior Leadership knows something has to change. They begin with an analysis of their current assets and the highest needs. Individual fundraising has always worked for them, but they need to grow and scale—they apply to several foundations outlining their need for a fundraising specialist who can develop their institutional giving program and support their board development. ABC Youth Network is awarded two grants—one takes the form of a $300,000 two-year grant restricted to their development needs. With these funds, they are able to hire a Development Director and Grant Writer, who are able to secure additional funds in an effort to launch the expansion project from other institutional donors. The second capacity-grant they were awarded is an in-kind grant, which provides the nonprofit with a consultant, free of charge, who builds a board-member recruitment and retention program. This board advancement opportunity acts with dual purpose, raising the organization's profile, and generating a new, stronger network, for the organization to leverage for additional resources. In less than 9 months, they have grown their budget over 35% through institutional support alone. Overall, these capacity-building grants catalyzed ABC Youth Network’s ability to diversify its funding streams, scale its organization’s programming, and build a pathway to sustainable funding. Veterans Today Org Veterans Today Org started in 2015 in the founders’ home. They used whatever resources available (from borrowed clipboards to found pens)—operating with a barebones budget and scarce materials. As they grew out of the home and into an office, and eventually into a multi-suite space to support the scale of supportive programming, they continued to use the same paper filing, excel sheets, and materials. Despite growing from a budget of $100,000 to over 1 million, Veterans Today Org was not prioritizing their data collection and evaluation methods. Client tracking was done with historical data often secured through informal conversations, and there was no comprehensive system for tracking the progress the clients and the organization was making. In the previous post, we touched on how capacity-building grants are identified and developed in an effort to better position organizations for growth. Now, we’ll review the power of capacity-building grants and the impact they can have on an organization’s development.There are three main types of capacity-building efforts: People-Power Building: the implementation of training and development programming which strengthens the knowledge and skill of an organization’s staff and the recruitment of people (volunteers, staff, and board members) that can further an organization's capacity. Organizational & Structural: the approach of blending supporting the overall organization’s communication and inter-departmental collaboration with systems and best-practice procedures. Equipment & Materials: gaining the tools, and physical resources necessary (anywhere from databases to smart devices) to ensure the efficacy of the organizations’ programming and services. To better illustrate how capacity-building grants can support an organization’s strengthening and scale, let's look at two example organizations whose capacity-building process touches on core aspects of the three main categories of capacity-building. ABC Youth Network ABC Youth Network is a west-coast based nonprofit that formed in 2003. For the past 5 years, they maintained an average annual budget of $3 million, relying heavily on board-driven individual contributions--with less than 10% of the budget coming from institutional funds. Community-focused, it has historically had an active board representative of its focus population. However, the board, the majority of whom have been with the organization for over 15 years, are transitioning out due to retirement, relocation, etc. Additionally, senior leadership has decided to launch a new program, which will require increased funds (30% over their budget), far beyond the current individual donor-driven network they maintain. Senior Leadership knows something has to change. They begin with an analysis of their current assets and the highest needs. Individual fundraising has always worked for them, but they need to grow and scale—they apply to several foundations outlining their need for a fundraising specialist who can develop their institutional giving program and support their board development. ABC Youth Network is awarded two grants—one takes the form of a $300,000 two-year grant restricted to their development needs. With these funds, they are able to hire a Development Director and Grant Writer, who are able to secure additional funds in an effort to launch the expansion project from other institutional donors. The second capacity-grant they were awarded is an in-kind grant, which provides the nonprofit with a consultant, free of charge, who builds a board-member recruitment and retention program. This board advancement opportunity acts with dual purpose, raising the organization's profile, and generating a new, stronger network, for the organization to leverage for additional resources. In less than 9 months, they have grown their budget over 35% through institutional support alone. Overall, these capacity-building grants catalyzed ABC Youth Network’s ability to diversify its funding streams, scale its organization’s programming, and build a pathway to sustainable funding. Veterans Today Org Veterans Today Org started in 2015 in the founders’ home. They used whatever resources available (from borrowed clipboards to found pens)—operating with a barebones budget and scarce materials. As they grew out of the home and into an office, and eventually into a multi-suite space to support the scale of supportive programming, they continued to use the same paper filing, excel sheets, and materials. Despite growing from a budget of $100,000 to over 1 million, Veterans Today Org was not prioritizing their data collection and evaluation methods. Client tracking was done with historical data often secured through informal conversations, and there was no comprehensive system for tracking the progress the clients and the organization was making. In the previous post, we touched on how capacity-building grants are identified and developed in an effort to better position organizations for growth. Now, we’ll review the power of capacity-building grants and the impact they can have on an organization’s development.There are three main types of capacity-building efforts: People-Power Building: the implementation of training and development programming which strengthens the knowledge and skill of an organization’s staff and the recruitment of people (volunteers, staff, and board members) that can further an organization's capacity. Organizational & Structural: the approach of blending supporting the overall organization’s communication and inter-departmental collaboration with systems and best-practice procedures. Equipment & Materials: gaining the tools, and physical resources necessary (anywhere from databases to smart devices) to ensure the efficacy of the organizations’ programming and services. To better illustrate how capacity-building grants can support an organization’s strengthening and scale, let's look at two example organizations whose capacity-building process touches on core aspects of the three main categories of capacity-building. ABC Youth Network ABC Youth Network is a west-coast based nonprofit that formed in 2003. For the past 5 years, they maintained an average annual budget of $3 million, relying heavily on board-driven individual contributions--with less than 10% of the budget coming from institutional funds. Community-focused, it has historically had an active board representative of its focus population. However, the board, the majority of whom have been with the organization for over 15 years, are transitioning out due to retirement, relocation, etc. Additionally, senior leadership has decided to launch a new program, which will require increased funds (30% over their budget), far beyond the current individual donor-driven network they maintain. Senior Leadership knows something has to change. They begin with an analysis of their current assets and the highest needs. Individual fundraising has always worked for them, but they need to grow and scale—they apply to several foundations outlining their need for a fundraising specialist who can develop their institutional giving program and support their board development. ABC Youth Network is awarded two grants—one takes the form of a $300,000 two-year grant restricted to their development needs. With these funds, they are able to hire a Development Director and Grant Writer, who are able to secure additional funds in an effort to launch the expansion project from other institutional donors. The second capacity-grant they were awarded is an in-kind grant, which provides the nonprofit with a consultant, free of charge, who builds a board-member recruitment and retention program. This board advancement opportunity acts with dual purpose, raising the organization's profile, and generating a new, stronger network, for the organization to leverage for additional resources. In less than 9 months, they have grown their budget over 35% through institutional support alone. Overall, these capacity-building grants catalyzed ABC Youth Network’s ability to diversify its funding streams, scale its organization’s programming, and build a pathway to sustainable funding. Veterans Today Org Veterans Today Org started in 2015 in the founders’ home. They used whatever resources available (from borrowed clipboards to found pens)—operating with a barebones budget and scarce materials. As they grew out of the home and into an office, and eventually into a multi-suite space to support the scale of supportive programming, they continued to use the same paper filing, excel sheets, and materials. Despite growing from a budget of $100,000 to over 1 million, Veterans Today Org was not prioritizing their data collection and evaluation methods. Client tracking was done with historical data often secured through informal conversations, and there was no comprehensive system for tracking the progress the clients and the organization was making. In the previous post, we touched on how capacity-building grants are identified and developed in an effort to better position organizations for growth. Now, we’ll review the power of capacity-building grants and the impact they can have on an organization’s development.There are three main types of capacity-building efforts: People-Power Building: the implementation of training and development programming which strengthens the knowledge and skill of an organization’s staff and the recruitment of people (volunteers, staff, and board members) that can further an organization's capacity. Organizational & Structural: the approach of blending supporting the overall organization’s communication and inter-departmental collaboration with systems and best-practice procedures. Equipment & Materials: gaining the tools, and physical resources necessary (anywhere from databases to smart devices) to ensure the efficacy of the organizations’ programming and services. To better illustrate how capacity-building grants can support an organization’s strengthening and scale, let's look at two example organizations whose capacity-building process touches on core aspects of the three main categories of capacity-building. ABC Youth Network ABC Youth Network is a west-coast based nonprofit that formed in 2003. For the past 5 years, they maintained an average annual budget of $3 million, relying heavily on board-driven individual contributions--with less than 10% of the budget coming from institutional funds. Community-focused, it has historically had an active board representative of its focus population. However, the board, the majority of whom have been with the organization for over 15 years, are transitioning out due to retirement, relocation, etc. Additionally, senior leadership has decided to launch a new program, which will require increased funds (30% over their budget), far beyond the current individual donor-driven network they maintain. Senior Leadership knows something has to change. They begin with an analysis of their current assets and the highest needs. Individual fundraising has always worked for them, but they need to grow and scale—they apply to several foundations outlining their need for a fundraising specialist who can develop their institutional giving program and support their board development. ABC Youth Network is awarded two grants—one takes the form of a $300,000 two-year grant restricted to their development needs. With these funds, they are able to hire a Development Director and Grant Writer, who are able to secure additional funds in an effort to launch the expansion project from other institutional donors. The second capacity-grant they were awarded is an in-kind grant, which provides the nonprofit with a consultant, free of charge, who builds a board-member recruitment and retention program. This board advancement opportunity acts with dual purpose, raising the organization's profile, and generating a new, stronger network, for the organization to leverage for additional resources. In less than 9 months, they have grown their budget over 35% through institutional support alone. Overall, these capacity-building grants catalyzed ABC Youth Network’s ability to diversify its funding streams, scale its organization’s programming, and build a pathway to sustainable funding. Veterans Today Org Veterans Today Org started in 2015 in the founders’ home. They used whatever resources available (from borrowed clipboards to found pens)—operating with a barebones budget and scarce materials. As they grew out of the home and into an office, and eventually into a multi-suite space to support the scale of supportive programming, they continued to use the same paper filing, excel sheets, and materials. Despite growing from a budget of $100,000 to over 1 million, Veterans Today Org was not prioritizing their data collection and evaluation methods. Client tracking was done with historical data often secured through informal conversations, and there was no comprehensive system for tracking the progress the clients and the organization was making.
by Sade Dozan 13 min read

Secure Your Funding Pt. 3 — Emphasis On The Data

So far, we’ve reviewed watchdog sites’ standards, detailing indicators for a nonprofit’s success, and articulating metrics. What do all of these have in common? DATA! Ratings, program development, case-making…all are driven by a drumbeat of qualitative and quantitative data. How the public views you...
So far, we’ve reviewed watchdog sites’ standards, detailing indicators for a nonprofit’s success, and articulating metrics. What do all of these have in common? DATA! Ratings, program development, case-making…all are driven by a drumbeat of qualitative and quantitative data. How the public views your nonprofit matters. How you view your nonprofit matters.Just like in preschool, gold-stars matter. But what matters more is understanding what makes your program and operations better, and thus, what translates into heightened grant competitiveness. For example, you may have a program that reaches 100 young adults a year through life skills workshops, individual/family counseling, and resource fairs. The blend of in-depth support and one-off moments ultimately builds to a holistic solution for each participant. Some participants may grasp concepts and move towards independence through economic support and character building more quickly than other participants, however, on average you find that if an individual attends at least 5 counseling sessions, 2 resource fairs, and 3 life-skills workshops they have a higher rate of job attainment. As you evaluate, test, and grow your model, you identify that certain participants (let’s say under the age of 20) are more receptive to certain workshops and you adjust the curriculum to support achievement. Now, you’re in a better position to support these young adults sustain their livelihoods. Data drives your program’s growth. Data is key to your participant’s success. This is similar to how foundations view the world. How does a nonprofit know what is working? How are they using data to drive their program? How does data inform how they utilize resources? What does the external data (like watchdog sites) say about the nonprofit’s success and impact? Being able to articulate the evidence-based backing of your strategy supports your ratings on evaluation sites and ultimately translates into higher competitiveness for grants. But what tools are you using? How is your organization tracking efficacy? Keeping track of participant files? Managing the evaluation of your efforts? Tools like Casebook, are amazing because they allow for “dynamic fields” which enable you to track engagement and personalize reporting requirements. Dynamic Fields allow you to enter and compare unique data sets that may be specific to your organization, and the configurability is important because it allows users to really understand and tell a data-driven, responsive story beyond just a suite of generic data sets. Learn more about cb Engage, offered as part of Casebook—a key case management application that integrates data collection and distribution all via a remote platform. Think about how to pull, and display meaningful data. How many clients are applying to your program? How are you determining and adjusting eligibility? What are the key demographics in each household, beyond standard gender, race, and age? Think about what makes your population unique. What are your organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT tool here) in supporting this community? Utilize the data garnered from an effective platform tool to understand the main areas for support needed, and then convey these metrics to funders, to your community, to the world! Whatever platform you utilize, know that as you prioritize your organization’s resource growth and competitiveness in the eyes of funders they will begin to prioritize you. Data isn’t really magic. It’s a critical tool that you can leverage to build your resources and transform your nonprofit. The power of that change, that’s what’s truly magical. So far, we’ve reviewed watchdog sites’ standards, detailing indicators for a nonprofit’s success, and articulating metrics. What do all of these have in common? DATA! Ratings, program development, case-making…all are driven by a drumbeat of qualitative and quantitative data. How the public views your nonprofit matters. How you view your nonprofit matters.Just like in preschool, gold-stars matter. But what matters more is understanding what makes your program and operations better, and thus, what translates into heightened grant competitiveness. For example, you may have a program that reaches 100 young adults a year through life skills workshops, individual/family counseling, and resource fairs. The blend of in-depth support and one-off moments ultimately builds to a holistic solution for each participant. Some participants may grasp concepts and move towards independence through economic support and character building more quickly than other participants, however, on average you find that if an individual attends at least 5 counseling sessions, 2 resource fairs, and 3 life-skills workshops they have a higher rate of job attainment. As you evaluate, test, and grow your model, you identify that certain participants (let’s say under the age of 20) are more receptive to certain workshops and you adjust the curriculum to support achievement. Now, you’re in a better position to support these young adults sustain their livelihoods. Data drives your program’s growth. Data is key to your participant’s success. This is similar to how foundations view the world. How does a nonprofit know what is working? How are they using data to drive their program? How does data inform how they utilize resources? What does the external data (like watchdog sites) say about the nonprofit’s success and impact? Being able to articulate the evidence-based backing of your strategy supports your ratings on evaluation sites and ultimately translates into higher competitiveness for grants. But what tools are you using? How is your organization tracking efficacy? Keeping track of participant files? Managing the evaluation of your efforts? Tools like Casebook, are amazing because they allow for “dynamic fields” which enable you to track engagement and personalize reporting requirements. Dynamic Fields allow you to enter and compare unique data sets that may be specific to your organization, and the configurability is important because it allows users to really understand and tell a data-driven, responsive story beyond just a suite of generic data sets. Learn more about cb Engage, offered as part of Casebook—a key case management application that integrates data collection and distribution all via a remote platform. Think about how to pull, and display meaningful data. How many clients are applying to your program? How are you determining and adjusting eligibility? What are the key demographics in each household, beyond standard gender, race, and age? Think about what makes your population unique. What are your organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT tool here) in supporting this community? Utilize the data garnered from an effective platform tool to understand the main areas for support needed, and then convey these metrics to funders, to your community, to the world! Whatever platform you utilize, know that as you prioritize your organization’s resource growth and competitiveness in the eyes of funders they will begin to prioritize you. Data isn’t really magic. It’s a critical tool that you can leverage to build your resources and transform your nonprofit. The power of that change, that’s what’s truly magical. So far, we’ve reviewed watchdog sites’ standards, detailing indicators for a nonprofit’s success, and articulating metrics. What do all of these have in common? DATA! Ratings, program development, case-making…all are driven by a drumbeat of qualitative and quantitative data. How the public views your nonprofit matters. How you view your nonprofit matters.Just like in preschool, gold-stars matter. But what matters more is understanding what makes your program and operations better, and thus, what translates into heightened grant competitiveness. For example, you may have a program that reaches 100 young adults a year through life skills workshops, individual/family counseling, and resource fairs. The blend of in-depth support and one-off moments ultimately builds to a holistic solution for each participant. Some participants may grasp concepts and move towards independence through economic support and character building more quickly than other participants, however, on average you find that if an individual attends at least 5 counseling sessions, 2 resource fairs, and 3 life-skills workshops they have a higher rate of job attainment. As you evaluate, test, and grow your model, you identify that certain participants (let’s say under the age of 20) are more receptive to certain workshops and you adjust the curriculum to support achievement. Now, you’re in a better position to support these young adults sustain their livelihoods. Data drives your program’s growth. Data is key to your participant’s success. This is similar to how foundations view the world. How does a nonprofit know what is working? How are they using data to drive their program? How does data inform how they utilize resources? What does the external data (like watchdog sites) say about the nonprofit’s success and impact? Being able to articulate the evidence-based backing of your strategy supports your ratings on evaluation sites and ultimately translates into higher competitiveness for grants. But what tools are you using? How is your organization tracking efficacy? Keeping track of participant files? Managing the evaluation of your efforts? Tools like Casebook, are amazing because they allow for “dynamic fields” which enable you to track engagement and personalize reporting requirements. Dynamic Fields allow you to enter and compare unique data sets that may be specific to your organization, and the configurability is important because it allows users to really understand and tell a data-driven, responsive story beyond just a suite of generic data sets. Learn more about cb Engage, offered as part of Casebook—a key case management application that integrates data collection and distribution all via a remote platform. Think about how to pull, and display meaningful data. How many clients are applying to your program? How are you determining and adjusting eligibility? What are the key demographics in each household, beyond standard gender, race, and age? Think about what makes your population unique. What are your organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT tool here) in supporting this community? Utilize the data garnered from an effective platform tool to understand the main areas for support needed, and then convey these metrics to funders, to your community, to the world! Whatever platform you utilize, know that as you prioritize your organization’s resource growth and competitiveness in the eyes of funders they will begin to prioritize you. Data isn’t really magic. It’s a critical tool that you can leverage to build your resources and transform your nonprofit. The power of that change, that’s what’s truly magical. So far, we’ve reviewed watchdog sites’ standards, detailing indicators for a nonprofit’s success, and articulating metrics. What do all of these have in common? DATA! Ratings, program development, case-making…all are driven by a drumbeat of qualitative and quantitative data. How the public views your nonprofit matters. How you view your nonprofit matters.Just like in preschool, gold-stars matter. But what matters more is understanding what makes your program and operations better, and thus, what translates into heightened grant competitiveness. For example, you may have a program that reaches 100 young adults a year through life skills workshops, individual/family counseling, and resource fairs. The blend of in-depth support and one-off moments ultimately builds to a holistic solution for each participant. Some participants may grasp concepts and move towards independence through economic support and character building more quickly than other participants, however, on average you find that if an individual attends at least 5 counseling sessions, 2 resource fairs, and 3 life-skills workshops they have a higher rate of job attainment. As you evaluate, test, and grow your model, you identify that certain participants (let’s say under the age of 20) are more receptive to certain workshops and you adjust the curriculum to support achievement. Now, you’re in a better position to support these young adults sustain their livelihoods. Data drives your program’s growth. Data is key to your participant’s success. This is similar to how foundations view the world. How does a nonprofit know what is working? How are they using data to drive their program? How does data inform how they utilize resources? What does the external data (like watchdog sites) say about the nonprofit’s success and impact? Being able to articulate the evidence-based backing of your strategy supports your ratings on evaluation sites and ultimately translates into higher competitiveness for grants. But what tools are you using? How is your organization tracking efficacy? Keeping track of participant files? Managing the evaluation of your efforts? Tools like Casebook, are amazing because they allow for “dynamic fields” which enable you to track engagement and personalize reporting requirements. Dynamic Fields allow you to enter and compare unique data sets that may be specific to your organization, and the configurability is important because it allows users to really understand and tell a data-driven, responsive story beyond just a suite of generic data sets. Learn more about cb Engage, offered as part of Casebook—a key case management application that integrates data collection and distribution all via a remote platform. Think about how to pull, and display meaningful data. How many clients are applying to your program? How are you determining and adjusting eligibility? What are the key demographics in each household, beyond standard gender, race, and age? Think about what makes your population unique. What are your organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT tool here) in supporting this community? Utilize the data garnered from an effective platform tool to understand the main areas for support needed, and then convey these metrics to funders, to your community, to the world! Whatever platform you utilize, know that as you prioritize your organization’s resource growth and competitiveness in the eyes of funders they will begin to prioritize you. Data isn’t really magic. It’s a critical tool that you can leverage to build your resources and transform your nonprofit. The power of that change, that’s what’s truly magical. So far, we’ve reviewed watchdog sites’ standards, detailing indicators for a nonprofit’s success, and articulating metrics. What do all of these have in common? DATA! Ratings, program development, case-making…all are driven by a drumbeat of qualitative and quantitative data. How the public views your nonprofit matters. How you view your nonprofit matters.Just like in preschool, gold-stars matter. But what matters more is understanding what makes your program and operations better, and thus, what translates into heightened grant competitiveness. For example, you may have a program that reaches 100 young adults a year through life skills workshops, individual/family counseling, and resource fairs. The blend of in-depth support and one-off moments ultimately builds to a holistic solution for each participant. Some participants may grasp concepts and move towards independence through economic support and character building more quickly than other participants, however, on average you find that if an individual attends at least 5 counseling sessions, 2 resource fairs, and 3 life-skills workshops they have a higher rate of job attainment. As you evaluate, test, and grow your model, you identify that certain participants (let’s say under the age of 20) are more receptive to certain workshops and you adjust the curriculum to support achievement. Now, you’re in a better position to support these young adults sustain their livelihoods. Data drives your program’s growth. Data is key to your participant’s success. This is similar to how foundations view the world. How does a nonprofit know what is working? How are they using data to drive their program? How does data inform how they utilize resources? What does the external data (like watchdog sites) say about the nonprofit’s success and impact? Being able to articulate the evidence-based backing of your strategy supports your ratings on evaluation sites and ultimately translates into higher competitiveness for grants. But what tools are you using? How is your organization tracking efficacy? Keeping track of participant files? Managing the evaluation of your efforts? Tools like Casebook, are amazing because they allow for “dynamic fields” which enable you to track engagement and personalize reporting requirements. Dynamic Fields allow you to enter and compare unique data sets that may be specific to your organization, and the configurability is important because it allows users to really understand and tell a data-driven, responsive story beyond just a suite of generic data sets. Learn more about cb Engage, offered as part of Casebook—a key case management application that integrates data collection and distribution all via a remote platform. Think about how to pull, and display meaningful data. How many clients are applying to your program? How are you determining and adjusting eligibility? What are the key demographics in each household, beyond standard gender, race, and age? Think about what makes your population unique. What are your organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT tool here) in supporting this community? Utilize the data garnered from an effective platform tool to understand the main areas for support needed, and then convey these metrics to funders, to your community, to the world! Whatever platform you utilize, know that as you prioritize your organization’s resource growth and competitiveness in the eyes of funders they will begin to prioritize you. Data isn’t really magic. It’s a critical tool that you can leverage to build your resources and transform your nonprofit. The power of that change, that’s what’s truly magical. So far, we’ve reviewed watchdog sites’ standards, detailing indicators for a nonprofit’s success, and articulating metrics. What do all of these have in common? DATA! Ratings, program development, case-making…all are driven by a drumbeat of qualitative and quantitative data. How the public views your nonprofit matters. How you view your nonprofit matters.Just like in preschool, gold-stars matter. But what matters more is understanding what makes your program and operations better, and thus, what translates into heightened grant competitiveness. For example, you may have a program that reaches 100 young adults a year through life skills workshops, individual/family counseling, and resource fairs. The blend of in-depth support and one-off moments ultimately builds to a holistic solution for each participant. Some participants may grasp concepts and move towards independence through economic support and character building more quickly than other participants, however, on average you find that if an individual attends at least 5 counseling sessions, 2 resource fairs, and 3 life-skills workshops they have a higher rate of job attainment. As you evaluate, test, and grow your model, you identify that certain participants (let’s say under the age of 20) are more receptive to certain workshops and you adjust the curriculum to support achievement. Now, you’re in a better position to support these young adults sustain their livelihoods. Data drives your program’s growth. Data is key to your participant’s success. This is similar to how foundations view the world. How does a nonprofit know what is working? How are they using data to drive their program? How does data inform how they utilize resources? What does the external data (like watchdog sites) say about the nonprofit’s success and impact? Being able to articulate the evidence-based backing of your strategy supports your ratings on evaluation sites and ultimately translates into higher competitiveness for grants. But what tools are you using? How is your organization tracking efficacy? Keeping track of participant files? Managing the evaluation of your efforts? Tools like Casebook, are amazing because they allow for “dynamic fields” which enable you to track engagement and personalize reporting requirements. Dynamic Fields allow you to enter and compare unique data sets that may be specific to your organization, and the configurability is important because it allows users to really understand and tell a data-driven, responsive story beyond just a suite of generic data sets. Learn more about cb Engage, offered as part of Casebook—a key case management application that integrates data collection and distribution all via a remote platform. Think about how to pull, and display meaningful data. How many clients are applying to your program? How are you determining and adjusting eligibility? What are the key demographics in each household, beyond standard gender, race, and age? Think about what makes your population unique. What are your organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT tool here) in supporting this community? Utilize the data garnered from an effective platform tool to understand the main areas for support needed, and then convey these metrics to funders, to your community, to the world! Whatever platform you utilize, know that as you prioritize your organization’s resource growth and competitiveness in the eyes of funders they will begin to prioritize you. Data isn’t really magic. It’s a critical tool that you can leverage to build your resources and transform your nonprofit. The power of that change, that’s what’s truly magical. So far, we’ve reviewed watchdog sites’ standards, detailing indicators for a nonprofit’s success, and articulating metrics. What do all of these have in common? DATA! Ratings, program development, case-making…all are driven by a drumbeat of qualitative and quantitative data. How the public views your nonprofit matters. How you view your nonprofit matters.Just like in preschool, gold-stars matter. But what matters more is understanding what makes your program and operations better, and thus, what translates into heightened grant competitiveness. For example, you may have a program that reaches 100 young adults a year through life skills workshops, individual/family counseling, and resource fairs. The blend of in-depth support and one-off moments ultimately builds to a holistic solution for each participant. Some participants may grasp concepts and move towards independence through economic support and character building more quickly than other participants, however, on average you find that if an individual attends at least 5 counseling sessions, 2 resource fairs, and 3 life-skills workshops they have a higher rate of job attainment. As you evaluate, test, and grow your model, you identify that certain participants (let’s say under the age of 20) are more receptive to certain workshops and you adjust the curriculum to support achievement. Now, you’re in a better position to support these young adults sustain their livelihoods. Data drives your program’s growth. Data is key to your participant’s success. This is similar to how foundations view the world. How does a nonprofit know what is working? How are they using data to drive their program? How does data inform how they utilize resources? What does the external data (like watchdog sites) say about the nonprofit’s success and impact? Being able to articulate the evidence-based backing of your strategy supports your ratings on evaluation sites and ultimately translates into higher competitiveness for grants. But what tools are you using? How is your organization tracking efficacy? Keeping track of participant files? Managing the evaluation of your efforts? Tools like Casebook, are amazing because they allow for “dynamic fields” which enable you to track engagement and personalize reporting requirements. Dynamic Fields allow you to enter and compare unique data sets that may be specific to your organization, and the configurability is important because it allows users to really understand and tell a data-driven, responsive story beyond just a suite of generic data sets. Learn more about cb Engage, offered as part of Casebook—a key case management application that integrates data collection and distribution all via a remote platform. Think about how to pull, and display meaningful data. How many clients are applying to your program? How are you determining and adjusting eligibility? What are the key demographics in each household, beyond standard gender, race, and age? Think about what makes your population unique. What are your organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT tool here) in supporting this community? Utilize the data garnered from an effective platform tool to understand the main areas for support needed, and then convey these metrics to funders, to your community, to the world! Whatever platform you utilize, know that as you prioritize your organization’s resource growth and competitiveness in the eyes of funders they will begin to prioritize you. Data isn’t really magic. It’s a critical tool that you can leverage to build your resources and transform your nonprofit. The power of that change, that’s what’s truly magical. So far, we’ve reviewed watchdog sites’ standards, detailing indicators for a nonprofit’s success, and articulating metrics. What do all of these have in common? DATA! Ratings, program development, case-making…all are driven by a drumbeat of qualitative and quantitative data. How the public views your nonprofit matters. How you view your nonprofit matters.Just like in preschool, gold-stars matter. But what matters more is understanding what makes your program and operations better, and thus, what translates into heightened grant competitiveness. For example, you may have a program that reaches 100 young adults a year through life skills workshops, individual/family counseling, and resource fairs. The blend of in-depth support and one-off moments ultimately builds to a holistic solution for each participant. Some participants may grasp concepts and move towards independence through economic support and character building more quickly than other participants, however, on average you find that if an individual attends at least 5 counseling sessions, 2 resource fairs, and 3 life-skills workshops they have a higher rate of job attainment. As you evaluate, test, and grow your model, you identify that certain participants (let’s say under the age of 20) are more receptive to certain workshops and you adjust the curriculum to support achievement. Now, you’re in a better position to support these young adults sustain their livelihoods. Data drives your program’s growth. Data is key to your participant’s success. This is similar to how foundations view the world. How does a nonprofit know what is working? How are they using data to drive their program? How does data inform how they utilize resources? What does the external data (like watchdog sites) say about the nonprofit’s success and impact? Being able to articulate the evidence-based backing of your strategy supports your ratings on evaluation sites and ultimately translates into higher competitiveness for grants. But what tools are you using? How is your organization tracking efficacy? Keeping track of participant files? Managing the evaluation of your efforts? Tools like Casebook, are amazing because they allow for “dynamic fields” which enable you to track engagement and personalize reporting requirements. Dynamic Fields allow you to enter and compare unique data sets that may be specific to your organization, and the configurability is important because it allows users to really understand and tell a data-driven, responsive story beyond just a suite of generic data sets. Learn more about cb Engage, offered as part of Casebook—a key case management application that integrates data collection and distribution all via a remote platform. Think about how to pull, and display meaningful data. How many clients are applying to your program? How are you determining and adjusting eligibility? What are the key demographics in each household, beyond standard gender, race, and age? Think about what makes your population unique. What are your organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT tool here) in supporting this community? Utilize the data garnered from an effective platform tool to understand the main areas for support needed, and then convey these metrics to funders, to your community, to the world! Whatever platform you utilize, know that as you prioritize your organization’s resource growth and competitiveness in the eyes of funders they will begin to prioritize you. Data isn’t really magic. It’s a critical tool that you can leverage to build your resources and transform your nonprofit. The power of that change, that’s what’s truly magical. So far, we’ve reviewed watchdog sites’ standards, detailing indicators for a nonprofit’s success, and articulating metrics. What do all of these have in common? DATA! Ratings, program development, case-making…all are driven by a drumbeat of qualitative and quantitative data. How the public views your nonprofit matters. How you view your nonprofit matters.Just like in preschool, gold-stars matter. But what matters more is understanding what makes your program and operations better, and thus, what translates into heightened grant competitiveness. For example, you may have a program that reaches 100 young adults a year through life skills workshops, individual/family counseling, and resource fairs. The blend of in-depth support and one-off moments ultimately builds to a holistic solution for each participant. Some participants may grasp concepts and move towards independence through economic support and character building more quickly than other participants, however, on average you find that if an individual attends at least 5 counseling sessions, 2 resource fairs, and 3 life-skills workshops they have a higher rate of job attainment. As you evaluate, test, and grow your model, you identify that certain participants (let’s say under the age of 20) are more receptive to certain workshops and you adjust the curriculum to support achievement. Now, you’re in a better position to support these young adults sustain their livelihoods. Data drives your program’s growth. Data is key to your participant’s success. This is similar to how foundations view the world. How does a nonprofit know what is working? How are they using data to drive their program? How does data inform how they utilize resources? What does the external data (like watchdog sites) say about the nonprofit’s success and impact? Being able to articulate the evidence-based backing of your strategy supports your ratings on evaluation sites and ultimately translates into higher competitiveness for grants. But what tools are you using? How is your organization tracking efficacy? Keeping track of participant files? Managing the evaluation of your efforts? Tools like Casebook, are amazing because they allow for “dynamic fields” which enable you to track engagement and personalize reporting requirements. Dynamic Fields allow you to enter and compare unique data sets that may be specific to your organization, and the configurability is important because it allows users to really understand and tell a data-driven, responsive story beyond just a suite of generic data sets. Learn more about cb Engage, offered as part of Casebook—a key case management application that integrates data collection and distribution all via a remote platform. Think about how to pull, and display meaningful data. How many clients are applying to your program? How are you determining and adjusting eligibility? What are the key demographics in each household, beyond standard gender, race, and age? Think about what makes your population unique. What are your organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT tool here) in supporting this community? Utilize the data garnered from an effective platform tool to understand the main areas for support needed, and then convey these metrics to funders, to your community, to the world! Whatever platform you utilize, know that as you prioritize your organization’s resource growth and competitiveness in the eyes of funders they will begin to prioritize you. Data isn’t really magic. It’s a critical tool that you can leverage to build your resources and transform your nonprofit. The power of that change, that’s what’s truly magical. So far, we’ve reviewed watchdog sites’ standards, detailing indicators for a nonprofit’s success, and articulating metrics. What do all of these have in common? DATA! Ratings, program development, case-making…all are driven by a drumbeat of qualitative and quantitative data. How the public views your nonprofit matters. How you view your nonprofit matters.Just like in preschool, gold-stars matter. But what matters more is understanding what makes your program and operations better, and thus, what translates into heightened grant competitiveness. For example, you may have a program that reaches 100 young adults a year through life skills workshops, individual/family counseling, and resource fairs. The blend of in-depth support and one-off moments ultimately builds to a holistic solution for each participant. Some participants may grasp concepts and move towards independence through economic support and character building more quickly than other participants, however, on average you find that if an individual attends at least 5 counseling sessions, 2 resource fairs, and 3 life-skills workshops they have a higher rate of job attainment. As you evaluate, test, and grow your model, you identify that certain participants (let’s say under the age of 20) are more receptive to certain workshops and you adjust the curriculum to support achievement. Now, you’re in a better position to support these young adults sustain their livelihoods. Data drives your program’s growth. Data is key to your participant’s success. This is similar to how foundations view the world. How does a nonprofit know what is working? How are they using data to drive their program? How does data inform how they utilize resources? What does the external data (like watchdog sites) say about the nonprofit’s success and impact? Being able to articulate the evidence-based backing of your strategy supports your ratings on evaluation sites and ultimately translates into higher competitiveness for grants. But what tools are you using? How is your organization tracking efficacy? Keeping track of participant files? Managing the evaluation of your efforts? Tools like Casebook, are amazing because they allow for “dynamic fields” which enable you to track engagement and personalize reporting requirements. Dynamic Fields allow you to enter and compare unique data sets that may be specific to your organization, and the configurability is important because it allows users to really understand and tell a data-driven, responsive story beyond just a suite of generic data sets. Learn more about cb Engage, offered as part of Casebook—a key case management application that integrates data collection and distribution all via a remote platform. Think about how to pull, and display meaningful data. How many clients are applying to your program? How are you determining and adjusting eligibility? What are the key demographics in each household, beyond standard gender, race, and age? Think about what makes your population unique. What are your organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT tool here) in supporting this community? Utilize the data garnered from an effective platform tool to understand the main areas for support needed, and then convey these metrics to funders, to your community, to the world! Whatever platform you utilize, know that as you prioritize your organization’s resource growth and competitiveness in the eyes of funders they will begin to prioritize you. Data isn’t really magic. It’s a critical tool that you can leverage to build your resources and transform your nonprofit. The power of that change, that’s what’s truly magical.
by Sade Dozan 12 min read

Secure Your Funding pt. 1 — Third Party Evaluations

Intro Okay so you really want funders to love you, right? That makes sense! Getting funder buy-in often equates to higher levels of investments. So what drives a program officer (or other donor!) to rally behind your organization? Well, it all boils down to trust. And in order for a funder to trust ...
Intro Okay so you really want funders to love you, right? That makes sense! Getting funder buy-in often equates to higher levels of investments. So what drives a program officer (or other donor!) to rally behind your organization? Well, it all boils down to trust. And in order for a funder to trust you, they have to know you. Relationship-building efforts such as consistent communication and frequent outreach do help strengthen trust. But it takes more than just an emotional connection—you need data-driven proof points that ensure your organization’s ability to carry out the work that aligns with the funder’s driving mission. A solid way to verify your organization’s trustworthiness is through third-party validation sites. Simply put, third-party validation sites—also known as charity watchdog sites—develop public reviews of nonprofits. Compiled into a report, these websites allow both individual donors and grant program officers to better understand a nonprofit’s position; focusing on the following areas: Financials: everything from 990s, fundraising percentage expenses versus program expenses, audit filings, and the way your organization tracks spending/income Governance: this often focuses on information regarding the board, executive leadership, the organization’s structure and decision-making process including public policies, privacy, donor data, etc. Program/Impact: the way you implement programs, how you communicate your effectiveness (such as through annual reports), the footprint of your organization’s results Culture & Community: your reputation/what others say about you, your expertise, your diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Focus areas and the weighted value of the categories above vary validator to validator. However, all of these reports come with specialized ratings (such as numerical, letter grades, or titles). Many of the watchdog sites pull from public data, such as your organization’s website, or IRS 990 form. This means that transparency is key. In fact, Candid (who recently merged with GuideStar) distributes Seals of Transparency. According to Guidestar/Candid the type of information a nonprofit provides determines which Seal it earns. The levels are: Bronze—basic information so your organization can be found Silver—program information and brand details Gold—financials and people information Platinum—goals and the difference you’re making However, Charity Navigator, the largest largest and most-utilized independent nonprofit evaluator, deeply focuses on the accessibility and type of data. This major player in the watch-dog field rates charities using over 27 metrics to evaluate them on a scale of one to four stars. Compiling everything from whistleblower policies to staff lists, and program financial expenses to performance metrics, Charity Navigator creates a complex grid of accountability weighing the organization’s transparency and capacity to maintain clear records of their impact. Many of these third-party sites typically auto-generate and pull baseline information from public records, and then allow you to submit documentation to correct or update the information. Other evaluation sites such as Give.org (affiliated with the Better Business Bureau) and GreatNonprofits operate active search engines that sync local charities right into potential donors based on their rankings and geographic locations. Regardless of whether you submit directly to these sites, knowing that baseline information will be pulled and categorized, your organization really has to prioritize public information. Financials should be on your website and easily accessible. Audits should be listed annually. Board members clearly posted and updated. Further, program impact such as reach and progress towards fulfilling your organization’s mission and purpose need to be clearly demonstrated through both qualitative and quantitative means. So what does this mean for you? The majority of US-based nonprofits go unrated or maintain low grades. If you can secure Platinum levels and 4 star ratings across the board, then that places you within an extremely competitive place for securing support. This means get your house in order! Invest in resources that ensure that you are tracking your data, understanding your program effectiveness, and measuring how your finances align with program impact. Having ratings, such as the Seal from Guidestar, often equate to a 53% increase in contributions. It’s time to get watch-dog ready! In the next two posts, we’ll review other standardized metrics and prepare your nonprofit to secure high ratings, which ultimately means you’re more competitive for grant awards and donations at large. Intro Okay so you really want funders to love you, right? That makes sense! Getting funder buy-in often equates to higher levels of investments. So what drives a program officer (or other donor!) to rally behind your organization? Well, it all boils down to trust. And in order for a funder to trust you, they have to know you. Relationship-building efforts such as consistent communication and frequent outreach do help strengthen trust. But it takes more than just an emotional connection—you need data-driven proof points that ensure your organization’s ability to carry out the work that aligns with the funder’s driving mission. A solid way to verify your organization’s trustworthiness is through third-party validation sites. Simply put, third-party validation sites—also known as charity watchdog sites—develop public reviews of nonprofits. Compiled into a report, these websites allow both individual donors and grant program officers to better understand a nonprofit’s position; focusing on the following areas: Financials: everything from 990s, fundraising percentage expenses versus program expenses, audit filings, and the way your organization tracks spending/income Governance: this often focuses on information regarding the board, executive leadership, the organization’s structure and decision-making process including public policies, privacy, donor data, etc. Program/Impact: the way you implement programs, how you communicate your effectiveness (such as through annual reports), the footprint of your organization’s results Culture & Community: your reputation/what others say about you, your expertise, your diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Focus areas and the weighted value of the categories above vary validator to validator. However, all of these reports come with specialized ratings (such as numerical, letter grades, or titles). Many of the watchdog sites pull from public data, such as your organization’s website, or IRS 990 form. This means that transparency is key. In fact, Candid (who recently merged with GuideStar) distributes Seals of Transparency. According to Guidestar/Candid the type of information a nonprofit provides determines which Seal it earns. The levels are: Bronze—basic information so your organization can be found Silver—program information and brand details Gold—financials and people information Platinum—goals and the difference you’re making However, Charity Navigator, the largest largest and most-utilized independent nonprofit evaluator, deeply focuses on the accessibility and type of data. This major player in the watch-dog field rates charities using over 27 metrics to evaluate them on a scale of one to four stars. Compiling everything from whistleblower policies to staff lists, and program financial expenses to performance metrics, Charity Navigator creates a complex grid of accountability weighing the organization’s transparency and capacity to maintain clear records of their impact. Many of these third-party sites typically auto-generate and pull baseline information from public records, and then allow you to submit documentation to correct or update the information. Other evaluation sites such as Give.org (affiliated with the Better Business Bureau) and GreatNonprofits operate active search engines that sync local charities right into potential donors based on their rankings and geographic locations. Regardless of whether you submit directly to these sites, knowing that baseline information will be pulled and categorized, your organization really has to prioritize public information. Financials should be on your website and easily accessible. Audits should be listed annually. Board members clearly posted and updated. Further, program impact such as reach and progress towards fulfilling your organization’s mission and purpose need to be clearly demonstrated through both qualitative and quantitative means. So what does this mean for you? The majority of US-based nonprofits go unrated or maintain low grades. If you can secure Platinum levels and 4 star ratings across the board, then that places you within an extremely competitive place for securing support. This means get your house in order! Invest in resources that ensure that you are tracking your data, understanding your program effectiveness, and measuring how your finances align with program impact. Having ratings, such as the Seal from Guidestar, often equate to a 53% increase in contributions. It’s time to get watch-dog ready! In the next two posts, we’ll review other standardized metrics and prepare your nonprofit to secure high ratings, which ultimately means you’re more competitive for grant awards and donations at large. Intro Okay so you really want funders to love you, right? That makes sense! Getting funder buy-in often equates to higher levels of investments. So what drives a program officer (or other donor!) to rally behind your organization? Well, it all boils down to trust. And in order for a funder to trust you, they have to know you. Relationship-building efforts such as consistent communication and frequent outreach do help strengthen trust. But it takes more than just an emotional connection—you need data-driven proof points that ensure your organization’s ability to carry out the work that aligns with the funder’s driving mission. A solid way to verify your organization’s trustworthiness is through third-party validation sites. Simply put, third-party validation sites—also known as charity watchdog sites—develop public reviews of nonprofits. Compiled into a report, these websites allow both individual donors and grant program officers to better understand a nonprofit’s position; focusing on the following areas: Financials: everything from 990s, fundraising percentage expenses versus program expenses, audit filings, and the way your organization tracks spending/income Governance: this often focuses on information regarding the board, executive leadership, the organization’s structure and decision-making process including public policies, privacy, donor data, etc. Program/Impact: the way you implement programs, how you communicate your effectiveness (such as through annual reports), the footprint of your organization’s results Culture & Community: your reputation/what others say about you, your expertise, your diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Focus areas and the weighted value of the categories above vary validator to validator. However, all of these reports come with specialized ratings (such as numerical, letter grades, or titles). Many of the watchdog sites pull from public data, such as your organization’s website, or IRS 990 form. This means that transparency is key. In fact, Candid (who recently merged with GuideStar) distributes Seals of Transparency. According to Guidestar/Candid the type of information a nonprofit provides determines which Seal it earns. The levels are: Bronze—basic information so your organization can be found Silver—program information and brand details Gold—financials and people information Platinum—goals and the difference you’re making However, Charity Navigator, the largest largest and most-utilized independent nonprofit evaluator, deeply focuses on the accessibility and type of data. This major player in the watch-dog field rates charities using over 27 metrics to evaluate them on a scale of one to four stars. Compiling everything from whistleblower policies to staff lists, and program financial expenses to performance metrics, Charity Navigator creates a complex grid of accountability weighing the organization’s transparency and capacity to maintain clear records of their impact. Many of these third-party sites typically auto-generate and pull baseline information from public records, and then allow you to submit documentation to correct or update the information. Other evaluation sites such as Give.org (affiliated with the Better Business Bureau) and GreatNonprofits operate active search engines that sync local charities right into potential donors based on their rankings and geographic locations. Regardless of whether you submit directly to these sites, knowing that baseline information will be pulled and categorized, your organization really has to prioritize public information. Financials should be on your website and easily accessible. Audits should be listed annually. Board members clearly posted and updated. Further, program impact such as reach and progress towards fulfilling your organization’s mission and purpose need to be clearly demonstrated through both qualitative and quantitative means. So what does this mean for you? The majority of US-based nonprofits go unrated or maintain low grades. If you can secure Platinum levels and 4 star ratings across the board, then that places you within an extremely competitive place for securing support. This means get your house in order! Invest in resources that ensure that you are tracking your data, understanding your program effectiveness, and measuring how your finances align with program impact. Having ratings, such as the Seal from Guidestar, often equate to a 53% increase in contributions. It’s time to get watch-dog ready! In the next two posts, we’ll review other standardized metrics and prepare your nonprofit to secure high ratings, which ultimately means you’re more competitive for grant awards and donations at large. Intro Okay so you really want funders to love you, right? That makes sense! Getting funder buy-in often equates to higher levels of investments. So what drives a program officer (or other donor!) to rally behind your organization? Well, it all boils down to trust. And in order for a funder to trust you, they have to know you. Relationship-building efforts such as consistent communication and frequent outreach do help strengthen trust. But it takes more than just an emotional connection—you need data-driven proof points that ensure your organization’s ability to carry out the work that aligns with the funder’s driving mission. A solid way to verify your organization’s trustworthiness is through third-party validation sites. Simply put, third-party validation sites—also known as charity watchdog sites—develop public reviews of nonprofits. Compiled into a report, these websites allow both individual donors and grant program officers to better understand a nonprofit’s position; focusing on the following areas: Financials: everything from 990s, fundraising percentage expenses versus program expenses, audit filings, and the way your organization tracks spending/income Governance: this often focuses on information regarding the board, executive leadership, the organization’s structure and decision-making process including public policies, privacy, donor data, etc. Program/Impact: the way you implement programs, how you communicate your effectiveness (such as through annual reports), the footprint of your organization’s results Culture & Community: your reputation/what others say about you, your expertise, your diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Focus areas and the weighted value of the categories above vary validator to validator. However, all of these reports come with specialized ratings (such as numerical, letter grades, or titles). Many of the watchdog sites pull from public data, such as your organization’s website, or IRS 990 form. This means that transparency is key. In fact, Candid (who recently merged with GuideStar) distributes Seals of Transparency. According to Guidestar/Candid the type of information a nonprofit provides determines which Seal it earns. The levels are: Bronze—basic information so your organization can be found Silver—program information and brand details Gold—financials and people information Platinum—goals and the difference you’re making However, Charity Navigator, the largest largest and most-utilized independent nonprofit evaluator, deeply focuses on the accessibility and type of data. This major player in the watch-dog field rates charities using over 27 metrics to evaluate them on a scale of one to four stars. Compiling everything from whistleblower policies to staff lists, and program financial expenses to performance metrics, Charity Navigator creates a complex grid of accountability weighing the organization’s transparency and capacity to maintain clear records of their impact. Many of these third-party sites typically auto-generate and pull baseline information from public records, and then allow you to submit documentation to correct or update the information. Other evaluation sites such as Give.org (affiliated with the Better Business Bureau) and GreatNonprofits operate active search engines that sync local charities right into potential donors based on their rankings and geographic locations. Regardless of whether you submit directly to these sites, knowing that baseline information will be pulled and categorized, your organization really has to prioritize public information. Financials should be on your website and easily accessible. Audits should be listed annually. Board members clearly posted and updated. Further, program impact such as reach and progress towards fulfilling your organization’s mission and purpose need to be clearly demonstrated through both qualitative and quantitative means. So what does this mean for you? The majority of US-based nonprofits go unrated or maintain low grades. If you can secure Platinum levels and 4 star ratings across the board, then that places you within an extremely competitive place for securing support. This means get your house in order! Invest in resources that ensure that you are tracking your data, understanding your program effectiveness, and measuring how your finances align with program impact. Having ratings, such as the Seal from Guidestar, often equate to a 53% increase in contributions. It’s time to get watch-dog ready! In the next two posts, we’ll review other standardized metrics and prepare your nonprofit to secure high ratings, which ultimately means you’re more competitive for grant awards and donations at large. Intro Okay so you really want funders to love you, right? That makes sense! Getting funder buy-in often equates to higher levels of investments. So what drives a program officer (or other donor!) to rally behind your organization? Well, it all boils down to trust. And in order for a funder to trust you, they have to know you. Relationship-building efforts such as consistent communication and frequent outreach do help strengthen trust. But it takes more than just an emotional connection—you need data-driven proof points that ensure your organization’s ability to carry out the work that aligns with the funder’s driving mission. A solid way to verify your organization’s trustworthiness is through third-party validation sites. Simply put, third-party validation sites—also known as charity watchdog sites—develop public reviews of nonprofits. Compiled into a report, these websites allow both individual donors and grant program officers to better understand a nonprofit’s position; focusing on the following areas: Financials: everything from 990s, fundraising percentage expenses versus program expenses, audit filings, and the way your organization tracks spending/income Governance: this often focuses on information regarding the board, executive leadership, the organization’s structure and decision-making process including public policies, privacy, donor data, etc. Program/Impact: the way you implement programs, how you communicate your effectiveness (such as through annual reports), the footprint of your organization’s results Culture & Community: your reputation/what others say about you, your expertise, your diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Focus areas and the weighted value of the categories above vary validator to validator. However, all of these reports come with specialized ratings (such as numerical, letter grades, or titles). Many of the watchdog sites pull from public data, such as your organization’s website, or IRS 990 form. This means that transparency is key. In fact, Candid (who recently merged with GuideStar) distributes Seals of Transparency. According to Guidestar/Candid the type of information a nonprofit provides determines which Seal it earns. The levels are: Bronze—basic information so your organization can be found Silver—program information and brand details Gold—financials and people information Platinum—goals and the difference you’re making However, Charity Navigator, the largest largest and most-utilized independent nonprofit evaluator, deeply focuses on the accessibility and type of data. This major player in the watch-dog field rates charities using over 27 metrics to evaluate them on a scale of one to four stars. Compiling everything from whistleblower policies to staff lists, and program financial expenses to performance metrics, Charity Navigator creates a complex grid of accountability weighing the organization’s transparency and capacity to maintain clear records of their impact. Many of these third-party sites typically auto-generate and pull baseline information from public records, and then allow you to submit documentation to correct or update the information. Other evaluation sites such as Give.org (affiliated with the Better Business Bureau) and GreatNonprofits operate active search engines that sync local charities right into potential donors based on their rankings and geographic locations. Regardless of whether you submit directly to these sites, knowing that baseline information will be pulled and categorized, your organization really has to prioritize public information. Financials should be on your website and easily accessible. Audits should be listed annually. Board members clearly posted and updated. Further, program impact such as reach and progress towards fulfilling your organization’s mission and purpose need to be clearly demonstrated through both qualitative and quantitative means. So what does this mean for you? The majority of US-based nonprofits go unrated or maintain low grades. If you can secure Platinum levels and 4 star ratings across the board, then that places you within an extremely competitive place for securing support. This means get your house in order! Invest in resources that ensure that you are tracking your data, understanding your program effectiveness, and measuring how your finances align with program impact. Having ratings, such as the Seal from Guidestar, often equate to a 53% increase in contributions. It’s time to get watch-dog ready! In the next two posts, we’ll review other standardized metrics and prepare your nonprofit to secure high ratings, which ultimately means you’re more competitive for grant awards and donations at large. Intro Okay so you really want funders to love you, right? That makes sense! Getting funder buy-in often equates to higher levels of investments. So what drives a program officer (or other donor!) to rally behind your organization? Well, it all boils down to trust. And in order for a funder to trust you, they have to know you. Relationship-building efforts such as consistent communication and frequent outreach do help strengthen trust. But it takes more than just an emotional connection—you need data-driven proof points that ensure your organization’s ability to carry out the work that aligns with the funder’s driving mission. A solid way to verify your organization’s trustworthiness is through third-party validation sites. Simply put, third-party validation sites—also known as charity watchdog sites—develop public reviews of nonprofits. Compiled into a report, these websites allow both individual donors and grant program officers to better understand a nonprofit’s position; focusing on the following areas: Financials: everything from 990s, fundraising percentage expenses versus program expenses, audit filings, and the way your organization tracks spending/income Governance: this often focuses on information regarding the board, executive leadership, the organization’s structure and decision-making process including public policies, privacy, donor data, etc. Program/Impact: the way you implement programs, how you communicate your effectiveness (such as through annual reports), the footprint of your organization’s results Culture & Community: your reputation/what others say about you, your expertise, your diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Focus areas and the weighted value of the categories above vary validator to validator. However, all of these reports come with specialized ratings (such as numerical, letter grades, or titles). Many of the watchdog sites pull from public data, such as your organization’s website, or IRS 990 form. This means that transparency is key. In fact, Candid (who recently merged with GuideStar) distributes Seals of Transparency. According to Guidestar/Candid the type of information a nonprofit provides determines which Seal it earns. The levels are: Bronze—basic information so your organization can be found Silver—program information and brand details Gold—financials and people information Platinum—goals and the difference you’re making However, Charity Navigator, the largest largest and most-utilized independent nonprofit evaluator, deeply focuses on the accessibility and type of data. This major player in the watch-dog field rates charities using over 27 metrics to evaluate them on a scale of one to four stars. Compiling everything from whistleblower policies to staff lists, and program financial expenses to performance metrics, Charity Navigator creates a complex grid of accountability weighing the organization’s transparency and capacity to maintain clear records of their impact. Many of these third-party sites typically auto-generate and pull baseline information from public records, and then allow you to submit documentation to correct or update the information. Other evaluation sites such as Give.org (affiliated with the Better Business Bureau) and GreatNonprofits operate active search engines that sync local charities right into potential donors based on their rankings and geographic locations. Regardless of whether you submit directly to these sites, knowing that baseline information will be pulled and categorized, your organization really has to prioritize public information. Financials should be on your website and easily accessible. Audits should be listed annually. Board members clearly posted and updated. Further, program impact such as reach and progress towards fulfilling your organization’s mission and purpose need to be clearly demonstrated through both qualitative and quantitative means. So what does this mean for you? The majority of US-based nonprofits go unrated or maintain low grades. If you can secure Platinum levels and 4 star ratings across the board, then that places you within an extremely competitive place for securing support. This means get your house in order! Invest in resources that ensure that you are tracking your data, understanding your program effectiveness, and measuring how your finances align with program impact. Having ratings, such as the Seal from Guidestar, often equate to a 53% increase in contributions. It’s time to get watch-dog ready! In the next two posts, we’ll review other standardized metrics and prepare your nonprofit to secure high ratings, which ultimately means you’re more competitive for grant awards and donations at large. Intro Okay so you really want funders to love you, right? That makes sense! Getting funder buy-in often equates to higher levels of investments. So what drives a program officer (or other donor!) to rally behind your organization? Well, it all boils down to trust. And in order for a funder to trust you, they have to know you. Relationship-building efforts such as consistent communication and frequent outreach do help strengthen trust. But it takes more than just an emotional connection—you need data-driven proof points that ensure your organization’s ability to carry out the work that aligns with the funder’s driving mission. A solid way to verify your organization’s trustworthiness is through third-party validation sites. Simply put, third-party validation sites—also known as charity watchdog sites—develop public reviews of nonprofits. Compiled into a report, these websites allow both individual donors and grant program officers to better understand a nonprofit’s position; focusing on the following areas: Financials: everything from 990s, fundraising percentage expenses versus program expenses, audit filings, and the way your organization tracks spending/income Governance: this often focuses on information regarding the board, executive leadership, the organization’s structure and decision-making process including public policies, privacy, donor data, etc. Program/Impact: the way you implement programs, how you communicate your effectiveness (such as through annual reports), the footprint of your organization’s results Culture & Community: your reputation/what others say about you, your expertise, your diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Focus areas and the weighted value of the categories above vary validator to validator. However, all of these reports come with specialized ratings (such as numerical, letter grades, or titles). Many of the watchdog sites pull from public data, such as your organization’s website, or IRS 990 form. This means that transparency is key. In fact, Candid (who recently merged with GuideStar) distributes Seals of Transparency. According to Guidestar/Candid the type of information a nonprofit provides determines which Seal it earns. The levels are: Bronze—basic information so your organization can be found Silver—program information and brand details Gold—financials and people information Platinum—goals and the difference you’re making However, Charity Navigator, the largest largest and most-utilized independent nonprofit evaluator, deeply focuses on the accessibility and type of data. This major player in the watch-dog field rates charities using over 27 metrics to evaluate them on a scale of one to four stars. Compiling everything from whistleblower policies to staff lists, and program financial expenses to performance metrics, Charity Navigator creates a complex grid of accountability weighing the organization’s transparency and capacity to maintain clear records of their impact. Many of these third-party sites typically auto-generate and pull baseline information from public records, and then allow you to submit documentation to correct or update the information. Other evaluation sites such as Give.org (affiliated with the Better Business Bureau) and GreatNonprofits operate active search engines that sync local charities right into potential donors based on their rankings and geographic locations. Regardless of whether you submit directly to these sites, knowing that baseline information will be pulled and categorized, your organization really has to prioritize public information. Financials should be on your website and easily accessible. Audits should be listed annually. Board members clearly posted and updated. Further, program impact such as reach and progress towards fulfilling your organization’s mission and purpose need to be clearly demonstrated through both qualitative and quantitative means. So what does this mean for you? The majority of US-based nonprofits go unrated or maintain low grades. If you can secure Platinum levels and 4 star ratings across the board, then that places you within an extremely competitive place for securing support. This means get your house in order! Invest in resources that ensure that you are tracking your data, understanding your program effectiveness, and measuring how your finances align with program impact. Having ratings, such as the Seal from Guidestar, often equate to a 53% increase in contributions. It’s time to get watch-dog ready! In the next two posts, we’ll review other standardized metrics and prepare your nonprofit to secure high ratings, which ultimately means you’re more competitive for grant awards and donations at large. Intro Okay so you really want funders to love you, right? That makes sense! Getting funder buy-in often equates to higher levels of investments. So what drives a program officer (or other donor!) to rally behind your organization? Well, it all boils down to trust. And in order for a funder to trust you, they have to know you. Relationship-building efforts such as consistent communication and frequent outreach do help strengthen trust. But it takes more than just an emotional connection—you need data-driven proof points that ensure your organization’s ability to carry out the work that aligns with the funder’s driving mission. A solid way to verify your organization’s trustworthiness is through third-party validation sites. Simply put, third-party validation sites—also known as charity watchdog sites—develop public reviews of nonprofits. Compiled into a report, these websites allow both individual donors and grant program officers to better understand a nonprofit’s position; focusing on the following areas: Financials: everything from 990s, fundraising percentage expenses versus program expenses, audit filings, and the way your organization tracks spending/income Governance: this often focuses on information regarding the board, executive leadership, the organization’s structure and decision-making process including public policies, privacy, donor data, etc. Program/Impact: the way you implement programs, how you communicate your effectiveness (such as through annual reports), the footprint of your organization’s results Culture & Community: your reputation/what others say about you, your expertise, your diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Focus areas and the weighted value of the categories above vary validator to validator. However, all of these reports come with specialized ratings (such as numerical, letter grades, or titles). Many of the watchdog sites pull from public data, such as your organization’s website, or IRS 990 form. This means that transparency is key. In fact, Candid (who recently merged with GuideStar) distributes Seals of Transparency. According to Guidestar/Candid the type of information a nonprofit provides determines which Seal it earns. The levels are: Bronze—basic information so your organization can be found Silver—program information and brand details Gold—financials and people information Platinum—goals and the difference you’re making However, Charity Navigator, the largest largest and most-utilized independent nonprofit evaluator, deeply focuses on the accessibility and type of data. This major player in the watch-dog field rates charities using over 27 metrics to evaluate them on a scale of one to four stars. Compiling everything from whistleblower policies to staff lists, and program financial expenses to performance metrics, Charity Navigator creates a complex grid of accountability weighing the organization’s transparency and capacity to maintain clear records of their impact. Many of these third-party sites typically auto-generate and pull baseline information from public records, and then allow you to submit documentation to correct or update the information. Other evaluation sites such as Give.org (affiliated with the Better Business Bureau) and GreatNonprofits operate active search engines that sync local charities right into potential donors based on their rankings and geographic locations. Regardless of whether you submit directly to these sites, knowing that baseline information will be pulled and categorized, your organization really has to prioritize public information. Financials should be on your website and easily accessible. Audits should be listed annually. Board members clearly posted and updated. Further, program impact such as reach and progress towards fulfilling your organization’s mission and purpose need to be clearly demonstrated through both qualitative and quantitative means. So what does this mean for you? The majority of US-based nonprofits go unrated or maintain low grades. If you can secure Platinum levels and 4 star ratings across the board, then that places you within an extremely competitive place for securing support. This means get your house in order! Invest in resources that ensure that you are tracking your data, understanding your program effectiveness, and measuring how your finances align with program impact. Having ratings, such as the Seal from Guidestar, often equate to a 53% increase in contributions. It’s time to get watch-dog ready! In the next two posts, we’ll review other standardized metrics and prepare your nonprofit to secure high ratings, which ultimately means you’re more competitive for grant awards and donations at large. Intro Okay so you really want funders to love you, right? That makes sense! Getting funder buy-in often equates to higher levels of investments. So what drives a program officer (or other donor!) to rally behind your organization? Well, it all boils down to trust. And in order for a funder to trust you, they have to know you. Relationship-building efforts such as consistent communication and frequent outreach do help strengthen trust. But it takes more than just an emotional connection—you need data-driven proof points that ensure your organization’s ability to carry out the work that aligns with the funder’s driving mission. A solid way to verify your organization’s trustworthiness is through third-party validation sites. Simply put, third-party validation sites—also known as charity watchdog sites—develop public reviews of nonprofits. Compiled into a report, these websites allow both individual donors and grant program officers to better understand a nonprofit’s position; focusing on the following areas: Financials: everything from 990s, fundraising percentage expenses versus program expenses, audit filings, and the way your organization tracks spending/income Governance: this often focuses on information regarding the board, executive leadership, the organization’s structure and decision-making process including public policies, privacy, donor data, etc. Program/Impact: the way you implement programs, how you communicate your effectiveness (such as through annual reports), the footprint of your organization’s results Culture & Community: your reputation/what others say about you, your expertise, your diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Focus areas and the weighted value of the categories above vary validator to validator. However, all of these reports come with specialized ratings (such as numerical, letter grades, or titles). Many of the watchdog sites pull from public data, such as your organization’s website, or IRS 990 form. This means that transparency is key. In fact, Candid (who recently merged with GuideStar) distributes Seals of Transparency. According to Guidestar/Candid the type of information a nonprofit provides determines which Seal it earns. The levels are: Bronze—basic information so your organization can be found Silver—program information and brand details Gold—financials and people information Platinum—goals and the difference you’re making However, Charity Navigator, the largest largest and most-utilized independent nonprofit evaluator, deeply focuses on the accessibility and type of data. This major player in the watch-dog field rates charities using over 27 metrics to evaluate them on a scale of one to four stars. Compiling everything from whistleblower policies to staff lists, and program financial expenses to performance metrics, Charity Navigator creates a complex grid of accountability weighing the organization’s transparency and capacity to maintain clear records of their impact. Many of these third-party sites typically auto-generate and pull baseline information from public records, and then allow you to submit documentation to correct or update the information. Other evaluation sites such as Give.org (affiliated with the Better Business Bureau) and GreatNonprofits operate active search engines that sync local charities right into potential donors based on their rankings and geographic locations. Regardless of whether you submit directly to these sites, knowing that baseline information will be pulled and categorized, your organization really has to prioritize public information. Financials should be on your website and easily accessible. Audits should be listed annually. Board members clearly posted and updated. Further, program impact such as reach and progress towards fulfilling your organization’s mission and purpose need to be clearly demonstrated through both qualitative and quantitative means. So what does this mean for you? The majority of US-based nonprofits go unrated or maintain low grades. If you can secure Platinum levels and 4 star ratings across the board, then that places you within an extremely competitive place for securing support. This means get your house in order! Invest in resources that ensure that you are tracking your data, understanding your program effectiveness, and measuring how your finances align with program impact. Having ratings, such as the Seal from Guidestar, often equate to a 53% increase in contributions. It’s time to get watch-dog ready! In the next two posts, we’ll review other standardized metrics and prepare your nonprofit to secure high ratings, which ultimately means you’re more competitive for grant awards and donations at large. Intro Okay so you really want funders to love you, right? That makes sense! Getting funder buy-in often equates to higher levels of investments. So what drives a program officer (or other donor!) to rally behind your organization? Well, it all boils down to trust. And in order for a funder to trust you, they have to know you. Relationship-building efforts such as consistent communication and frequent outreach do help strengthen trust. But it takes more than just an emotional connection—you need data-driven proof points that ensure your organization’s ability to carry out the work that aligns with the funder’s driving mission. A solid way to verify your organization’s trustworthiness is through third-party validation sites. Simply put, third-party validation sites—also known as charity watchdog sites—develop public reviews of nonprofits. Compiled into a report, these websites allow both individual donors and grant program officers to better understand a nonprofit’s position; focusing on the following areas: Financials: everything from 990s, fundraising percentage expenses versus program expenses, audit filings, and the way your organization tracks spending/income Governance: this often focuses on information regarding the board, executive leadership, the organization’s structure and decision-making process including public policies, privacy, donor data, etc. Program/Impact: the way you implement programs, how you communicate your effectiveness (such as through annual reports), the footprint of your organization’s results Culture & Community: your reputation/what others say about you, your expertise, your diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Focus areas and the weighted value of the categories above vary validator to validator. However, all of these reports come with specialized ratings (such as numerical, letter grades, or titles). Many of the watchdog sites pull from public data, such as your organization’s website, or IRS 990 form. This means that transparency is key. In fact, Candid (who recently merged with GuideStar) distributes Seals of Transparency. According to Guidestar/Candid the type of information a nonprofit provides determines which Seal it earns. The levels are: Bronze—basic information so your organization can be found Silver—program information and brand details Gold—financials and people information Platinum—goals and the difference you’re making However, Charity Navigator, the largest largest and most-utilized independent nonprofit evaluator, deeply focuses on the accessibility and type of data. This major player in the watch-dog field rates charities using over 27 metrics to evaluate them on a scale of one to four stars. Compiling everything from whistleblower policies to staff lists, and program financial expenses to performance metrics, Charity Navigator creates a complex grid of accountability weighing the organization’s transparency and capacity to maintain clear records of their impact. Many of these third-party sites typically auto-generate and pull baseline information from public records, and then allow you to submit documentation to correct or update the information. Other evaluation sites such as Give.org (affiliated with the Better Business Bureau) and GreatNonprofits operate active search engines that sync local charities right into potential donors based on their rankings and geographic locations. Regardless of whether you submit directly to these sites, knowing that baseline information will be pulled and categorized, your organization really has to prioritize public information. Financials should be on your website and easily accessible. Audits should be listed annually. Board members clearly posted and updated. Further, program impact such as reach and progress towards fulfilling your organization’s mission and purpose need to be clearly demonstrated through both qualitative and quantitative means. So what does this mean for you? The majority of US-based nonprofits go unrated or maintain low grades. If you can secure Platinum levels and 4 star ratings across the board, then that places you within an extremely competitive place for securing support. This means get your house in order! Invest in resources that ensure that you are tracking your data, understanding your program effectiveness, and measuring how your finances align with program impact. Having ratings, such as the Seal from Guidestar, often equate to a 53% increase in contributions. It’s time to get watch-dog ready! In the next two posts, we’ll review other standardized metrics and prepare your nonprofit to secure high ratings, which ultimately means you’re more competitive for grant awards and donations at large.
by Sade Dozan 14 min read

Schedule Your Demo

Human Services Software Configurable to Your Needs. Discover What's Possible with the power of Casebook.