Beginner's Guide to Corporate Philanthropy

Applying to foundations for funding can take time and effort, but it’s a relatively straightforward process, with lots of existing resources to help nonprofits identify funders and prepare applications. Corporate giving programs tend to get less attention, leading to confusion about how to approach companies for support or whether to approach them at all.

In this post, we review the basics of corporate philanthropy, including the various forms it can take and how to learn about and approach potential corporate donors.

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Polish Your Proposal with

After you finish writing an important document like a grant application, it’s always a good idea to have it edited.

In this post, we'll start by looking at three options for copyediting assistance. After the overview, we’ll segue into a review of, an online service that connects editing jobs to real (human) editors. 

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What Do You Do When You Have a Big Mission and No Money?

While all nonprofit organizations need to secure funding, there are key differences between small, struggling organizations and large, well-funded organizations other than the obvious difference in size. If your organization is struggling to find money, below are suggestions you can implement to up your grant game. 

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New Release: Proposal Development Templates for Use in Evernote!

If you've been searching for an easy way to develop and manage your grant proposals, you might benefit from our new Evernote-based proposal development templates.

We've created 19 templates to help you gather information, manage teams, run meetings, track tasks, and develop the proposal's content. The templates are comprehensive, scalable, and fully customizable.

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Could Your Nonprofit's Communication Strategy Benefit from a Social Media Scheduling Tool?

If you want your organization to look “legit,” then it’s necessary to have a presence online. It could be through a website, social media, or a combination of the two. If your organization struggles to maintain its presence on social media, a social media scheduling tool may be the solution to help you post more regularly and with less effort.

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Writing and Managing Grant Proposals Using Evernote

If you’ve worked on a grant proposal, you know there are a lot of moving parts. For example, you need to collect information, manage tasks, and collaborate with others. In this post, we’ll present ideas of how to use Evernote for grant writing and proposal management. At the end of the post, you’ll find resources for learning more about Evernote's features.

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Identifying the Right Grant Opportunities

How do you know which grants your organization should apply for? To use your limited resources effectively, it's important to pursue only those opportunities that fit your organizational and programmatic capabilities. Pursuing grants your organization is unlikely to win doesn't make sense. On the flip side, some grant opportunities aren't worth applying to--regardless of the odds of winning an award--because of the high cost of project implementation.

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Creating a Grant Strategy for 2018

Creating a grant strategy involves identifying the funders you want to pursue, and, to the degree possible, specific opportunities of interest from each funding source. Developing a grant strategy also requires insight into your organization. You need to know your organization's long- and short-term goals, its capabilities and resources, and its tolerance for risk. To create a realistic strategy, you also need to be familiar with the general funding environment.

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Best Practices for Writing an Executive Summary

The executive summary is a concise overview of the proposal that should touch on all of the key themes of greatest interest to the funder.  In some cases, the executive summary may be the only section of the proposal some evaluators will read. Some of the choices you'll need to consider around the crafting of an executive summary include when to write it, what content to include, and how to work within page limits for maximum impact. 

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Making Sense of Cost Share

Cost share requires the applicant to contribute a certain dollar amount (or dollar equivalent) to support the budget and thus "share" the costs of the proposed project.  This post is going to cover some of the basics around cost share including why it is required, why it matters when evaluating opportunities, and how you can come up with cost share.

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How Nonprofits Can Be Innovative without Changing What Works

How can you be innovative enough to keep the grant money flowing without changing your tried 'n true approaches to core services?

One approach is to innovate around what's working. If your programs are effective, maybe you can bring innovation to the operations side and how you manage your programs. If your organization has strong service delivery programs and program management infrastructure, perhaps there are opportunities to be innovative in the way you approach the sustainability of your programs and services.

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Tips for Creating an Organizational Chart for a Grant Proposal

An organizational chart can show two things. First, it can be an easy, visual way of showing reporting lines, or who is reporting to whom. Second, organizational charts can show communication lines, or who is communicating with whom, including who will be communicating to the donor. Although frequently included as part of a proposal's annex, organizational charts can also be included in the body of the grant proposal as part of the management section. Organizational charts can range from basic to elaborate depending on the needs of the proposal and the limits on your budget. Below are a three options for creating organizational charts.

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Four Strategies for Managing Multiple Writers

Even for a "simple" proposal, there will be multiple people contributing to the different pieces, with some working on the budget, others writing the more technical pieces, and still others wrangling together the supporting materials. If you are lucky, you'll also have an editor on your team who can copyedit the proposal at the final stage. Below are four things you can do to make the proposal process easier when there are several writers involved:

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Preparing for a Government Funding Opportunity

Foundation grants often have known release dates and established program areas, which mean there are few surprises: You can find out when the foundation accepts proposals, and you can usually read up on the program areas and past grantees on the foundation's website. You may even be able to access the grant application well in advance of the time applications are due if the foundation uses a standard application format.

Government grant opportunities are different. For many government funding opportunities, the agency that will release the funding announcement doesn't have direct control over all the variables including how much money a grant will award and even when the opportunity announcement will be published.

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