Leadership and The Workplace

Nonprofit Spark

Renee McGivern

Nonprofit Spark – Best of Nonprofit Spark 2012: Writing a statement of need and understanding the funder’s point of view

This week, I’ve combined two great shows to help you think through grant writing and approaching foundations and corporations for grants.

Are you even ready to write a grant proposal? Not without a statement of need that compels the grantmaker to pay attention to why your organization matters in the community you serve. You must include demographic data that provides context about true problems and then connect that data to stories about the people you are serving. The first interview on this week’s show is is an excerpt of one I did with Aaron Rome, a veteran Rhode Island-based grant writer. He describes how he coaches his clients to compile great information and what he includes in a grant proposal’s statement of need.

I combined this interview with one that helps you understand the world of foundations and corporations who make grants. You have to read their guidelines, build relationships with program officers, and understand the constraints they operate with: they cannot possibly fund every proposal that comes their way.

The second part of the show, then, is an interview I did with Kristen Smith, the executive director of Planet Dog Foundation. It’s the nonprofit arm of Planet Dog, a company that contributes 2% of every sale of any Planet Dog product to fund the foundation’s grantmaking. Kristin describes what she and her board look at to determine who will be funded and who won’t, and she has suggestions for how to increase your chances for success. Before leading the Planet Dog Foundation, Kristin worked in a variety of nonprofits in the U.S. and abroad, doing development and fundraising, legislative activism, grassroots mobilization and education, communications and public relations.

Together, these two guests provide a realistic picture about fundraising from foundations and corporations. I hope you enjoy the show. I’ll be back again with fresh episodes of Nonprofit Spark on January 7.