Friday, April 17, 2009

So, you want in on the “stimulus” funding...


The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), was signed into law on February 17, 2009. You can read the final text of the legislation (as signed by the President).

Some of the resultant funding will be in the form of competitive grants; other monies will be designated by individual governor’s offices. Still more relief will take the form of government contracts, loans, or be in the form of expanded “personal assistance” programs (provided by local and federal agencies or programs). The majority of funding will come in the form of tax credits. (Source:; Accessed on April 16, 2009)

In an effort to educate the public about ARRA as well as to create a transparent and accountable process, the government has made a stimulus information hub.

Get ready:

Be aware of upcoming deadlines and funding opportunities. Listings change daily, so check often.

Some funding will come directly from the federal level; others will come through the governor’s office of individual states. Be sure to follow individual agency web sites (state and federal), as well as your state’s recovery office web site.

There is prep-work to be done before you can apply for stimulus grants. Be sure that you/your organization are ready for those opportunities that present themselves.

Don’t forget internal preparation. Have you brought together working groups or teams to gather data, design the project(s), and begin outreach to potential partners?

Since most of the funding must be used by the end of 2010, application deadlines have a very short turn-around time. Consider looking at past Requests for Proposals (RFP) from agencies or programs that are of interest to you so that you’re ready when a new RFP is posted.

State of Wisconsin information on preparing for competitive grants.

Where to look:

State sites

Federal sites

What to avoid:

Grant scams. There are lots of businesses and unscrupulous organizations out there that are preying on folks in need – particularly in the current economic climate. Any organization or group that wants you to give them money so that you can receive a grant is probably trying to take advantage of you. They may be stretching the truth or even lying outright, so never, ever give your bank account information to them. Grants by definition do not require you to pay to get them or become eligible.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Foundation Center Trainings in Chicago this May

SAVE $25 for each additional registrationPlease note: additional registrations must be made at the same time.

Proposal Writing SeminarTuesday, May 12
For every grantseeker who wants to learn how to write proposals geared to foundations, and for experienced grantseekers who are initiating a foundation fundraising campaign.
When the going gets tough, successful grantseekers strengthen their proposal writing skills. Our most popular seminar reveals what today's grantmakers look for, and provides insight into their review process. Expert instructors show how to craft a breakthrough proposal package, step by step.

* Cover letter, executive summary; your message to the grantmaker
* Statement of need; choosing data to support your case
* Comprehensive project descriptions; your proof of project planning
* Organizational overview, conclusion, appendices
* Researching the funder to position your proposal
* The grantmaker's proposal review process

*Applicable for six continuing education points for CFRETM International initial or re certification
*Free copy of The Foundation Center's Guide to Proposal Writing, 5th Edition ($34.95 value)

Scholarships available for small nonprofits
Applications must be submitted five business days prior to course date. The special discount for additional registrations does not apply to scholarship recipients.


Proposal Budgeting WorkshopWednesday, May 13
For proposal writers at all levels who want to learn the nuts and bolts of budget preparation to support their project proposals.
When funders cut back, the grantseeker's budget becomes even more crucial to a proposal's success. This workshop shows the best way to present your financial needs to secure funding. Using case studies, you will learn strategies to convince grantmakers that your program or project is a smart financial investment.

* Creating each component of the project budget
* Outlining the full cost of your project, including overhead
* Calculating personnel costs, fringe benefits, and non-personnel expenses
* Strategies for presenting income and other funding sources
* Incorporating footnotes to add clarity
* Using your organizational budget to help build the project budget
* Funder guidelines for budget presentation and reporting

Applicable for six continuing education points for CFRETM International initial or re-certification

Scholarships available for small nonprofits
Applications must be submitted five business days prior to course date. The special discount for additional registrations does not apply to scholarship recipients.

Proposal Writing SeminarMay 12 Course fee: $195
Proposal Budgeting WorkshopMay 13 Course fee: $195

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Fundraising opportunity for local non-profits!

The Association of Fundraising Professionals at UW-Madison is a new collegiate chapter affiliated with the international AFP organization. The chapter's mission is to work with local non-profit organizations to help them maximize their effectiveness and to expose current students to meaningful work.

Currently, students are looking for opportunities to assist in a fundraising project beginning during the Fall 2009 semester.

If you are interested in having students work on fundraising opportunities on behalf of your organization, please review the following guidelines, complete the attached form, and return it to Joanna Marks ( by June 30, 2009.

Project guidelines:
1. Application deadline is June 30, 2009.
2. Applicants will be notified by August 15, 2009, however, please note student work will not begin until October 2009.
3. Applications will be judged based on three criteria: learning opportunities for students, clarity of proposal (including description of tasks in project application), and feasibility.

Please direct any questions to Joanna Marks (