At Brightspot, we believe there are two fundamental elements to a successful grant program. The first and most obvious component is a well-crafted proposal. The second and more overlooked component, is funder identification. Without intentionality behind your prospecting, a well-written grant does little for your fundraising efforts. So exactly how do you know if the potential funders you have identified are truly interested in evaluating your well-written proposal?Read More
Nonprofit leaders desperately need breaks. They’re undervalued, often un-thanked, more often underpaid, and battling burnout. They don’t have to climb mountains to find rejuvenation, but it’s time the sector recognized the value of integrating honest to goodness breaks and purposeful disruptions into their planning.Read More
The Pulitzer Prize winning poet W.S. Merwin passed away at the age of 91 last month. Merwin was one of three artisticicons that inspired my life-long involvement in the arts. Coincidentally, the other two – choreographer Paul Taylor and poet Mary Oliver – also moved on this past year. These losses have me thinking about the role of the arts, especially in our society right now.Read More
If you are involved with a funding entity and know that your application hasn’t been refreshed in a while, here are some thoughts and tips to shift to a more nonprofit-friendly grant application…Read More
If you’re a nonprofit staff member, you’ve likely pondered how to more deeply engage your board members in fundraising. If you’re a board member, you likely know it is part of your responsibility to help raise money, but you may not know how.Read More
I recently went on a mommy-cation and came home to a holiday Lego catalog strategically placed by my five-year-old son, front and center on my desk. Within the catalog, he had used a Sharpie marker to identify the (many) Lego sets he wanted. The more circles he drew, the more he wanted the Lego set. My husband later told me that our son proudly completed this exercise as though he had done us a favor by pre-selecting items for our imminent holiday shopping. While I of course find my son’s efforts adorable, I also feel compelled to do HIM a favor this holiday season by providing a metaphorical catalog of opportunities for him to practice giving.Read More
As Election Day looms, I’m contemplating the power of the vote. Amidst the current turbulence, many frustrated citizens feel they have just one way to elevate their voices – vote. There is a prevailing feeling that casting a ballot next week is our last remaining pathway to change.
A lot of that may be true. But while voting is always imperative, the work of our local nonprofit and philanthropy sectors can’t be overlooked as another critical pathway to change. Perhaps now more than ever before.Read More
If you want to engage millennials in philanthropy you will find no shortage of articles telling you the three things you need to do…Read More
I really like running. Even though I am far from speedy, I embrace the mental and physical charge that it gives me. Recently however, knee pain brought my days of running to a screeching halt. In a state of panic, I reached out to a physical therapist who prescribed weekly visits to her office and 15 minutes of daily (and painful) stretching. I kept my disappointment to myself. In our modern-day world of instant gratification, it was frustrating to me that she couldn’t offer a quicker fix.
My frustration with such a slow plan for healing is not unlike the frustrations I hear as a grant writer from nonprofits seeking support.Read More
All nonprofits are strapped. While working for a few, I felt the deep pull of limited resources – both financial and human.
I can remember sitting in a team meeting surrounded by piles of paper, event auction items, and despair. The mood was depressed as a long-time funder had rejected our proposal, the board was unresponsive to our calls for help, and ticket sales for next week’s event were dangerously low. The icing on the cake? The printer wasn’t working.Read More