Prospect research is the term commonly used for the process of identifying potential sources of funding for an organization or program. If your organization is a small or start-up nonprofit with limited staff or development support, the task of prospect research can feel both urgent and overwhelming. Fear not. Here are a few tips for beginning your prospect research process that will help start you on a path to success.

With increased focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion in recent years, more funders are asking for the specific demographics of the populations served by nonprofits. Funders want to know, for example, how many Black individuals or Hispanic families will benefit from the program. While there are many challenges in reporting demographic data, understanding and communicating the differences in race, ethnicity, and nationality is the first step.

Did you know that while there are two main types of 501(c)(3) organizations, the IRS has set nine different activities to qualify as a 501(c)(3) organization? Organizations with 501(c)(3) status play a vital role in serving communities and advancing various charitable causes. Known for their tax-exempt status, they are eligible to receive tax-deductible donations, making them appealing avenues for philanthropy. While most of us are aware of these organizations' existence, there might be some intriguing facts yet to be uncovered. In this blog post, we will explore the two main types of 501(c)(3) organizations and delve into the nine different activities outlined by the IRS that qualify for 501(c)(3) status.

In our increasingly interconnected world, the rapid growth of technology has brought numerous benefits and opportunities. However, it has also opened the door to a darker side of the internet: scammers. These individuals or groups employ deceitful tactics to exploit unsuspecting individuals, leading to financial loss, identity theft, and emotional distress. In 2023, we find ourselves facing an alarming surge in scamming activities, with perpetrators becoming increasingly sophisticated in their approaches. The Federal Trade Commission reported $660 million in losses due to business imposters, a significant increase from $196 million in 2020. This article aims to shed light on the specific ways scamming has grown in 2023 and offers practical tips to help you stay vigilant and protect yourself in this rapidly evolving digital landscape.

In a recent post, my colleague Michele Ryan gave a library of great data sites to bookmark and pull fresh data from. In this post I challenge you to look internally at the data you already collect within your organization or for your grant proposals and consider how to freshen it up a bit by making it more recent, more relevant, and more specific.

The topic of ethics in grants is incredibly broad, as there are often many moving parts and people involved with grant awards. The fund-seeking agency might have a variety of staff members contributing to the process: the executive director, program staff, finance staff, a grant writer, maybe even the board of directors. And then, of course, if the agency receives an award, there are ethical considerations for managing the sometimes very large sums of money. Once again, there might be a host of individuals carrying out the program activities, reporting progress, expending the funds, and so on. In other words, the agency is responsible for ensuring ethical practices across many levels of a grant award. But for the purposes of this discussion, I want to back up a bit. What about some of the ethics that go into researching and writing the proposal?

What to Expect When You’re Prospecting Or: What to Know About Working with a Consultant A scenario: your small nonprofit organization has been in operation for several years now, thanks to the generosity and trust of individual donors and supporters. You have generated some promising outcome data from your programs, have a clear direction, and are making a positive impact on your target population. You feel you’re ready to move on to the next step in your organization’s growth: diversifying funding streams by adding in some grant dollars. But you’re busy running programs, your board is stretched thin, and you’re just not sure where to start. Choosing to seek outside assistance from a grant professional is a big step for an organization. The combination of a very small staff (or perhaps even a one-person shop), a small pool of invested donors and volunteers, and the amount of time, energy, and resources spent in getting a nonprofit off the ground can make this a deeply personal decision. An outsider consultant who suddenly asks lots of specific questions about your policies, competitors, and finances might feel a little intrusive (at best) or downright offensive (at worst). But wait! That consultant means well. They’re likely trying to gauge your organization’s grant-readiness and capacity for managing different types of funding opportunities to determine the most effective and efficient next steps. Here’s what to expect as you enter this new relationship.

There are lots of activities that can help a nonprofit organization become grant ready, and one of them is their internal roadmap of tasks that define their grants program. The purpose of these practices is to help ensure staff have a documented process that covers the A to Zs of a comprehensive grant program.

FindingYourBestMatch.com Determining if a funder is right for your program If you happen to be in the dating “scene” in this highly digital age, it can be hard to determine from just an online profile whether you and a potential mate are going to be compatible. Or perhaps a friend or acquaintance has someone they want you to meet and claims they’d be perfect for you. As a grant writer, you might find yourself in a similar situation when you’ve found a funder online who seems to be a perfect match for the services at your nonprofit organization.