A FOUNDATION: RIGHT ONE, WRONG ONE

Oh yes, with a little work most of us can come up with a list of foundations that fund nonprofits, foundations that if they are not in our neighborhood, are at least in our region. But that’s not enough.

Pick one on your list. It could be just the right one for you. But maybe it is the wrong one. And for the foundation, maybe you are just the right organization to apply to them for funding, or the wrong one. The word is fit. Does the organization you represent and its proposed project fit with the kind of nonprofits and efforts they usually fund? If you are looking for money for your operating budget and they don’t fund operations, wrong! If you are a faith-based organization, and they fund faith-based organizations, well maybe there is a fit. What is your mission – youth, homelessness, global outreach, etc.? Does it fit with the kinds of faith-based organizations they fund? And what about your project as a fit with the kinds of projects they fund? Is it a capital project, program expansion, equipment request, or operating budget money?

It all begins with fit – the right foundation, the right organization, the right project.

The place to start is a careful examination of a foundation’s website. You should find out there whether or not there is a fit. If it is still a bit foggy, call the foundation. I did that the other day, not sure if they would fund a project for one of my clients. Was I a bit nervous – me, the former foundation program director? Yes, of course. Did I get my answers? Yes. Was there a fit? Yes. Did I write a proposal? Yes. Did we get funded? Yes, for $50,000. But on another try, our timing was off. By the time they would entertain a proposal, our project would be complete. Even timing is part of the fit.

So research is the key to discovering whether or not you have the right fit with a foundation. That’s where it all begins. Get started now!

If you would like to get a better handle on governance, I simply offer a shameless plug for my book, Board Essentials: 12 Best Practices of Board Governance. A friend who chairs both a corporate and a nonprofit board suggests it as a great primer.

Board Essentials Book

And for more information visit www.boardtrekconsulting.com

cropped-wordpress-header.jpgBoard Governance and Management Consulting

About Dave Coleman

Dave Coleman Principal / Consultant Phone: 253-237-4118 After many years of nonprofit leadership and the privilege of getting to know hundreds of organizations through my work with the M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust, I am pleased to offer my services to you at BoardTrek Nonprofit Consulting. Our small Pacific Northwest based company is focused on helping guide nonprofit organizations and their leaders into the future by offering our services in board governance, strategic planning, leadership development and organizational change. Always feel free to contact me with your thoughts and questions.
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