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Strategy Development for Foundations

Private sector foundations have been a major force on the American charitable giving landscape for more than two centuries. Foundations provide a steady 6% to 7% of total charitable giving in the United States every year. As might be expected, foundation giving remains steady despite fluctuations in the economy, although many foundation investment specialists have to work much harder in tight times to maintain a steady stream of investment earnings. The important point is that, unlike corporations that keep the interests of their shareholders as the center focus, foundations are in business to give money away.

John D. Rockefeller once quipped that a good definition of a foundation is “a pile money surrounded by outstretched hands.” That often seems to be the case, because more and more nonprofit organizations each year appear on the scene with requests for support. Given that fact, how can you make your proposal the winning one? What is it that you need to do to make your organization stand out from all the rest?

Those of us at CommunityNexus Consulting have written more than our fair share of proposals through the years, most of which have met with success. But the challenges in a competitive environment ever increase, and it becomes all the more important to do things right in preparing and submitting a funding proposal to a foundation. In this process, we give attention to such matters as:

  • Assembling reliable financial information
  • Clarifying your distinctive Mission & Goals
  • Describing your long-term self-support strategy
  • Articulating precise program & service objectives
  • Demonstrating skilled leadership development
  • Outlining support from various constituencies
  • Projecting enhanced services to target communities
  • Delineating program objectives with overall agency Mission
  • Allocating resources to appropriate implementation plans
  • Building in appropriate evaluation strategies at the start.