The Art of Storytelling for Successful Donor Cultivation

I often find that many people struggle when trying to relay their nonprofit's story in 30 seconds or less. Maybe they are not good salespeople or maybe they assume everyone knows their organization's story already. I do not know, but I see it time and again. I do know, however, from 30 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, that a good story is key to successful donor and funder cultivation.


Setting Expectations

You probably have been in situations where your organizational colleagues ask you to predict if a proposal will be successful. Their interest may be casual, or they may be formulating plans based on your answer. What do you say? You want to be optimistic, of course. You also know that not every proposal can receive an award. 


Membership Matters - Spring 2017

Grant professionals from around the world turn to GPA for resources, training and connections. From beginners to experts, from grant proposal writers to grant managers, and from every sector in the industry, GPA membership dollars support all types of grant professionals in countless ways. At GPA, our training and education programs build skills that benefit all grant professionals. Our chapters organize and host programs that support skill development and networking to ensure our members grow professionally. Our new online community (GrantZone) creates an exciting place for members to make connections, ask questions, share grant stories and exchange resources.


I was having one of those days, full of what the Chinese call "monkey mind", where your thoughts are zooming from place to place, with no particular rhyme or reason. I don't remember the exact day but I'm certain there was a grant deadline involved, and I was waiting for data from someone I was convinced was avoiding me. And suddenly in the midst of the whirlwind, it hit me…"I've been doing this for 20 years!" Twenty years. Two decades. I'm pretty sure it's not what I envisioned at the beginning of this journey. 

Funder Cultivation Strategy: International Grant Professionals Day (#IGPD)

Funder Cultivation through #IGPD Education
International Grant Professionals Day (#IGPD) is a long-term strategy to cultivate funders, grow and maintain relationships, and educate others about the grant profession. Cultivation and relationship strategies, like so many long-term strategies, are multi-pronged. Education about the grant profession is a powerful tool and a terrific platform to start a conversation.  

Cohesive Collaborations: What They Are and What They Are Not (Part 2)

In Part 1, I described three less-than-ideal collaborations: CINOs (Collaborations in Name Only), the Dysfunction Junction Collaboration, and the Habitual Collaboration.
The fourth and ideal type is the Cohesive Collaboration, which has the following characteristics.


Insider View: Cultivation from a Grantmaker's Perspective

When I started my role as a Program Officer at the Michigan Women's Foundation 15 years ago, I was surprised by two things. I was shocked by the significant differences in how organizations would approach outreach to the foundation. It differed greatly. Second, I was astonished by the many different ways in which colleagues at other foundations approached and accepted cultivation outreach by potential grantmakers. I went into the role with the expectation that—of course—all potential grantees would want to speak with a potential grantmaker before they applied. I was continually surprised by how frequently that was not the case. 

"Do What You Love, and You Will Never Work a Day in Your Life" #IGPD 2017: We Heart Grant Pros!

International Grant Professionals Day (#IGPD) on March 10, 2017, is a time to celebrate all the amazing talents, expertise, and dedication of grants professionals around the world. It is our special time to recognize the unique function we have in fundraising, understand the important role we play in program development, and rejoice in how we—individually and collectively—make the world a better place, one grant at a time.


Cohesive Collaborations: What They Are and What They Are Not (Part 1)

The word “collaboration” may give you mixed feelings.


Refining Your Skills as a Grants Sleuth

Years ago, before I took the leap into nonprofit, I was working as a corporate analyst for a large credit company. In a nutshell, my role was to inspect businesses for potential risk; meaning I had to read financials for strength, review investments and business models for sustainability, and explore their history and leadership. I loved the investigative aspect of it; little did I know it would train me to be a highly capable prospect researcher for grants later down the road.