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The Big Fish: Planning, Launching or Propelling Your Mega Foundations Portfolio

Is your nonprofit looking to tap into or expand its funding from mega foundations-those national funders whose names we all know--this case-based session will focus on best practices in preparing for, soliciting and messaging to these often elusive grantmakers. Attendees will come away understanding what the largest foundations prioritize and how best to make your organization competitive for large private grants.

Mega funders are increasingly interested in unconventional organizations-not necessarily the largest or the oldest, but those that can prove their mettle in this constantly changing world. This session will focus on those who plan or have begun to engage with large funders and want to better understand both the internal and external best practices most likely to secure that treasured grant. It will help senior leaders understand how to approach these solicitations not as one-off requests but as opportunities to take an aerial view of their organizations' potential. 

Core to this session will be detailed case studies of how organizations have received their first or largest grants. Content will be based on the presenter's front-line development experience and her work as a consultant, providing counsel for organizations that she has helped guide to their largest-ever private awards. 

This session will methodically tackle each major part of the grant-seeking process and discuss a case study related to how an organization moved toward grant readiness. While it will touch on multiple GPC competencies, the content will primarily focus on organizational development and funder relationships.   

Executive directors and senior development staff are ideal attendees if your organization works on national issues or boasts a local or regional model that attracts national attention or is otherwise ripe for expansion, innovation or recognition as a model. You will confirm your readiness and seed ideas for relevant next steps.

GPCI Competencies Addressed:
Organizational development as it pertains to grant seeking 
Methods and strategies that cultivate and maintain relationships between fund-seeking and recipient organizations and funders 

Susan Schaefer is a consultant, author, and speaker who founded her consulting firm, Resource Partners LLC, in 2001, to propel nonprofits' resource development. Previously, Susan helped secure the $1 billion Gates Millennium Scholars Program, funded by one of the largest private grants in history. Susan co-authored Nonprofit Board Service for the GENIUS and has edited many other books for the sector, including The Nonprofit Consulting Playbook. She teaches fundraising at Johns Hopkins University.