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Risky Business (Not the Movie!): Funder Risk Assessment - Will You Pass?


The grants community is facing increased scrutiny to protect federal funds from abuse, fraud and waste. Private funders want a return on their investment. What do they look for when judging if an organization is a good "bet"? What do they look for in financial statements, organizational budgets, trends from year to year? Funders look at numbers beyond financials and other factors too - leadership and staff, partners, reputation in the community, numbers of donors, members, patrons and volunteers.
What can we do to make our organization look its best? We'll discuss the federal Uniform Guidance provisions, and FAPIIS. We'll look at situations such as how to explain a deficit or big swings in income or expenses from year to year, less than 100% board giving, or an embarrassingly late audit or operating budget. And how to know when to walk away if the organization isn't ready.
- interviews with foundation program officers on what they look for;
- examples of how to frame issues in a positive light;
- discussion of scenarios; and
- review of key points in financial statements and organizational budgets that funders look at;
- we'll explore strategies on how to frame an organization at its operational best to create a proposal that tells a positive organizational and financial story that reviewers can easily grasp, complements the narrative, and builds trust in the reviewer's mind.
GPC Competencies Addressed: 
How to craft, construct, and submit an effective grant application 
Organizational development as it pertains to grant seeking 
Post-award grant management practices sufficient to inform effective grant design and development 

Ellen Gugel GPC, MBA, Principal of Grants & More, has developed hundreds of successful proposals for environmental, social services, advocacy and arts organizations from grassroots to $60+ million agencies. Past positions: Director of Foundation & Corporate Relations, Lutheran Social Services of New England 2010-14; Consultant 2007-10; Development Manager, Tower Hill Botanic Garden 2004-07; and Executive Director, Orenda Wildlife Land Trust 1998-2003. She has an MBA from Boston University.

Before starting consulting in 1997, Mark Beamis was head of the Contracts Office for Boston's Office of Jobs & Community Services, involved in all phases of management/administration of federal, state and city grants. Since 1997 he's assisted Boston and others with proposal reviews, procurement, contracting, internal controls and audit. He's been treasurer for two small non-profits and served as his GPA Chapter Treasurer. He's a member of NGMA and on the Grant Professionals Foundation board.