How to Safeguard your Grant Stategy Against Economic Forces

Generally, foundation's primary assets are stocks. Do you know that the Gates Foundation's assets are only invested in 5 stocks? What do we as grant professionals do if sharp declines in the stock market lead to decreased foundation assets? Past trends can provide answers to what steps we can take to modify grant strategies, seek alternative sources of funding, and realign program components to help put an organization in the best position to maintain, and even improve, its grant revenue during difficult economic times.

The overall goal of this workshop is to provide grant professionals the knowledge and tools they need to modify their grant strategy in the event of nationwide economic stress. This is the presentation we all need and hope to never use.

The objectives to achieve this overarching goal include:

1. Understanding how the stock market effects foundation assets (both private and corporate);
2. Looking at past foundation giving trends in economic recessions and applying them to future giving trends;
3. Finding the "safe" places to seek grant funding; and
4. How to adjust your organization's grant strategy in the event of economic downturns.

This presentation will provide a cursory introduction to the stock market and how to read a foundation's 990 Section IV (Capital Gains and Losses for Tax on Investment Income). Previous studies by Brookings Institute and The Stanford Center on Poverty and Equality will be utilized in understanding past trends. An analysis of the previously mentioned data, as well as an application of GPA recognized best practices, will help participants recognize "safe" places to seek funding during economic downturns. Finally, this presentation will apply GPA recognized best practices in funder research, relationship building, and collaboration.

GPC Competencies Addressed:
Strategies for effective program and project design and development
How to research, identify, and match funding resources to meet specific needs
Methods and strategies that cultivate and maintain relationships between fund-seeking and recipient organizations and funders
Practices and services that raise the level of professionalism of grant developers

Nicole M. Sibilski, GPC, is an independent grant consultant to non-profit organizations, fellow grant professionals, businesses, and government agencies. Since 2013, she has earned over $11 million in grant awards for organizations throughout the United States. In addition to her career as a grant professional, Ms. Sibilski is a licensed attorney in Illinois and Tennessee.