Philanthropy and the Social Economy: Blueprint 2013

Lucy Bernholz, a leading philanthropy scholar who writes one of my favorite philanthropy-related blogs, has released her fourth annual industry forecast through GrantCraft. And, for the first time, it’s free to download!

Her predictions for 2013 are intriguing; I agree with most and can’t wait to see how they play out. I really love being a part of the philanthropy sector as technology is increasing its role and the government is making it just a little bit tougher for nonprofits to be successful. There’s so much opportunity for thoughtful strategies and impact, and I am optimistic about the ability of most foundations to capitalize on this exciting time.

Philanthropy and the Social Economy: Blueprint 2013

New Website Alert!

Interested in seeding your own nonprofit or do-gooder project, but don’t have a 501c3 status? Or, is your nonprofit interested in broadening its horizons without having the internal capacity or the vision to do so?

Fiscal sponsorship generally entails a nonprofit organization (the “fiscal sponsor”) agreeing to provide administrative services and oversight to, and assume some or all of the legal and financial responsibility for, the activities of groups or individuals engaged in work that relates to the fiscal sponsor’s mission. Sometimes, the project/grant grows into its own entity; other times it becomes a program of the fiscal sponsor.

This has always been a disorganized process. There are certainly tools through the Foundation Center, word of mouth, and otherwise, but I didn’t see a large hub that appears to be the proper connector between ideas and fiscal conduits. Now, there’s, which has appropriate background and tools for connection from both sides.

If you’re a grantwriter or might want to/need to be one, or if you work for a nonprofit entity, take a look and tune in.

Top Ten Grant Proposal Mistakes

Writing a grant and feeling like it’s not quite there? Here are some top mistakes to check your proposal for and fix before you submit!

  1. TYPOS!
  2. Redundancy
  3. Length (too short if it’s missing components; too long if I forgot what I read 5 minutes ago)
  4. Vague (use examples! numbers! color!)
  5. Dry (a little passion is good)
  6. Leaving the reader with questions (anticipate and attack!)
  7. Generic (target your funder)
  8. Confusing goals and objectives
  9. Not following directions
  10. Inconsistencies (are all of your numbers and program names the same?)

These are my personal observations and suggestions that I share in my class How to Write a Grant Proposal at the Brooklyn Brainery. If you want more tips like these, stay tuned for the next class and browse my other nonprofit blog posts!


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I’m serious. if you know anyone, please let me know! Skill trading is the wave of the future, people! It exists on a community level, I just want to barter one-to-one.