Muhammad Babangida is a committed philanthropist from Nigeria

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Effective Grant Writing Tips

Getting grant writing help can be very challenging, but it can also mean a lot of money for the organizations that do it. According to a report by Candid, foundations gave over $75 billion in grants in 2019. A lot of money is ready to be given to the various organizations that present their cases.

There are various steps that you can take to increase the likelihood that you will receive a grant. 

One of the most critical steps you can take to increase the likelihood that you will receive a grant is to explain the project’s need. This will allow the grant committee to see how the project will benefit the community.

Why are You Different

Your work should be different from other organizations to make you stand out. Usually, a grant is rejected for a non-profit organization that doesn’t have a relationship with a foundation. However, setting yourself apart can increase your chances of being approved.

Explain the Project

Most grants go to a specific cause, different from general support. Focusing on one project can increase your chances of receiving funds. A clear explanation of how the project will run will also show the grant committee that you’ve thought about the project’s goals.

Keep it Simple

Although there are various types of jargon in the non-profit industry, it’s important to avoid using all of it to appeal to the corporate and foundation communities.

Tell a Story

A given committee may spend hours reading grant proposals. Eventually, they’ll all sound the same unless they find something that grabs their heart. Your organization’s story is the most important thing you can offer to get the reader to fall in love with it. By telling a story, you can convince the grant committee that your project is worthy of support.

Focus on Solutions

One of the most common reasons people send out negative proposals is the lack of solutions. However, try to make your proposal more positive instead of focusing on the negative. In addition to being able to tell a story, having a clear understanding of the project’s objectives can help grant committees make an informed decision.

Budget

Ensure that your budget is accurate and supports the objectives of the project. If your proposal hints at how you might mismanage your money, you’ll be removed from the running.

Get a Second Opinion

Before you submit your proposal, make sure you reach out to someone who doesn’t know much about your organization. This individual should be able to give you an unbiased opinion on the project and its goals. An outsider’s perspective can also help you build a stronger relationship with the grant committee.

Watch the Details

Foundation guidelines can be precise. If they require certain features, such as page margins, typeface, and length, make sure that you follow these guidelines. Even though these may not seem important, grantmakers want applications that meet their standards.

Wait to Be Asked for More

Even if you think that sending more than the grant maker’s request is necessary will help you win, make sure to follow the guidelines. Grantmakers will likely see your application as an annoyance if they see too much extraneous material. Wait to be asked for supporting documentation.

How to Grow a Heart for Philanthropy

Philanthropy is about giving one’s time, energy, and money to a good cause. It can be daunting to think about doing it, but it’s also achievable if you have the necessary resources and know how to make a difference. Do not let the thoughts of famous individuals such as Angelina Jolie deter you. Small gestures such as donating a few dollars can make a significant impact.

 

Like other new habits you cultivate, philanthropy can be done in small steps. Once you have decided what matters most, start by joining forces with other individuals or groups. You can also start by contributing to established charitable organizations such as St. Jude’s or Angel Heart.

 

Philanthropy doesn’t have to involve giving money or things; it can still be doing something nice for others. For instance, volunteering with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity can be a great way to give back to the community. 

 

Although people tend to give to charitable groups during the holidays, charitable organizations need help all year long.

 

Suppose you’re passionate about homelessness or hunger. In that case, you can help those in need by donating money to local food shelters or bringing bags of nutritious snacks and toiletries for those experiencing this need. If you are interested in addressing it on a larger scale, you can join a civic group or donate to organizations working on the same cause.

 

There are numerous philanthropic opportunities that individuals and corporations can enjoy. Look for a volunteer services department near you. They are responsible for coordinating individuals who give their time to the organizations. Anyone 16 years old and older can join The Denver Health Foundation, which also accepts monetary donations to support various initiatives.

 

One of the essential advantages of philanthropy is that it can help boost one’s happiness level. Doing something nice for others can increase one’s confidence and make you more satisfied with life. Doing something as simple as helping a fellow worker can also improve one’s inner happiness. Being kind is the best way to feed your philanthropic heart.  

Tools That Make Fundraising Collaboration Easier

Fundraising tools, like HootSuite, GreaterGiving, Springly, and GoFundMe, are designed to help organize and streamline the various steps involved in running a successful fundraising campaign. They can also minimize the amount of work your staff members must do to make the event successful.

Although there are many different fundraising tools, it’s important to note that some are comprehensive and can help you run a successful campaign. Others, however, are simpler and only provide a few features that allow you to manage a small amount of activity.

One of the most critical steps you can take is to organize an open forum for your organization’s staff members to discuss the various aspects of running a successful campaign.

One of your group members will be able to look into the various companies that offer these services and find out which will work best for your organization. Brands should also list their products’ top features and prices so that you can compare their offerings against your current needs and budget.

Canva

Canva has thousands of templates you can use to create engaging images, which can help capture the attention of your potential supporters. Canva also has tutorials and other resources to help you improve your skills in social media graphics. If you are running a social media campaign or planning to expand your reach, then boosting your visuals is essential.

HootSuite

It’s vital to consider when choosing fundraising software the ability to schedule your posts. With HootSuite, you can quickly implement various features, such as content scheduling. This tool can help you keep up with the latest trends in online fundraising.

MailChimp

Some organizations do not launch annual email fundraising campaigns. You can use an affordable service like MailChimp, which allows you to automate email delivery. It also offers professional templates to help build effective communications.

Crowdfunding Platforms

GoFundMe

This tool has a simple dashboard that allows you to manage various aspects of your organization’s operations, such as sending thank-you emails and withdrawing funds. Unlike other platforms, this service does not have fees.

Since it was first established in 2010, the crowdfunding platform known as Gofundme has become one of the most popular platforms in the world. It allows individuals and organizations to raise money for various causes. You can start a campaign by adding a certain amount of money to your goal, create a story using photos, text, and video, and share it on social media.

Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Platforms

Bonfire

With the help of crowdfunding and peer-to-peer capabilities, you can reach out to your target audience and raise money for your cause through the platform known as Bonfire. It also allows nonprofit organizations to sell their merchandise. Through its simple point-and-click feature, you can create and sell various products such as t-shirts, water bottles, and sweatshirts.

QGiv

QGiv is a software that supports various types of online fundraising, including peer-to-peer and online auctions. You can use it to manage multiple aspects of an organization’s operations, such as sending and receiving donations.

Springly 

With Springly, you can manage all the tools you need to run an organization, including a complete CRM, fundraising capabilities, and communication tools. It also comes with an event management system. Since all of these components are in one software, it eliminates much of the heavy lifting involved in running an organization.

Greater Giving

This software supports both live and virtual events and provides various services for both types of fundraisers. Through its event services, you can connect with experts who can help you maximize the performance of your events.

GiveSmart

GiveSmart is a sizeable online fundraising software that connects various aspects of an organization’s operations, such as its CRM and payment processing services. It can also handle virtual and live events. Its customer service team can answer questions and advise at any time.

Best Payment Processors for Nonprofits 

A payment processor is a must for any organization planning on holding a web-based fundraiser. It will ensure that they can accept donations online.

Stripe

For registered nonprofit organizations, which can raise at least 80% of their income through donations, a discount is available from Stripe. This payment processing company also offers a variety of developer tools and advanced reporting capabilities.

Square

Although Square doesn’t offer a discount to nonprofit organizations, it has a variety of free features. One of these is its customer management software, which is helpful for organizations that maintain a contact list and collect donations.

PayPal

Nonprofits can utilize PayPal’s various resources, including a dedicated Donate button, recurring donation capabilities, and payment options. It also allows you to be included in its Giving Fund, which enables donors to find your organization. PayPal’s integrations with other software can be effortless.

One of the most critical factors that any organization should consider when choosing online fundraising software is the ability to manage its donor information. Before you sign up for a platform, thoroughly understand its features and how it can help you collect donations.

In addition to helping organizations maximize their donations, this software helps them improve efficiency by integrating and automating various aspects of their operations. This can allow them to work more efficiently and effectively with their team members.

 

Recent Changes in Philanthropy Trends

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans gave more to charity than ever before. This was the third year in a row that they had raised more than they had in previous years.

 

Unfortunately, inflation is affecting Americans’ finances and their generosity. In addition, donations to charitable organizations are expected to become scarce due to the recession.

 

If the charitable tendencies of Americans are affected by the current economic situation, it could end a brief but essential surge. In 2021, the country’s donations to philanthropic organizations reached a record $485 billion

 

A survey conducted by the Harris Poll revealed that about 70% of Americans donated their time and money to various charitable organizations in the previous year. Some key trends that can be expected to affect the operations of these organizations include a possible increase in volunteering.

 

Generational Differences

The way a charity receives support may depend on the supporters’ age. For instance, younger Americans are more likely to donate their time and money to charitable organizations. On the other hand, older generations are more likely to cut checks.

 

The breakdown of the data shows that younger Americans are more likely to give their time and money to charitable organizations. For instance, almost half of those aged 44 and below volunteered in the previous year, as opposed to 31% of their elders. They also attend various events supporting the cause.

 

The survey findings suggest that the younger generations are more likely to carry out activism through their older years. In addition, they are also more likely to donate their time and money to in-kind donations. This suggests that their charitable tendencies may reflect more than just their means.

 

If the charitable dollars are not enough to support the operations of charitable organizations, they should start reaching out to the younger generations. This can be done by recruiting grant writers and business development professionals. In addition, they can also encourage individuals to become pro-bono fundraising consultants.

 

Demographic Differences

When it comes to volunteering, men are more likely than women to support organizations that deal with disaster relief, community development, and the military. Conversely, women are more likely to donate their time and money to religious and animal welfare groups.

 

Different reasons explain why people give. For instance, men are more likely to support a cause by making a financial contribution in the past year. On the other hand, women are more likely to support a specific organization due to their desire to give back.

 

The support given by older Americans to human services-focused organizations was much greater than that provided by the younger ones. For instance, over three-quarters of those over 45 gave to these organizations, as opposed to only 16% of those under 45.

 

Younger Americans were more likely to support educational organizations than their elders, who were more likely to donate due to their recent school experiences. Also, parents with children under 18 were more likely to contribute to these groups.

 

The uncertainty caused by the current economic situation can stimulate the creativity of charitable organizations. As a result, they have to shift their focus from their traditional message to appeal to more support.

 

Why Collaboration Is Key in Philanthropy

According to foundation leaders, collaboration is essential to achieving their goals, and various resources are available to help them develop and implement effective strategies. In research, 59 percent of chief executive officers identified collaboration as a vital strategy for increasing the impact of their organizations over the next couple of decades.

 

Due to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, many foundations have combined their efforts to address the issue. For instance, Grantmakers in Health, a peer-reviewed journal for health philanthropy, has created an e-community for sharing information and strategies related to the disease. 

 

According to a new report, collaboration is critical to achieving their goals and is also very important to the success of their organizations when it comes to influencing public policies. The report states that over 80 percent of chief executive officers of foundations actively participate in collaborative efforts when it comes to influencing public policies.

 

Funders

According to the Policy Influence report, foundations are most likely to collaborate with other philanthropic and nonprofit organizations. They also frequently participate in formal initiatives and programs designed to improve their organizations’ effectiveness. These include joint efforts and initiatives led by regional and issue-based foundations.

 

Some foundations also work informally by signing letters to promote policies or coordinating grantmaking efforts. They can also participate in programs and initiatives designed to improve their organizations’ effectiveness.

 

Government

According to many foundation leaders, collaboration with the government is vital to achieving their goals. It allows them to communicate their message and raise awareness about the issue effectively.

 

One example of a successful collaboration between the government and the private sector is the development of a criminal justice model that was designed to reduce the homicide rate in a city. The model was developed through a collaboration between the Mayor’s Office, the Police Department, and the District Attorney’s Office.

 

Most foundation leaders also said that their organization’s long-term commitment to working with government officials is significant. A survey showed that 79 percent of the organizations that operate outside of grantmaking regularly develop and maintain relationships with local elected officials.

 

Solid relationships with local officials allow foundations to assess their goals and participate in meaningful discussions about the government’s policies.

 

One example of this is how a foundation connects with state legislators by reviewing their constituents’ needs and wants and finding relevant research that the organization’s partners or grant recipients have created. Another CEO noted that their organization works with state agencies to develop effective workforce development strategies.

 

Multi-Sector

According to the leaders of several major foundations, multi-sector partnerships are critical to achieving their goals. One example is how their organization works with state agencies and other organizations to develop effective community development strategies.

 

One example of a successful collaboration between the government and the private sector is the development of a state-wide partnership between various groups to increase the availability of affordable housing.

 

The Art of Storytelling for Nonprofits

Stories have been around for thousands of years. From ancient Egyptian texts to cartoons, the human brain has been trained to absorb information through the medium of storytelling. Due to the increasing number of businesses using storytelling techniques to entertain and inform their audiences, it has become a common buzzword in corporate circles. Unfortunately, many organizations are not taking the time to learn how to use storytelling to motivate and engage their donors.

 

Ingrain Storytelling in Your Culture

Creating a culture that values storytelling involves making it an integral part of your organization’s operations. This can be done by developing multiple programs and activities, such as your fundraising efforts and meetings. You should also encourage staff members, volunteers, and board members to share personal stories about how their organizations have impacted them. Before you start implementing storytelling techniques, make sure that everyone knows how important it is to have a plan. Having a strategy in place will allow you to identify potential stories that will benefit your organization’s supporters.

 

Place Stories Strategically

Your organization’s mission statement is essential, but many organizations display it in a lackluster manner. Instead of having a few sentences, try creating a video that showcases the organization’s real-world impact. Social media and blog posts are the most critical platforms for storytelling. It can help you spread your message without being in-your-face marketing. Some content suggestions you can create include interviews, autobiographies, and first-hand experiences.

 

Although storytelling is commonly utilized in written form, video content is becoming more popular. It can be as simple as taking a video of an event and posting it on Facebook or Instagram. By diversifying your delivery, you can reach a wider audience and increase your chances of being seen by more people.

 

Follow Proven Story Structure

One of the most critical factors you should consider when developing a story is the beginning, middle, and end. A compelling story structure can help you build a strong relationship with your audience. One of the most effective ways to show how your donors can make a difference is by having a happy ending. One of the most critical factors you should consider when developing a story is the details of the individuals and their families.

A History of Philanthropy

 The concept of charitable activity is deeply rooted in human nature and has been apparent across millennia. Understanding the history of philanthropy helps us know how this impulse has developed.

 

Religious Motivations

Before the Greek word philanthropy was coined, people served the poor by providing them with their resources. In addition to being religious, many of the most fervent servants also practiced charitable principles. During the 1500s, awqaf and other Islamic principles allowed for generous service in the Ottoman Empire. These principles continued to influence philanthropy throughout history.

 

Early Centralized Philanthropy

As the power structure became more centralized, more state-sponsored philanthropy was possible. Some examples of this include China and Rome. During the reign of Augustus, he used the empire’s funds to provide financial assistance to thousands of individuals. During the 10th century A.D., China’s Song Dynasty started allowing for the establishment of orphanages, soup kitchens, and other programs that were not always supported by the succeeding dynasties. In the 17th century A.D., the country became one of the first countries to provide senior citizens with homes.

 

Early American Giving

The spirit of fleeing persecution inspired many people to give. This was also reflected in the movement toward philanthropy in the U.S. One of the most prominent individuals who contributed to the development of this movement was Cotton Mather. His essay, “Essays to Do Good,” was published in 1710. His work propelled wealthy individuals to give generously during the Industrial Revolution. John Rockefeller and Warren Buffett are some of the most prominent individuals who contributed to the development of philanthropy. Both of these individuals made significant donations to various charitable organizations.

 

Reforms in the 20th Century

During the 20th century, many individuals gave to support various causes, such as those related to the war in Afghanistan and India’s freedom from Britain. This movement led to increased charitable giving in the U.S. Today, many of the country’s households are dedicated to addressing environmental and poverty issues. Additionally, many individuals volunteer their time and skills to help needy individuals and nonprofits. Participate in a long tradition of philanthropy today by sharing your wealth or your time!

 

How Education Improves Communities: Part 2

Communicating effectively is very important in building a community, as it can prevent people from developing strong and trusting relationships. Having the right education can also help people develop a better understanding of different cultures. Aside from improving communities, education can also help people find jobs and make more money. 

Fosters Problem-Solving Skills

Having the proper education can also teach people how to think critically and make sound decisions. When they become adults, they face various financial issues, such as paying off student loans and buying a house. The necessary skills and knowledge can help people make sound decisions on these issues. Besides being able to form their own opinions, people also need the necessary knowledge and skills to make sound decisions. The proper education can help them find reliable and solid evidence to support their choices.

Strengthens the Economy

People with good academic backgrounds are more likely to get well-paying jobs. Those with high achievements and degrees are also more likely to have opportunities to transform their lives. Individuals with poor backgrounds are more likely to experience poverty but have high chances of improving their lives through education. Having the proper education can additionally help countries grow economically.

Promotes Peace

The importance of education is acknowledged because it allows individuals to improve themselves and contribute to their communities. Learning will enable people to live in harmony with one another because everyone has something to contribute. Instead of focusing on their differences, people will start appreciating one another due to their diverse backgrounds. Learning about the world can also help people feel more compassionate toward others. Having the necessary knowledge and skills can additionally help people develop a better understanding of different cultures.

Provides Tools for Success

Besides being able to improve communities, education also provides children with an opportunity to pursue their goals. It’s important to note that having the proper education can help children feel optimistic about their futures. Having the necessary tools and resources can help them succeed in their path. Having other people’s support can also help kids feel more comfortable during times of need.

Having the right education is also very important in building a better future for everyone. It can help people develop the necessary skills to face any challenge that they encounter. It can additionally help people establish peace in society.

Fundraising Tips for Nonprofits

A successful nonprofit fundraising campaign is a vital part of any organization’s operations. It can help raise awareness for a cause and attract more donors.

It can be a daunting task for a charitable organization to raise money. Since it’s likely that your primary source of income is through donations, fundraising can be a long and challenging process.

Nonprofit fundraising should be learned and mastered. Having a well-designed fundraising plan can help prepare your volunteers and ensure that the organization is successful. Here are some crucial steps to follow.

  1. Set Goals and Plan Messaging

Before you start a fundraising campaign, it’s important to set goals and objectives. These should include the end goal and the overall plan for the year.

Before setting a fundraising goal, it’s important to determine the organization’s needs. Then, return to the mission statement to figure out what the money will be used for.

Your mission statement should also be written to guide the donors’ questions about the organization’s goals and mission. Having a clear and concise mission statement can help raise awareness about the organization and its work.

Make sure to also tell the stories of the people who you help. A study conducted in 2010 revealed that most donors choose to give due to their own preferences and personal experiences. A partiality for certain causes can also be triggered by a donor’s personal experiences. Having a compelling and uplifting story can also help motivate people to give.

Most donors research a charity before giving, so having a well-written and uplifting story on your website can also help boost donations.

  1. Make a List of Potential Donors

Before you start a fundraising campaign, it’s important to identify the people who are most likely to give to your cause. You can also enlist the help of your board members and volunteers to create a list of potential donors.

Having a well-written and uplifting story on your website can also help boost donations. Having a prospect list can also help guide your campaign promotion. It can be done through various forms of fundraising, such as social media, direct mail, and sponsorships.

  1. Plan Your Campaign

This step will help you determine the exact strategy and tactics that will help raise money for your cause. Having a clear understanding of the goals and the various ways that donors can give will help boost your fundraising efforts.

Before you start a fundraising campaign, it’s also important to determine how you’ll promote it. This step will help determine the various elements of the campaign that will be used to raise money for the organization.

Although the goal of a fundraising campaign is to raise money, it’s also important to determine how you’ll promote it. This step will help you develop a strategy and tactics that will work for your organization.

One of the most important steps that you should consider when it comes to establishing a fundraising campaign is to establish a recurring donation program. This can help boost donations and prevent you from having to spend a lot of money on ongoing fundraising. A monthly giving program can allow you to receive a steady stream of donations.

  1. Thank Donors

Although it’s important to establish a fundraising campaign, it’s also important to thank your donors and supporters. This can be done in a variety of ways, such as by sending a thank-you note. However, it’s also beneficial to build a stronger relationship with your donors.

Being loyal to your donors is as important as maintaining a good customer relationship. Having a strong relationship with them can help alleviate the pressure of fundraising. By being transparent about the details of the donations, your organization can continue to grow.

 

Small Steps for Community Improvement

Many people don’t have time to volunteer for community projects amidst busy work schedules and family demands. However, even with busy schedules, there are still ways to make a difference in the community. Here are some small steps you can take to have a positive impact on your community.

1. Shop Local

You can also save money by shopping with local businesses. They often offer free gift-wrapping and delivery services, and a portion of their sales go to the local community.

2. Speak Positively of Your Community

Share positive aspects of your community with other people. Doing so will help boost the local economy and encourage more people to shop locally.

3. Attend Local Events

You can also support local organizations by attending a festival or other event. These are usually fundraisers for local non-profit organizations. By attending, you can help raise money for the organizations.

4. Speak Up to People in Power

Write a letter to your local elected officials and encourage them to make good decisions for the community. Doing so will make them feel valued and encourage them to make better decisions.

5. Cultivate Beauty

Put a plant on your front porch to spruce up the appearance of your home. Doing so will make it look better and make the whole neighborhood look more attractive.

6. Be Neighborly

Take time to cook dinner for an older neighbor and deliver a plate to her next door. Doing this will let you get to know the people in the neighborhood and ward off crime.

7. Collect Donations

You can also help the community by participating in school programs that collect toys, clothes, and food for the less fortunate.

8. Embrace Volunteer Opportunities

If your company has a volunteer program, encourage them to participate in local events and join a civic organization. Having employees represent the company at large events will help boost their visibility.

9. Pick Up Trash

Walk around the neighborhood and pick up any litter that’s left behind. This will help build up your energy and get in some exercise while also cleaning up the neighborhood.

Doing our part to improve the community strengthens our ties with our neighbors and demonstrates what it means to be a good citizen.

 

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