Local Governments: Setting Up a Nonprofit to Acquire Private Sector Funding

Posted by Beverly Browning on Mar 15, 2016 4:00:00 AM

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to present a grant writing session (along with Corey Coll, eCivis Enterprise Account Executive) and meet a lot of great, dedicated members of the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) – Arizona. I listened to a ton of great stories about funding needs and best practices in local communities. One such best practice for local governments entails establishing a tax-exempt nonprofit to be eligible to receive certain private sector (foundations and corporations) funding. This practice was implemented by the Pima Association of Governments (PAG) in Tucson.

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Topics: Nonprofits, Local Government

Getting In-Kind Donations from Professional Sports Teams

Posted by Brad Cyran on Nov 4, 2015 5:00:00 AM

   Credit: iStockphoto

Hoping to hit your foundation’s next fundraiser out of the park? Seeking a donation that will ensure your charity’s next auction is a slam dunk? Well then look no further than your local professional sports teams! With the plethora of opportunities made available by these teams’ community outreach programs, you don’t need to feel that your next request for support is a Hail Mary, but instead an effective approach in leading your organization towards its goooaaallls!

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Topics: Grant Seeking, Nonprofits, Education

How to Obtain 501(c)(3) Status for Your Nonprofit: Tips and Resources

Posted by Beverly Browning on Jul 20, 2015 4:00:00 AM

Many small nonprofits come to me with questions about establishing 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status with the IRS, as well as how to build their organization's capacity to apply for grants. But before you go about searching for grant funding, you need to establish key components of your organization, including an actively contributing board of directors, mission and vision statements (these are two distinct things!), and a plan to fund your operating budget. The following article focuses on getting started on the right foot and getting your vision established so that funders view your board and organization as capable of managing grant awards and providing services to your target populations.

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Topics: Nonprofits, Grant Writing, Grants Management Best Practices

Collaboration Done Right: When Local Governments and Nonprofits Apply for Grants Together  

Posted by Timothy Tiernan on Apr 8, 2015 8:00:00 AM

Capacity is everything. When it comes to applying for a grant, you need to ensure you have the proper organizational, human, and financial capacity to apply for and manage the award should you win funding. And sometimes it’s a lack of capacity, particularly a scarcity of human capital capacity, that prevents an organization from pursuing certain grant funding they could really use. Maybe you have a story that comes to mind about this topic. 

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Topics: Nonprofits, Local Government, Grants Management Best Practices

Indirect Costs: Deconstructing the “Overhead Myth” in the Uniform Guidance

Posted by Rachel Werner on Apr 6, 2015 8:24:00 AM

In the summer of 2014, almost everyone either participated in or knew someone who participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. It was a win/win situation – The ALS Association gained exposure through various social media outlets, and experienced a near 1,000 percent increase in donations from the previous year at that time. However, people started to look a little deeper and wonder, Where is my money going? Is it really supporting research? They are shocked to discover that some of the donation funds actually go toward administrative costs and overhead. While those unfamiliar with a nonprofit budget might find this disenchanting, this is actually common and accepted practice, and must be understood in more detail to clarify some misconceptions. 

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Topics: Nonprofits, Local Government, Indirect Costs, Uniform Guidance

Knight Cities Challenge Program: A Path to Civic Innovation  

Posted by Timothy Tiernan on Apr 2, 2015 6:00:00 AM

Research shows that three things make cities successful: talented people, economic opportunities, and engagement. 


What’s your best idea to make cities more successful?

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Topics: Nonprofits, Local Government, Foundation Grants

International Grant Professionals Week, March 16-20

Posted by Kim Richardson on Mar 5, 2015 3:00:00 AM

Monday, March 16, launches International Grant Professionals Week. The Grant Professionals Association (GPA) is rolling out a full month of social media activities to recognize its members around the world. Currently, there are 21 active members based outside of the U.S., and many more professionals who access information and network through the Association’s social media forums. Since its inception, GPA has increased its membership in staggering numbers, and enhanced international awareness is a contributing factor. 

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Topics: Nonprofits, Grant Writing, Local Government, Grant News

Community Development Block Grants Serve the Needs of Nonprofits

Posted by Kim Joyce on Jan 14, 2015 6:00:00 AM

The first time I heard the acronym "CDBG" as a brand new grant writer, I didn’t know what to think. What did those four letters stand for ("Community Development Block Grant"), and why were they so important? As a grant writer located in Maricopa County, Arizona, I know that most cities have some form of CDBG funding—in fact, practically every city in the County (Scottsdale, Mesa, Glendale, Chandler, Peoria, and the Town of Gilbert). Why are these grants are so important? Because with other funding sources drying up, CDBG grants are an excellent source of funding that nonprofits have come to rely on over the years.

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Topics: Federal Grants, Nonprofits, Local Government, Formula Grants, CDBG

How Local Governments Can Land Private-Sector Grants

Posted by Timothy Tiernan on Nov 10, 2014 5:00:00 AM

Local governments are not necessarily precluded from pursuing private-sector grants. By creating a 501(c)(3) foundation, local governments, and even police departments, can become eligible for grants from private-sector grantors that indicate in their guidelines that they only award grants to nonprofits. During ICMA's September webinar "The Language of Grant Writing," one of the last questions during the Q&A secton came from a local government official that brought up this very issue:

“I’m with the city and we have never considered going after private-sector funding. How can we position ourselves to win foundation grant awards?”

The answer deserved transcription, so I've quoted it at length below. Dr. Beverly Browning, who hosted the webinar, responded as follows:

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Topics: Grant Seeking, Nonprofits, Local Government

Grant Success Spotlight: Chisholm Kids Plus

Posted by Timothy Tiernan on Nov 6, 2014 10:29:00 AM

Chisholm Kids Plus is a nonprofit coalition established by the Northland Foundation to improve the well-being of children and youth in the rural town of Chisholm, Minnesota. This year, the organization applied for the Office of National Drug Control Policy's Drug-Free Communities Support Program. With the assistance of eCivis' grant writing team, Chisholm Kids Plus won a $625,000 matching grant that will go toward substance prevention efforts among youth in Chisholm.

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Topics: Nonprofits, Grant Writing