Secrets of Successful Non-Profits

Networking is important for anyone and, for any industry. You never know who may know who, and who can connect you to the very resource you have been longing to meet.

Networking, especially for organizations seeking funding, is very important. Not only will this connection help you reach resources you are seeking, this connection may be the one organization you need to partner with in future grant proposals.

 Grants awarded on partnerships

Most grants are awarded based on solid partnerships. You will want to make connections with organizations and people who are closely aligned to your organization’s mission, vision and goals.

Don’t limit your network to just organizations in your niche, expand your network to other areas. They may actually need your partnership for a proposal they are applying for.

Example partners

If you are an organization focused on providing assistance for veterans, for example, you will need to partner with other veteran organizations as well as organizations that provide child care, health assistance, transportation, housing, job skills training and educational institutions.

This may lead to a small amount of funding for your organization. Although, you may not be the lead entity applying for the grant, the opportunity for you to provide your services to other organization is really what community organization is about.

GRAB THE DREAM!!!

Genola B. Johnson 

Dr. Genola Johnson is the Executive Director of Johnson & Associates Consulting Firm, LLC a grant writing firm. For more information on JACF, visit www.jacf.net

 

 

How to Use Social Media To Promote Your Cause

As a grant writer, I am often questioned about how to acquire grants. And more often than not, the organization is not ready. However, sometimes, I do get an organization that is ready and are doing great things, but no one knows about their successes.

As a full service grant writing service, we provide consultation services to the organization about what they may need to do in order to improve their stance on the internet.

  1. Frequently updating your website is one way that SEO will notice that you are out there doing phenomenal things in your community. Pictures, videos, blogs, or newsletters is how you move your organization’s website up in the search engines.
  2. Another way to get exposure is through social media. Depending on the type of organization you have, you will need to register with at least 3 of the many social media outlets available.

If your organization is geared toward the arts, I would suggest you definitely register with Pinterest. If your focus is more toward a service cause, Facebook or Twitter would be excellent for you.

Do not try to register with every social media that is available. Trying to post to many social media outlets will exhaust your staff person with updates. There are platforms for you to post to many sites with one post, but again, I would suggest you stick to no more than 3 social media sites and post well meaningful content to them.

Make sure you join groups, respond to comments and make connections with others in the platform. Expanding your networking circle is crucial when you are acquiring a grant.

Genola B. Johnson

Dr. Genola Johnson is the Executive Director of Johnson & Associates Consulting Firm, LLC a full service grant writing firm. For more information on JACF, visit www.jacf.net

Grant Writing Services: 3 Types of People For Your Board of Directors

Having a board of directors is essential for your non-profit organization. The board of directors determines the role and responsibilities of the organization collectively.

Functions of a Board of Directors

The functions of the board of directors include:

  • Development of a mission and vision statement
  • Monitor organization’s programs and projects
  • Oversee the operations of the organization
  • Manage resources
  • Provide fundraising efforts
  • Employ qualified employees to work with the programs the organization was founded upon

The board will also develop the bylaws and the articles of incorporation. Usually the board will consist of at least 3 people but may be more.

When selecting your board members keep these ideas in mind:

1. Personality. You need someone who has the personality to work with others and not want to be on an island by themselves.

2. Motive. What is the motive of the person being on the board of directors? If it’s just to add something to their resume, you may not want this person on your board.

You want someone who has experience in the area you are focusing on as well as want to actually help the target market.

3. Time Commitment.  Does the person you want on your board have the time to committee to assist in  directing the organization in helping the target market.

Members of the board of directors need to be cohesive, knowledgeable and committed in providing a service for the target market of the organization.

YOUR CAPITAL RESOURCE,

Dr. Genola Johnson is the Executive Director of Johnson & Associates Consulting Firm, LLC a grant writing firm. For more information on JACF, vist www.jacf.net

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4 Things You Can Do To Kickstart Your Organization

missionPeople who want to start a non-profit organization have a passion to help people. Often they are caught up in the passion for helping and not the business side of the organization.

The business side of the organization is the backbone and the framework of the organization. You need this part to be strong in order to continue to help the community you desire to help.

There are many things that need to take place in order for your organization to run like a business, because, in reality, it is a business.

Like any successful business, there are components that need to be in place. One of the first things you should have in place is organizing the organization’s history, it’s mission, it’s vision, accomplishments of the organization and the program statement.

Organization’s History:

This statement is about the history of your organization. Why you exist. What inspired you to start this organization. This could be a story.

Organization’s Mission:

This statement is about your reason for being. As in the history, why you exist. Who will your customers be, what products, services and community you plan to serve. What is the purpose of your business? What do you hope to accomplish in this organization? Ask several people in the organization what they believe the organization’s mission.

Organization’s Vision:

This statement is where you want to go. What your future picture looks like. If you don’t have a vision, your business will not be successful.

Organization’s Program Statement:

This will be a list of the programs and services your organization provides. These programs and services is the heart of your organization. It is what you do that help the community you serve.

GRAB THE DREAM!!!

Dr. Genola Johnson is the Executive Director of Johnson & Associates Consulting Firm, LLC a grant writing firm. For more information on JACF, vist www.jacf.net

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For Profit or Non Profit; That’s the Question

imagesOften I am asked the question, what’s the difference between a for-profit organization and a non-profit organization. I decided to answer this question as easily as possible.

For profit organizations are just what they say they are. They are for a profit. They do not have to answer to anyone. They may have shareholders and investors, but for the most part, they are on their own. They have a product or service they provide to the marketplace and they sell it. A profit is made and that profit is either reinvested back into the company or used as salaries. Basically, they could do whatever they want with the profit.

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Profit for organization

For profit organizations file taxes, pay employee tax, unemployment tax, insurance, 401K benefits, and other fringe benefits the company deems they want to pay for their employees. It could be discounts at the neighborhood gym. Those are benefits the for-profit company wants to share with its employees. Usually a for-profit organization can be up and running fairly quickly. Basically complete your secretary of state requirements, apply for an EIN and you’re in business.

 Service to community

Now, the non-profit is a bit more involved. The non-profit is to provide a service for the community. It can be a museum, educational institution, religious, scientific research, hospital care, or environmental. A non-profit has a board of directors, articles of incorporation and fundraising to consider. A non-profit has to get direction from the board of directors to implement programs, how the programs will be implemented and for how long. In addition to concentrating on the programs the organization is implementing, they have to think about fundraising. These funds are used to run the programs, not for the profit of the organization.

The non-profit does pay taxes, such as employee tax. But may not pay sales tax. Other fringe benefits are also paid, such as insurance and 401K. However, extra benefits such as gym memberships are not considered the best use of the nonprofit funds. It takes a little bit longer to become a non-profit in the eyes of the IRS. First you would register as a non-profit with your secretary of state, apply for an EIN and send your non-profit incorporation letter from the state to the IRS in addition to completing a packet for the IRS. The registering with your state may not take as long, however, to register with the IRS may take a while. If you are planning to begin applying for funding with your IRS non-profit letter, you may need to make other plans for raising funds while you await your letter.

GRAB THE DREAM!!!


Dr. Genola Johnson is the Executive Director of Johnson & Associates Consulting Firm, LLC a grant writing firm. For more information on JACF, vist www.jacf.net

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Specifics About Grants

giftWhen most people hear the word grant, they equate it with free money. However, this is very far from the case. When an organization is funded with a grant, there are often many ties attached.

There are specifics that the organization should be aware of before writing the grant AND especially if the grant is funded. For example, there may be terms and conditions that the organization may not agree with. If this is the situation, the organization may need to reject receiving the grant award.

There may be financials that should be reported periodically. If there is no one able to do this or you do not want to report financials as required by the grant, this may not be the grant for you to apply for or accept.

If the grant requires you to match funds, there may be specifics of how those matches can be made. it is important to read all the requirements for matching so that you can adhere to the grant guidelines.

Often there are records that will need to be filed and kept a certain number of years after the grant period has expired. Make sure you are knowledgeable of these requirements as well.

Finally, some grants may not allow you to draw funds until you have spent funds. In other words, it may be a reimburse grant. If this is the case, you will need to make sure you are aware of what you can spend money on to ensure you are reimbursed 100%.

GRAB THE DREAM!!!

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Sharing Really Is Caring

sharing“Sharing is Caring,” is a phrase that is often used. However, sharing and caring are very important in the non-profit sector. As a grant writer, I often come across individuals who represent organizations who want grants written.

Of course I am delighted to have the opportunity to write the grant for the organization because this allows me to help my community. But when we look deeper into the requirements of the grant, often the grant requires the organization to share the resources they may receive.

Then the representative will say to me, “I have to SHARE, the budget?”

Why are you a non-profit?

Remember why you chose to become a non-profit in the first place. Hopefully it was to help a community. You see the key word is, HELP. Often providing help requires someone other than your organization providing the services.

Grantors prefer to see your organization working within the community to help the needed cause. This means, they want to see more than you providing the resources. They want to see you working with another organization. It’s almost like a puzzle, they want to see all the pieces working together.

For example, if you have an organization that works with job skills. The grantor would like to see you working with another organization that could bring career coaching skills (proper dress, manners, etc.) to the job skills table.

Working with others helps your organization

Working with other organizations can increase your mission and goals opportunities in helping the community you chose to assist.

Acquiring letters of support and MOUs from partnering organizations will increase your RFP score. Having a high score increases your chances of being funded.

Remember, when you decide you want to request funding for your organization’s program, ask yourself, who can you SHARE with.

GRAB THE DREAM!!!

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J228

Dr. Genola Johnson has been a successful grant writer since 2007. She works with Johnson & Associates Consulting Firm. For more information, visit www.jacf.net.

Foundations for Grant Writing

money treeFoundations for Grant Writing

No matter if you are a for-profit or a non-profit, you will need certain information to apply for a grant.

  1. For a non-profit organization, proof of your 501(c) 3 status will be needed. Information about your budget such as how you receive revenue and from what sources.
  2. A summary of your organization’s history, mission, a description and accomplishments of the organization. A solid idea of the program you are requesting funds for, how it will impact the community and a time frame for the project (how long will the project take to implement).
  3. Indicate a needs assessment in stating your current situation.
  4. A project description should include the goals, objectives and criteria of the program’s success, project design and implementation, including a measurement and evaluation procedures. Indicate how your program can continue to support the project after the grant funds are gone. State how the program will be evaluated for success.
  5. Budget section; how the funds will be used in the project. Information on whether other grants have been awarded; matching and in-kind funding will sometimes need to be included.

Once the above framework information is in place writing grants will not be that difficult. Depending on the grant request, small bits of information can be added or deleted.

Grab the Dream!

 

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