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    • You have to look for grants that support operating expenses, not programs.

      What do you think of pursuing program grants for an event (a) to demonstrate there’s a need for the charity based on event attendance and (b) to demonstrate the capabilities of the organization based on a successful event?

      I spent some time in Joan Garry’s leadership lab and Facebook group and my sense is that you need a track record of success and need to be asking for a grant that covers operating expenses specifically to grow your program and not just to maintain it. Could be completely wrong here (no surprise!), which is why I’m asking.

      I guess the better question is, how do you gain a funder’s trust that your charity is worth operating funds if your charity is at the beginning of its lifecycle?

    • We joined Joan’s lab and Facebook group a couple months ago. We love it! A track record is what we need. It’s hard to get money unless you have a proven program and hard to have a program with money. I imagine this is one of the first challenges many nonprofits face, especially in the beginning? Please tell me more about the “event” grants. Thank you : )

    • Please tell me more about the “event” grants. Thank you : )

      First off I’m thrilled that you’re in Joan Garry’s lab. If you go to the training courses, there should be one by a social media expert on Facebook. She does a great review of what to do/not do when setting up a Facebook page for your charity. Definitely worth watching, especially for tips on what to post and how frequently.

      “Event” grant. A grant can be for whatever the funder approves. I once got a grant to buy adaptive gardening tools for individuals who were wheelchair bound. Whether it’s for operating expenses, the purchase of new equipment, or for programs, the funder wants the money to contribute to the charity’s mission.

      Say your a new charity that wants to provide art therapy to senior citizens. Right now, you may not have a track record to convince a funder to award $100,000 for a state of the art studio. But what happens if you get that funder to give you $500 for a Valentine’s Day Lonely Hearts Art Therapy night?

      Well, you now have a grant from a reputable funder, which gives you credibility with donors and other funders. You also have increased your chances of getting a larger award down the road from the funder who awarded the grant.

      Putting on such an event not only does good. It also gives you the opportunity to promote the event to the local tv news stations as a human interest story. So you’re getting your charity’s name out to prospective donors in the community. If you had a website and Facebook page already set up with links to newsletter signup and donation pages, a tv news spot could translate into online donations or a prospect list for face to face follow up.

      Putting on the event allows you to recruit new volunteers.

      Lastly, successfully completing a small event provides evidence that your team is capable of bigger things.

      Does that make sense? Please ask if it doesn’t or if you have follow up or additional questions.