August 2009 Archives

August 24, 2009

Fundraising Kudos to: Portable Playhouse

It's always fun to read about an unusual fundraising idea, and here's one that caught my eye recently: Portable Playhouse, a nonprofit that visits pediatric units in hospitals and recovering women in outpatient cancer centers and helps them make their own beaded jewelry, is going for a Guinness World Record.

They aim to string together the world's longest necklace, over two miles long. For a dollar, donors can add a bead to the strand.

And as a bonus, this project is bringing them media coverage, including the following article on the Philanthropy Project's website.

August 10, 2009

Fundraising From Family Foundations as a Tough-Times Strategy

Guidestar recently issued a survey showing how family foundations -- in other words, small, local, family-owned foundations with typical endowments below $10 millions -- prefer to be approached by grantseekers.

It's an important topic given that, as Guidestar points out, competition for philanthropic dollars is so high that the chances of getting a grant from one of the major, richer foundations are "slim to none."

The most important part of their survey-based advice has to do with the importance of personal relationship-building to these grantors. They really, really don't want to receive an impersonal, out-of-nowhere grant proposal!

Also notice that (at last), they prefer you get in touch via email. That should make it easier for any organization whose E.D. or development staff don't like picking up the telephone for a cold call (and know 1,000 ways to procrastinate that task).