Prospect Research Tips for Nonprofits: Tax Forms

Posted by on Nov 6, 2015 in foundations, fundraising, grants, grantwriting, nonprofit, philanthropy, research, Uncategorized |

Today I’m going to talk about the exciting topic of tax forms.  Recently, the Star Tribune published a piece about why it is important for nonprofit organizations to do a good job in preparing their 990 form because it provides information to funders, donors, the media, charity watchdog groups.  ( The 990 document can give either a positive or...

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Tips for Working with Consultants

Posted by on May 15, 2015 in consultants, consulting, grants, grantwriting, nonprofit, philanthropy, Uncategorized |

As an independent consultant who helps nonprofits secure grants and in my former career as an in-house lawyer, I’ve worked with a variety of clients. As an in-house lawyer, my clients were employees of the business (as was I), while currently I consult with organizations as an independent contractor.  I’ve found that in both situations, similar considerations contribute to a good working relationship, better value and best results. Here are a...

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Thoughts on an Innovative Approach to Grantmaking

Posted by on Nov 29, 2012 in community engagement, foundations, grantwriting, nonproft, philanthropy, Uncategorized |

Through my work, I help nonprofits seek and secure funding, often from private foundations.  It’s a challenging process, for many reasons.  Most important, there is not enough money to go around.  Tough choices have to be made.   In order to make those tough choices most effectively, foundations sometimes experiment with new approaches to philanthropy. I mentioned in any earlier post that I had participated in a novel process called the Connect...

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A View from the Grant Reviewing Trenches

Posted by on Nov 6, 2012 in foundations, grantwriting, nonproft, philanthropy, Uncategorized |

This is a follow up to my last blog post where I discussed the Connect for Health Challenge.  As a citizen reviewer, I read and rated hundreds of online grant proposals.  It was quite educational.  I’d like to share with you a few of my impressions of what made a good proposal and what didn’t.  In the plus column, I liked proposals that: Presented a solid idea (which should go without saying) Explained ideas in context (such as history and...

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