Candid insights

The big picture of the social sector, backed by data and expertise

6 Charitable Solicitation Facts to Know Before Applying for a Grant

For many nonprofits, foundation grants represent a significant part of their annual income. The Internet, of course, has made finding grant opportunities easier and has streamlined the grants application process to a degree. As organizations seek grant funds outside their…

By James Gilmer

March 25, 2016

20 Great Techniques for Writing the Perfect Nonprofit Tagline

A pitch-perfect tagline can be the foundation for all messages you create about your organization or program. A tagline is a punchy phrase consistently linked with your organization. It enhances your name by clarifying your work and making it relevant…

February 12, 2016

Dashboards: Nonprofits’ New Best Friend

If you lead or help manage a nonprofit organization, you know how hard it can be to provide clarity and transparency to your stakeholders. Revenue streams are unpredictable, databases can be hard to work with, and money has to be…

By Justin Johnson

December 22, 2015

Serving the Public Good (by Invitation Only)

America's foundations are not particularly interested in receiving your proposal. Earlier this year I did a quick search on Foundation Directory Online (FDO) of the 96,042 independent, company-sponsored, and community foundations based in the U.S. The results were pretty shocking: only 26,663…

By Bradford K. Smith (he/him)

November 30, 2015

Funders, thank you for doing these 12 awesome things

Hi everyone, after talking to an ED of color who was on the verge of quitting the field after a horrible and demoralizing experience with a small grant that left her almost in tears, I started writing a post called…

By Vu Le (he/him)

October 1, 2015

Throwing a Fundraising House Party? Here’s What You Need to Know

If you're looking to raise money for a good cause without the extravagance of a full-on gala, having a house party can be great as a simpler, more intimate alternative. Held in someone's home, usually with no more than 50…

July 8, 2015

4 Steps to Identifying Your Key Messages

I worked with a client recently on honing their messaging. This organization has a focused mission, a clearly articulated approach to its work, and specialized niche within its ecosystem of actors and stakeholders. They know their constituents and they can…

June 22, 2015

The Clinton Foundation Reveals Its Donors: Should You?

A fundraising foundation has two world famous founders, a global network of generous donors, and a track record of grantmaking success. One of the founders plans to run for higher office, and the foundation makes the decision to be highly…

By Steven Lawrence

June 1, 2015

Social Sector Knowledge Sharing: A Manifesto for 2015 and Beyond

Within the last six months, three of the world’s largest foundations—the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Ford Foundation—have all announced that they will require open licensing and knowledge sharing for all grant-funded products and content. In…

By Lisa M. Brooks (she/her) and Gabi Fitz

April 20, 2015

Where Can I Find a Nonprofit’s Form 1023?

Lately, I've been getting a lot of Ask Us visitors who want to see a specific nonprofit's Form 1023, also known as its exemption application. This question usually comes from would-be nonprofits that want to refer to Form 1023 samples…

By Sandy Pon (she/her)

March 6, 2015

Document Checklist for Grant Proposals: Part 3

Part 1 listed documents to collect during the prospect research stage; Part 2 listed those to collect when you submit your letter of inquiry or proposal. Part 3 will look at what to keep when you've been notified, and suggest…

By Richard Hallman and Sandy Pon (she/her)

December 29, 2014

Document Checklist for Grant Proposals: Part 2

Part 1 listed documents to collect during the prospect research stage. In Part 2, we'll continue our checklist with content to collect when you are submitting your letters of inquiry or grant proposals. Letter of inquiry. Grantmakers are increasingly asking…

By Richard Hallman and Sandy Pon (she/her)

December 17, 2014