"It's not just about being able to write a check. It's being able to touch somebody's life."
Oprah Winfrey

Grants & More

Why Your Organization Needs Good Funder Research

“We get dozens of proposals from organizations that clearly never did a lick of homework, and waste our time and the precious funds of their members sending out hopeless proposals to the wrong funders. I often wonder if these same people try to buy their groceries in the hardware store.” -- Executive Director of the C.S. Fund, quoted in How Foundations Work: What Grantseekers Need to Know about the Many Faces of Foundations, 1998

You have to do good research about a foundation and its goals. Just because it has money to give away doesn’t mean it wants to give it to your organization.

Has a board member or well-meaning individual ever approached you helpfully, yet out of ignorance, tells you, “You should apply to the So-and-So Foundation. They have lots of money." Just because a foundation – or individual or corporation – is wealthy doesn’t mean they connect with your mission or cause. There are millions of “good causes” throughout the world, and yours is just one.

When I was a Development Director, one of the organization’s board members read an article on the (at the time) newly established Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The article described the foundation, its focus, and its need to distribute billions of dollars quickly. She gave me the article and excitedly gushed, “They have lots of money to give away!”, the implication being that our organization should apply and we’d get it. It never occurred to her that the stated focus of “international development, international health, public education, and public libraries” did not match the needs of a regional botanic garden.

I can help you avoid the “square peg in the round hole” pitfall and focus your funding prospects.