Strategic Planning for Public and Nonprofit Organizations

strategic planningStrategic Planning for Public and Nonprofit Organizations: A Guide to Strengthening and Sustaining Organizational Achievement by John M. Bryson is a valuable resource for leaders and professionals in nonprofit and public management.  This book offers sound advice for strategic planning and management.  It is a solid choice for clarifying the process of successful strategic planning.

Order this book!

Nonprofit Sustainability

nonprofit sustainabilityNonprofit Sustainability: Making Strategic Decisions for Financial Viability by Jeanne BellJan Masaoka and Steve Zimmerman is considered a “must read” for every nonprofit. It offers practical and sometimes revelatory advice for developing your own unique path to sustainability without compromising your mission. This book will empower your nonprofit towards financial viability for a long time.

Order this book!

We are Thanking Veterans with a 10% Rebate Check and Personal Recognition!

memorial dayVeterans are near and dear to our hearts. We appreciate and are grateful for our safety and security within our borders.

For Memorial Day, we are excited to sponsor a special rebate program.  From May 21 through May 31, 2015, all veteran related nonprofits, veteran owned small businesses, and/or an individual veteran that subscribes to for either a six (6) month or (1) one year membership will receive a 10% rebate check! posts new grant opportunities for veterans, their families and related associations to the Veterans’ category. Subscribers stay up-to-date with the newest funding sources throughout the USA. 

If you are not a veteran, during this opportune time, consider – gifting a veteran friend or veteran organization with this special offer.

In addition, our founder and CEO, Libby Hikind looks forward to personally saying, “Thank you for serving!” 

Send your details to, and you will receive both your rebate check and personal contact with Libby.  Best wishes for a meaningful Memorial Day. salutes you!

Instructions for Receiving Your 10% Rebate Check and “Thank You” from Libby

1.      Subscribe to for either six (6) months or (1) one year by clicking:

2.      Send to

a.      Your user name (email address on the account).

b.      The full name and address where to send the rebate check and thank you note.

c.       Proof of your veteran or current serving status (veteran nonprofits or small business should send a link to their website and/or mission statement).

d.      The first and last name that appears on the credit card used to purchase the  subscription.

Thank you for joining!  We are honored to help you!

Winning Grants Step by Step-Book Review

9781118378342_cover.inddWinning Grants Step by Step: The Complete Workbook for Planning, Developing and Writing Successful Proposals, 4th Edition by Tori O'Neal-McElrath is a great resource.  It covers all the steps you’ll need to gain the confidence of funders.  Offering hands-on tools and practical advice, this is the book to help you perfect your applications in order to get the grants you require for your nonprofit success.

Order this book!

How To Create Your Organization Profile

grantwritingSo much information about an organization must be provided in order to apply for a grant. Unfortunately, many organizations are unaware of all that is required.  This is where a grant writer can be a valuable asset.  An experienced grant writer can help your organization compile all the necessary information needed to successfully apply for funding.

A good way to learn about required documentation for grant applications is to use the services provided through As you browse through the different funding opportunities, you will get a good idea of what funders need in order to decide on who wins the grant.    

You can also reach out to for assistance and to connect with experienced grant writers who can help your organization be successful. 

In the meantime, begin to create your organizational profile by compiling the following information and storing it in way that is easily retrievable and reproducible. While this is not an exhaustive list, it is required by most foundations and grant-makers.

  • Agency Mission or Vision Statement
  • Copy of Certificate of Incorporation
  • Most Recent 501(c)(3) Letter
  • Employee Identification Number (EIN)
  • DUNS Number (Required for all Federal Applications.

And, remember, we at are always happy to help!

You Asked and GrantWatch Listened!


In our pursuit to make GrantWatch the best, most user-friendly site for nonprofits to easily find funding, we constantly seek to not only improve your website experience but also to take your suggestions seriously. To that end, we are happy to share with you our latest upgrade.

Recently, a subscriber in New Mexico wrote to our support team requesting that we add an “email this grant” and “print this grant” feature to our site.  Recognizing the value to our customers, we are pleased to announce that you may now click on these icons for email  email   and for printing print.

Our goal is to assist you in the most professional, streamlined fashion we can to save you time and get funding to your organization as quickly and easily as possible.  We welcome any ideas or comments you would like to share in order to make GrantWatch your favorite place to search for grants and helpful information. Launch!

GrantsWeIt is time to dust off your not yet funded grant applications!

In May, you will be able to take your pending proposals and synergize them with crowdfunding.  Through the people of the world will decide which project to fund through small donations that will collectively add up to the sum you need. 

Prepare to start the process by gathering pictures and video clips in anticipation of the crowdfunding of your project.  We have crowdfunding mentors through that will help you transpose your proposal to the platform. From design to final publish, we can assist with the socializing of your project.

We are all happily anticipating the Grand Opening of COMING SOON!

And, The Winner Is…..! is proud to announce the winner of our Employee Appreciation Day Contest.  We have been personally touched by the overwhelming response to this contest.  Hundreds of employees shared moving accounts of their team members.  We would like to honestly say that, truly, you are ALL winners!

However, as only one employee could be picked, we are happy to announce that Larry Gardella of Legal Services Alabama (LSA) is the contest winner!  Larry is receiving a $75 gift card to Starbucks and Legal Services Alabama now has an annual subscription to valued at $199.

larry jaffe

Jaffe Pickett, LSA Director of Resource Development nominated Larry Gardella, LSA Director of Advocacy and wrote: "Thank You Larry Gardella for 36 years of helping those most in need. LSA is the only statewide provider of free civil legal services in Alabama for those who cannot afford help and without your dedication, so many would not have received the life changing, and sometimes life saving, assistance provided. LSA thanks you for dedicating your career to our mission to serve low-income people by providing civil legal aid and by promoting collaboration to find solutions to problems of poverty."

Further to our last post about the contest, we would like to share a few more moving submissions:

Erin Murphy and Laurie Rovin of Pendleton Place, South Carolina nominated Melody Watson, Office Manager. “Melody is the most dedicated employee I know. She is here well before we open and long after we close and even works almost every weekend. Melody keeps us all together – she truly is the glue of Pendleton Place. She takes care of financials, human resources, schedules all orientations, ensures we get paid, sets up and takes down for all meetings and events at the agency, takes care of all the food for staff meetings, board meetings, events, and the list goes on and on. She truly does everything… with a smile on her face.  We know we can count on Melody for anything…She is our lifeline…she is irreplaceable! Melody is the best!”

Marcia Shafer of RSVP of Weld County, Colorado wrote: “Emily Corron is an outstanding employee who works tirelessly toward helping seniors understand how to prepare for the next disaster.  Her efforts have contributed to 50 new volunteers toward those efforts.   She is now working on a Homeless Veteran's Stand down Day with great success.” 

Kim Scofi of United Military Care, Georgia wrote: “Christina Anthony is one of the strongest most compassionate people I know and she will do whatever it takes to make sure our military clients are cared for.  Thank you for being a shining example of what every American should be doing – caring.”

Thank you all for sharing in this contest.  May you continue to do the great work you do to make this world a better place.

YOU have inspired through our Employee Appreciation Day Contest!

Employee appreciation dayIn honor of Employee Appreciation Day, launched a contest last week. Participation has been pouring in and we are so touched by the responses and admiration that people have for their fellow staff.

Common terms used to describe beloved team members were; dedicated, selfless, positive attitude, passionate, encouraging, tireless, going beyond the call of duty, wearer of many hats, compassionate, committed and reliable. Clearly, our nonprofit workers are a unique breed of special people.

We thought that you might appreciate reading a few of the beautiful posts as much as we did. So, we have posted them below.

The contest is continuing for just a few more days.  All entries must be in by March 6, 2015, Employee Appreciation Day.  The winning organization will receive a FREE annual subscription to valued at $199 and the star employee will get a $75 Starbucks gift card!

You can still nominate a valued worker by clicking:

And, now, for a few heartfelt responses (edited for the sake of space):

Christine Castles from Foundation for the Arts and Trauma, Connecticut wrote:“Dear Miss Kendra, All our staff, students, teachers, and administrators cannot thank you enough. Your name says it all: Kind, Enthusiastic, Nice, Devoted, Responsible, Accountable!… you are totally a remarkable woman! Your "List" is phenomenal and all who use it know first-hand how children should be treated, making for a more peaceful world, whose goal is to totally eradicate child maltreatment. Your personal response in penning thousands of letters each year to the children who write you is beyond comprehension. Your dedication to all the thousands of children we serve in Connecticut is a testament to your amazing character, something so rare, yet so necessary in these times.”

Julie Weaver from Amboy Elementary, Arkansas wrote: “Elena Reyes-Lovins is constantly going above and beyond to make learning exciting and hands-on. She shares her knowledge and expertise with the staff and helps new teachers learn how to write grants. She is passionate and is always seeking new opportunities to grow professionally. She is an amazing educator!”

Christine Randall from Philadelphia Senior Citizens Resource Center (PSCRC), Pennsylvania wrote: “Jacqueline Mack, our office manager trainee is the person that I take great pride in nominating for your "Employee Appreciation Day" contest. We thank her for the countless extra steps she takes to make sure that our tasks are complete….She brings us that "Let's Get it Down" attitude each and every day. She encourages all of us with her strength, faith and belief in God.  Even when some tasks are difficult for her she still gives her very best and encourages the other staff members, trainees and volunteers to do the same. To be honest, it is truly because of Jacqueline's cheerleading of our organization that makes us  all be mindful during difficult moments why we do what we do for senior citizens, their families and caregivers.”

Kelli Czaykowsky from Friends of refugees providing education and empowerment, Georgia wrote: “Allen Clark of FREE is always willing to go on short notice for anything that we need. If a mother calls and her baby does not have any diapers he will bring diapers to the mother. If the family is hungry and in need of food, he will go purchase food and take it to them. He is always picking up donated furniture, clothes, and other items sometimes the same day that people will call. He never says no when a person is in need and is always the first to be there to help a refugee. If he sees a child with no shoes he will go to the Goodwill and buy shoes for that child. He has given out hundreds of bicycles for the kids and then he will go and fix the bicycles as they start to breakdown.”

Congratulations to all of the nominees posted above and those we have not yet had a chance to feature.  You are already winners in the eyes of so many! 

(All entries are entered into the contest and one winner will be selected at random on March 6, 2015.  Good Luck!)

How to Write a LOI=Letter of Intent, Letter of Interest, Letter of Inquiry

letter of intent picHow to Write a LOI=Letter of Intent, Letter of Interest, Letter of Inquiry

Many foundations ask for a LOI before requesting a full grant proposal.  This helps the funder to weed out organizations which are the most appropriate to receive their offered grant. Organizations also use the LOI to assess how many staff are needed in order to review the upcoming proposals.  More so, the LOI places you on their mailing list for all future addendums and modifications for that particular grant, including deadline changes.

LOI is a non-legally binding document which includes an introduction to your project, contact information at your agency, a description of your organization, a statement of need, your methodology and/or an achievable solution to the need, a brief discussion of other funding sources and a final summary. 

Although foundations usually provide an outline for the LOI, we hope that the following tips will help you successfully win your applied for grants. 

  1. The LOI should be a brief, one page, informative letter which summarizes your ultimate full proposal.  There are times, however, when it can be as long as three pages.
  2. The structure of the LOI is a business letter.  Therefore, write the LOI on business letterhead.  Be sure that your company’s address appears on the letterhead or add it to the letter on the right hand side.  The recipient’s address should appear on the left hand side of the paper. 
  3. It is important to use the specific name of the recipient.  It is best to avoid general terminology such as, “Dear Sir” or “To Whom It May Concern”.
  4. The opening of your LOI might be the most important part of your letter.  It should be a concise, executive summary which provides enticing information to inspire the reader to continue.  Include the name of your organization, the grant you are applying for and/or the amount of money you are requesting as well as a short description of the project involved.  You should also include how your project fits the funder’s guidelines and funding interests.
  5. Next, give a brief history of your nonprofit and its programs.  There should be a direct connection made from what you currently do to what you want to accomplish with their funding.  Include a description of your target population and geographic area.  It is wise to incorporate statistical facts about what you are doing and hope to do as well as specific examples of successes and needs.
  6. Elaborate on your objectives.  How do you plan on using the funding to solve the problem?  Describe the project succinctly.  Include major activities along with the names and titles of key project staff.
  7. If you are requesting funding from other sources, mention this in a brief paragraph.  In addition, include any funding already secured as well as how you plan to support the project in the future.
  8. Briefly summarize your goal.  Note that you are open to answering any further questions.  Thank the funder for his consideration in your organization. 
  9. You may attach any additional forms which are helpful to present your information. However, keep in mind that this is a LOI and not a full proposal.
  10. Review the given guidelines for the LOI to assure that you have met all of the funder’s requirements.  Failing to include all requested information can cause your LOI to be disregarded.
  11. When signing the LOI, use proper business salutations such as “sincerely” or “respectfully”.  It is best to avoid an overly friendly closing.

For your convenience, here are some links to sample LOIs:

Short LOI:

Long LOI:

May your LOI open the door to your successful winning of grants.