Happy New Year! What are you hoping 2024 might bring for you? I am hoping to continue to keep my amazing Sunflower team active and engaged in meaningful projects to spend a lot of time with my husband and family, and maybe learn to dance! I know. If you know me well you are thinking, Katie please don’t dance, you will fall and hurt yourself because you are so clumsy! But I really want to try.
Back to the new year. I wanted to share some new year’s “grant resolutions” to set you on the right path for 2024 grants.
- Read the directions. Read them twice.
- Ask: Is this funding opportunity a good fit for my organization and my project or program?
- Have your full application package ready at least a week in advance of the deadline to account for anything that may come up at the last minute.
- Use personal stories.
- Ensure your budget and budget narrative match your program request.
- Be proactive. If you have questions, reach out directly to the funders. They will be more than happy to help answer your concern.
- Use statistics and other data to strengthen your narrative.
- Proofread. And have someone else proofread, too.
- Review where you are getting funding from and determine if you need to branch out and try to add new funders to your list.
- Determine if you need to outsource grant writing for your nonprofit – this can be a great savings in time and money.
Do you need a grant for any of these unique opportunities?
January 9 – Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (grants for law enforcement, military, veterans).
January 17 – Museum Selfie Day (grants for the arts).
January 24 – International Day of Education (grants for education).
Is there a best time of year to ask for money? Yes! Early in the year can be a better time to ask for funding, especially when it comes to smaller Foundations, as they may tend to give away their funding well before the end of the calendar year.
Don’t use language that appears tentative or hesitant. Words like “maybe” or “probably” will not inspire confidence in someone from whom you are asking funding.
Keep your audience in mind. Do not assume that the people reading your application knows anything about your organization or your programs before they have seen your application.
SPECIAL MONTHLY OFFER
In the month of January, if you secure grant writing services with Sunflower and mention the code SOLISTICE, you will receive 50% off of your first hour of the grant production process!
Across the Omaha metro, emerging philanthropists are coming together to focus their efforts on improving our community, and in the process, learning about grassroots grantmaking through the Omaha Venture Group, a giving circle facilitated by the Omaha Community Foundation.
OVG is accepting grant applications from local nonprofits January 1-February 5.
OVG uses a venture philanthropy model and supports nonprofits with fledging initiatives across the Omaha metro. A total of four grants are awarded each year, one in each interest area.
- Arts and Culture: Providing access to the tools and resources to engage the community in arts and cultural programming.
- Health: Enabling access or removing barriers to quality healthcare, mental health, and nutrition.
- Neighborhoods, Civic Engagement, & Safety: Enabling residents to have a deeper connection to their neighborhoods and each other, creating a stronger, more vibrant, and inclusive city. Ensuring safe and affordable housing, homeownership paths, and public spaces suitable for social connectivity. Ensuring our community has places that are safe from any type of violence, including physical, emotional, or psychological.
- Workforce and Education: Expands access or removes barriers to living-wage jobs. Improving students’ experiences inside and outside the classroom, at school, and at home provide high-quality education to all and remove inequities in educational access and student performance.
- Provides services to Omaha metro area residents.
- Annual organizational budget of $500,000 or less.
- Must be a public 501(c)(3) organization or be able to accept funding under an “umbrella” nonprofit agency.
- Must fit into one of the four interest areas.
- Applicants can request up to $8,000.
- Must not have received OVG funding within the last three grant cycles.
Grant Application Process
- Letter of Intent: Applicants submit a brief project summary by Monday, February 5.
- Site Visits: Selected applicants will engage in site visits, either in person or virtually, providing OVG members with a comprehensive understanding of their nonprofit. Applicants will be notified for site visit selection by March 4. Site visits will be completed by March 31.
- Full Application: OVG invites finalists to complete the full application, with notifications sent out by April 15. Only nonprofits selected for an award will complete a full application, due by May 3.
- Grant Night: Successful applicants will be invited to the Grant Night event on May 30. This evening not only reveals award amounts but also serves as a celebratory occasion where grantees join OVG members in acknowledging their collective impact. (All approved grants are subject to a grant agreement with the Omaha Community Foundation.)
This is an exciting, inclusive grant opportunity!