Do Not Throw Away Your Shot!

We have our Christmas decorations up! This is a favorite tradition of mine. I love rediscovering ornaments each year – some from my childhood; some that my husband and I collected on adventures; some I bought because they were exceptionally beautiful. I could sit and watch our tree softly glow all night.

2023 is quickly coming to a close. What have you learned this year? What has inspired you? What nonprofit or for-profit organization in your community have you discovered that you want to know more about in 2024? Maybe it’s somewhere you would like to volunteer; maybe it’s somewhere you want to financially support; maybe it’s someplace you would like to be on the board of someday?

Here are a few handy grant lessons for you to keep in mind as we head into 2024 and exciting new beginnings!

  • Just because a Foundation says it doesn’t accept unsolicited proposals it doesn’t mean you can’t still get a date to the prom with them. It does mean that you are going to need to put a lot of effort into relationship building and leaning on your network to gain access to their application process. This is a long game approach, not a quick fix. Keep in mind that 75% of Foundations say that they don’t accept unsolicited proposal; so this approach is very much worth your time!
  • Triple check your deadlines and turn things in early. There is never a need to wait until the last minute to turn something in that you have been working on for months. Do not throw away your shot!
  • There are many for-profits doing great work that deserve grants too, and I am happy to be a grant writing organization that is here to help them also.
  • Check your budgets more than once, and have someone else read your full proposal after you have stared at it for 100 hours and can’t really see it anymore. There’s nothing worse than turning in something that doesn’t make sense or add up properly. Do not throw away your shot!
  • Ensure that your mission and goals align completely with those of the funding source for which you are applying. If they don’t, you may be disqualified automatically and have wasted a lot of time by not doing something simple at the start. Do not throw away your shot!
Colouring pencils in circle arrangement with message Lessons Learned, education concept

Do you need a grant for any of these unique opportunities?

December 4 – Wildlife Conservation Day (grants for wildlife, conservation efforts).

December 9 – National Llama Day (grants for animals, animal care).

December 17 – Wright Brothers Day (grants for new ideas and inventions).

December 28 – National Short Film Day (grants for films and the arts).

UNKNOWN, UNITED STATES – Apr 04, 1911: Wright Brothers airplane being tested. Their plane was the first Military Plane Purchased by US. Biplane circa 1910


Compelling, well written narratives are an essential part of grant-writing, but one of the top trends in 2023 for grants was that funders wanted to see data and analysis backing up the narrative. Facts and figures matter! Make it feel like an A. Do not throw away your shot!


When you are writing a grant application, it is best practice to use the present tense; but whatever you choose to do, be consistent throughout the document.

English lesson, school, learn foreign language. Chalkboard Verb tenses Grammar


Remember that reporting how you spend your hard earned funds to your grantor is critically important at the end of the year. Do not throw away your shot and blow this opportunity by: mismanaging your funds during the year, failing to complete a report, or turning in a lackluster report. The report is a wonderful way to reconnect with someone who already believes in you and will, likely, want to give you funding again in the future.


In the month of December, 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!


The Omaha Neighborhood Grants program supports community leaders doing impactful work in their own neighborhoods; it’s about supporting residents who are making a difference right where they live and empowering neighbors to work together.

Funding decisions are made by a diverse committee of residents representing neighborhoods across Omaha.

Program Goals

Successful proposals will clearly address the primary goal of this program—to develop leadership skills of neighborhood residents which may include consensus-building, communications, project planning, fundraising, teamwork, and more.

Additionally, applicants are encouraged to incorporate additional program goals as applicable:

  • To promote conversation and collaboration between neighbors as a means of developing shared priorities, and increasing neighborhood growth and engagement.
  • To provide enhanced safety, beautification, organization, and/or social benefits to neighborhoods.
  • To strengthen relationships with the City of Omaha and/or related municipal agencies by ensuring that neighborhood associations are working in tandem with city agencies and in accordance with standard permit and approval processes.

Application Details

Up to $80,000 in grant funding will be awarded each year. The average grant award is $2,500.

The application period is open annually January 1 – March 1 (11:59 PM). Applications must be submitted via the online grant portal.

Awards are announced via email in May. Projects must be completed in the year awarded.

Eligibility Requirements

Neighborhood associations/groups must be 1) located within city limits of Omaha, NE; AND 2) listed in the City of Omaha’s Neighborhood Directory.

Applicants are not required to have a 501(c)(3) designation with the IRS.

This is an exciting, inclusive grant opportunity!

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Up until 2006, rural residential options in high-speed broadband were nearly non-existent. Since the implementation of NorthfieldWiFi’s high-speed broadband infrastructure in October 2006, residents in rural communities are able to experience the same great services as urban residents.

That’s all for now. Stay hopeful and passionate!

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