In Case You Are Wondering, It Is A Competition

2022 is coming to a close! 

Sunflower had a wonderful year, and we hope you all have too. We have some exciting things planned for 2023 and cannot wait to share them.

I thought I would end this year with a slightly different newsletter format, sharing some overall facts, tips, and tricks – some that we have already learned over the year that are worth repeating, and some that are new. 

Enjoy reading and especially, enjoy your holiday season!

Some Facts, Tips and Tricks

Remember that I have a vase on my mantle that says: “In case you are wondering, it is a competition.”

You can’t ever lose sight of the large number of other wonderful nonprofits that are seeking the exact same funding you are. There are currently 1,812,473 nonprofits registered with the IRS in the United States. And some are not required to register, so that number is even higher. 

Omaha has the most nonprofits per capita in the nation. It is a good place, and a hard place, to be a nonprofit. But in 2018, Foundations gave $85 billion dollars to nonprofits across the country. 

So, even if you think you are a perfect fit for an organization, or know someone working at a Foundation, put your best foot forward. Make that grant feel like an A.  

Grants are a very important way for nonprofit organizations to receive support. On average, a nonprofit can get up to 17% of their support from funding organizations every year. This is clearly a significant amount. 

It’s also not easy to get grant funding. You can find yourself getting a lot of noes before you get some yeses. But don’t get discouraged. There is a great deal of money to be had for nonprofits, but it is still good to cast a wide net and apply to multiple places, so you increase your chances of success. 

Applying for one grant is usually not a great starting plan. I suggest starting with three or four to increase chances of getting funding. Sidebar: 69% of nonprofit funding comes from individual giving, which is why annual giving campaigns and special events are also critical to a nonprofit’s survival and success. 

The first and most important step in grant writing is to make sure that your mission aligns with the Foundation’s mission. So, just because you may know of a Foundation and its good work, it may not be a good fit for your organization. 

Make sure you check the Foundation website, or call them, and make sure you are crystal clear on their funding priorities for the year you intend to apply for funding.

Always double check your deadlines for grants. Even if you think you know what it is, double or triple check it and find a good system to track this information. You don’t want to work so hard on something and then find out it cannot be submitted. This is the kind of thing that grant writers have nightmares about!

And finally, when you get your grant funding approved, allow yourself to relish in the moment and be really happy and proud of the work you and your organization are doing. You deserve it! 


Human Rights Week – second week of December 

December 1 – Rosa Parks Day (community involvement grants)

December 2 – Special Education Day (special population grants) 

December 13 – National Guard Birthday (veterans grants) 

December 21 – National Homeless Persons’ Remembrance Day – First Day of Winter (homeless shelter grants or food/clothing donation fundraising)

Grant Opportunity


Robert B. Daugherty Foundation Board of Trustees meets periodically throughout the year. There are no deadlines for grant submissions.

Grant Eligibility:

Grants are only made to organizations that are tax-exempt under §501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and federal and state entities described in §170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code; however, grantees which are tax supported will generally be subject to matching requirements. Grants are made to organizations that primarily serve the greater Omaha area or the State of Nebraska. The Foundation will make its grants in the following forms as appropriate for the project proposed and the project timeline. Applicants should be specific about the form of grant requested.

  • One-time grants, which are single-year grants for a specific purpose;
  • Multi-year grants, which are commitments for funding to be paid in increments over a period no longer than three years;
  • Start-up program grants;
  • Capital campaigns; and
  • Challenge or matching grants. Grant proposals that have matching funds available are given preference over proposals without matching funds.

ROBERT B. DAUGHERTY GRANT TIP: This grant is an investment! But worth the reward if you get it. Typically, Foundation grants take 10-12 hours to complete. This grant, because of its extensive requirements, can take closer to 20 hours. 

Keep following along and engaging with our new social media accounts! We have some festive posts planned for December!

More articles from Sunflower Grant Writers

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