Nerd Nite and How Much Money is Too Much Money to Ask For?

nerd is the new cool!

I have been invited to speak at Nerd Nite at Saro Cider. Saro Cider is cool local bar in downtown Omaha that features local ciders and craft cocktails. My subject is: “There is a Grant for That?!” I am excited to share information with on how people can find grants for their unique ideas and passions and surprise them with some things they may never have thought of looking for before.

I love sharing my knowledge of all things grants with anyone who cares to listen. My parents both started out their careers as excellent teachers, and I like to think that some of that rubbed off on me. I think grants are so complicated, and often a bit misunderstood. I get excited when I have opportunities to help set the record straight, to answer specific questions, and to share anecdotal stories from my 25+ year career.

In addition to Nerd Nite, the month of May brings gardening again (finally!), more outside time with our dog Jack, switching from the outdoor porch study to the more comfortable air-conditioned study, and a countdown to the beloved summer vacation.

Hello, May

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

May – Mental Health Awareness Month (grants for mental health, health care). 

May 4 – International Firefighters Day (grants for first responders). 

Week of May 6 – Teacher Appreciation Week (grants for education). 

May 10 – National Small Business Day (grants for small businesses). 

Firefighter in uniform near fire engine


Asking for the wrong amount of money in a grant application can be a big problem; especially if you go too high. This can “spook” funders and cause them to not take you as seriously as they might, thinking you are asking for too much all at once, and all from one place. Most funders do not want to be your sole funder and will say so up front. Generally, you should also not ask for an amount that is larger than your total budget. For example, if your organizational budget last year was $75,000 and you want to do a new program that costs $100,000, it will not be a good policy to ask for the entire $100,000 from one funder. If this is your situation, perhaps you should consider a smaller program your first year and build from there.

Loose pile of $100 bills on a table


Avoid using words like “might” or “could” or “if” – use strong action words that convey what you will do when you receive the funding for instance “when” or “once we receive” or “after we are funded.” 


Great grant proposals start with great program or project plans. These plans can take the form of memos, workplans, timelines, or even well-organized spreadsheets. The key is that, ideally, you should know your goals and objectives and how you intend to achieve them before you start writing a grant. It’s never good planning, or good stewardship, to receive funds and then be scrambling to figure out a great and effective way to spend the money. 


Gerber Foundation
Deadline: May 15, 2024

The Foundation’s mission focuses on infants and young children. Accordingly, priority is given to projects that improve the nutrition, care and development of infants and young children from the first year before birth to three years of age.

This is an exciting, inclusive grant opportunity!

Call or email us at for more information.


This month, we are excited to feature another one of our clients, African Immigrant Family Services

African Immigrant Family Services (AIFS) is a nonprofit organization founded by Adama Sawadogo in 2019. He founded this remarkable organization to serve the needs of African immigrants, refugees, and other members of the Nebraska mainstream community. AIFS offers community services for the benefit of children, young people, and families who contribute to their wellbeing and allow them to build a new life and become self-sufficient. The social services AIFS provides are culturally and linguistically specific.

The African Immigrant Family Services organization provides many different programs and resources. The Diverse Reach Across Communities Program serves individuals from 18 different African countries, reflecting the organization’s broad cultural reach and its role in addressing the diverse needs of African immigrant communities. The Geographic Spread Services were extended across three locations: Sarpy and Douglas counties, and a branch in Lincoln. This geographic spread highlights AIFS’s capability to manage and deliver services across multiple areas, thereby increasing its accessibility and impact. 1160 families are served in 39 different zip codes annually. The Extensive Individual Outreach Program helps more than 3,000 individuals through AIFS’s program services. The Volunteer Mobilization and Contribution Program allows for the mobilization of 22 permanent volunteers and a substantial contribution of over 6,000 volunteer hours in 2023. This volunteer base is essential for the organization’s operations and demonstrates community trust and willingness to support its missions. AIFS collaborates with multiple community organizations. With this program, AIFS has collaborated with 25 community non-profit organizations, which enhances its network and ability to serve through partnerships. These collaborations likely enable AIFS to offer more comprehensive services and reach wider segments of the population.

Other programs and services include a Youth Development Program, Mental Health Services, Immigrant & Refugee Health, Language and Culture Based Education, Projects in Africa, and Promocare. AIFS also hosts many different events throughout the year in the Omaha community and runs campaigns to donate to low-income families and children’s education throughout the world. AIFS works in more than 7,000 countries to strengthen equality and has funded over 12,000 charity projects totaling over 25 million dollars around the world.  

We are honored and proud to partner with the African Immigrant Family Services. AIFS is not just an organization; it is a testament to the power of resilience, compassion, and the unwavering spirit of the community.  Adama had this to say in regards to working with Sunflower Grant Writers, “Regarding our experience working with Sunflower, it has been excellent. Your team has been incredibly supportive and proactive in our collaborations, which has made our partnership a true pleasure. We are excited about the potential for an even greater impact as we continue to work together.”

Learn more about Adama and the incredible work he is doing at Home – African Immigrant Family Services (


That is all for now! Stay hopeful and passionate! 

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