Patience Pills

Did you celebrate your favorite grant writer on International Grant Professionals Day in March? I hope so! As we now know, there are grants and special days for pretty much anything you can dream up. 


Grants are not for people who want instant results.  It’s amazing, given how impatient I can be about life generally, that I have found myself in this line of work! 

Grant cycles vary wildly. Some happen on a “rolling basis,” while others involve a 6–9 month process.  There are several steps in the typical grant process: these include things like research, relationship building, crafting a full proposal, waiting for award notifications, and finally receiving that check! State and Federal Grant cycles can take over 12 months. 


Many grant proposals require that the organization share the percentage of board members who contribute financially to the organization annually. Why should a foundation or any donor open their wallets to support a cause if every single governing board member is not willing to do the same?  You should make it clear to newly recruited board members that this is an important part of their onboarding process.


Be prepared to modify project design and fundraising strategies should you only receive partial funding. Grantors often ask, “Will you be able to successfully implement this program/project if your organization is only awarded a portion of the funds requested?” If a grant doesn’t fully cover the amount of your program costs, how will you handle this impact? What will you change to still have an influence in your community without the full amount of funding you were hoping for?  

It’s April and the start of Q2 which is a nice time to reflect on what kind of a year you are off to and where you might like to adjust for the rest of it. Lots of grants will be due again in the May – July months; so now is a great time to be thinking about grants for next year. Remember to give yourself or your grant writer plenty of time to prepare the applications. Don’t be like the gentleman who called me last week and wanted to know if we could complete a federal grant package for him in 18 hours! The answer, if you are wondering, was “no.”

Other than getting ready for Q2 and celebrating special days, I’m training for the American Heart Association’s Heart and Stroke walk next month. I’m really looking forward to participating, and I am hopeful that it is reasonable to expect that May in Nebraska should bring some nice weather! 

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

April 4 – National School Librarian Day (grants for libraries, schools). 

April 6 – National Student Athlete Day (grants for sports). 

April 22 – Earth Day (grants for the earth, planting trees, recycling). 

Grant Opportunity

The mission of the Jetton Charitable Fund is to support youth exposure to cultural education. Its purpose is to provide the people of Omaha with assorted performing and visual arts programs, as well as a range of instructive programs grounded in natural wonders, technological advancement, and historical perspective. While the Jetton Charitable Fund supports specific traditional academic pursuits, this fund also strives to provide a more cultural edification the whole community can share and enjoy.

This grant program supports youth engagement in:

  • Performing and visual arts (with a focus on performing arts)
  • Educational pursuits in the areas of natural science, technologies, zoological, botanical, or historical programs.

The grant will be awarded to organizations that:

  • Have been in existence for at least 5 years.
  • Spend at least 75% or more of the annual operating budget on the delivery of its programs.
  • Serve the general population, rather than a subset limited by various demographic data.

Application Details

Grants of $5,000 and up are awarded.

The application period is open annually June 1 – July 15. Awards are announced via email in September.

Applications must be submitted online.

The Jetton Charitable Fund will make grants primarily to organizations in the Omaha metropolitan service area. Under special circumstances, eligibility could be extended to Lincoln, Nebraska, and to arts and educational organizations across Nebraska and Southwest Iowa. The primary purpose of such grants is programmatic with very special exceptions for capacity building.

Eligibility Requirements

Public, tax-exempt organization as defined by Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or working with a 501(c)(3) fiscal agent who can receive funds on your behalf.

Applicants from previous years may apply again this year. Those who received grants last year are eligible provided an evaluation report has been submitted to the Omaha Community Foundation.

Applicants’ policies and practices must be in alignment with the following non-discrimination clause:  “The applicant organization does not discriminate in hiring practices or service provision to clients and/or customers based on race, ethnicity, religious preference, age, [mental, emotional, or physical] ability/disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, military service, or gender.”

This is an exciting, inclusive grant opportunity!

Call or email us at

Client Spotlight: Omaha Downtown Improvement District

This month we are featuring Sunflower’s first client! The Omaha Downtown Improvement District (ODID).  Founded in 2007, the ODID’s mission is to support, preserve, create, and enhance a clean, green, safe and active, competitive and thriving Downtown Omaha that attracts and retains businesses, employees, residents, and visitors.  The vision of ODID is to create a more inviting and attractive Downtown Omaha area. They work to remove litter, make safety and security enhancements to the area, and work to improve the economy through development programs.  ODID also strives to promote growth and maintain a community of diversity and inclusivity. 

Past grants secured by Sunflower include things you may have noticed while in the downtown area or will notice soon! These include a grant to plant hundreds of trees and shrubs planted to replace those previously killed by emerald ash borer disease. An upcoming grant will wrap utility boxes along the 16th Street corridor in art murals created by local artists and containing QR codes with information about how to reach and assist Omaha’s homeless population.  Recently, the Omaha Downtown Improvement District was awarded a grant for $22,000, also secured by Sunflower, through the Nebraska Tourism Marketing Grant Program. This grant was requested to create: “50 Faces, 50 Stories: Celebrating 50 Years of Omaha’s Old Market”—a unique video campaign that will increase in-state tourism to Omaha’s Old Market neighborhood. The project takes a story-based approach to increasing tourism. Short videos—60 to 90 seconds—each focus on one real human being who lives, works, or makes an impact in The Old Market neighborhood. The framework is simple: one video, one person, one story, told every week, for 50 consecutive weeks.

We are honored to work with ODID and love partnering with them to help find success in living out their mission. Christina Randall, the Communications Director & Old Market Staff member, had this to say about one of our team members: “Larissa is wonderful to work with and really helped us to tell the story of how these grant funds could impact this tourist destination.”

That is all for now! Stay hopeful and passionate! 

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