Words of wisdom from Foundation executives


Here are some words of wisdom I heard from seasoned Foundation executives at the Virginia G Piper Charitable Trust in Phoenix today:

  • Make sure that your project “fits” with the Foundation’s funding priorities.
  • Before you sweat it out, see if the project has Impact, Effectiveness, Feasibility and Sustainability (IEFS). If not, don’t waste your time applying for funding.
  • Ask. Before submitting an LoI, Foundation officials want to listen to your ideas. This will save time in case the project doesn’t meet funding priorities.
  • If your board is NOT giving cash gifts, it’s a bad sign. Foundations want boards to commit to monetary contributions, not in-kind gifts like airline miles!
  • Ensure that all your financial documents are in order. Your fiscal discipline is critical.
  • Collaborations get a better bang for the buck for Foundation’s that invest in your cause. Look for good partners so that together you can have a better impact in the community.
  • Foundations invest in you just as they invest in stocks.Your portfolio must yield a good return in investment.
  • As much as you need Foundations to give money to support your causes, they also need non-profits to invest their resources. It’s a two-way street.
  • Responsive funding is in vogue. Foundations want to respond to community needs and are narrowing down their areas of interest based on core community needs.


Categories: Board Contributions to Charity, Charitable Giving, Corporate and Foundation Relations, Finding the right Fit for Foundation proposals, Foundation Pitches, Foundations, Fundraising, Making the case for funding, Non profit funding resources, Philanthropy, Proposal Writing, Virginia G Piper Charitable Trust

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