Program officers Carrie Harlow from the Ahmanson Foundation and Piper Kamins of the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation visited our offices for a Meet the Funders event for leaders of Community Partners projects. Here are key takeaways from Harlow’s and Kamins’ conversation facilitated by Senior Program Associate, Otha Cole.
It seemed like a match made in heaven: your mission, their money. Maybe you met the program officer at a conference or “Meet the Grantmaker” session and clicked. Or their foundation tends to fund groups just like yours. You were really, really excited about this one. But when it came time for the grant decision? They just weren’t that into you.
So what do you do next?
You’ve done your research on potential funders. The basics -- guidelines, issue areas and grant cycles -- are understood. And after thoroughly reviewing a foundation’s website, 990s and any other background materials you can find, you’re considering an application for capacity building or programmatic support.
The next step? Make contact and talk to the funder directly.
Community Partners President & CEO Paul Vandeventer recently talked with a now-retired, long-time corporate philanthropy chief who spent decades in the energy industry operating from company headquarters in Los Angeles. The conversation surfaced a series of significant thoughts, ideas and lessons both useful and instructive to any corporate executive or manager implementing a company giving or wider public affairs program.
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CompassPoint has received an enormous amount of feedback from the nonprofit sector in response to UnderDeveloped, their new study with the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund that confirms what nonprofits already know: It’s hard to create the conditions for fundraising success.