Let's Go Innovate

Friday, August 15, 2014


There are several things your Nonprofit or NGO should have in place to be in a great position to receive grant funding.  I receive calls every week from organizations or individuals that want to secure my grant writing services.  I will not take on a client unless they are truly prepared for grant funding.  If they aren’t prepared it is really a waste of time and resources.  A few things that have to be in place to even start doing grant research.

2.    Mission Vision
3.    Agency annual budget
4.    Active Board of Directors
5.    Written Program and Service descriptions and outcomes

Federal grant applications for nonprofits can take 80-200 hours to complete, and hiring a grant writer to prepare one for your can cost $5,000-$10,000 or more. Nonprofits entertaining the idea of government grants must first ask, “Is my nonprofit ready to pursue government grants?  Private Foundation grants can take less time to prepare but are very competitive as well.  

Competition for all grant funding has intensified significantly since the recession. Many times when government grants competitions are announced, deadlines are generally just four to eight weeks away. That doesn’t give you the time you need to develop a competitive proposal.  This is why preparation is important, so before you spend your precious time researching government http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/home.html http://foundationcenter.org/ grants and hiring a grant writer make sure your nonprofit is positioned for success.

The most successful organizations have:

1.  A history of successful grant seeking
Government agencies look for evidence that your organization has already been successful in securing grants from local and regional foundations, local community foundation, family foundation and/or corporate philanthropy programs.  You should also have ongoing support from your board of directors -- some funders require evidence that 100% of your board donates to your organization every year. Why should the state or federal government support your work if you don't have the support of your local funders and your own board?

2.  Capacity and credibility
Do you have the right staff with the right qualifications in place to implement your program?
If you are planning an arts and music program, for instance, you should have staff in place (or plan to hire) people who have worked in arts and music.   The head of the program should have a a degree and many years of experience.
Do you have sufficient technological resources to implement your programs and manage complex government grants? Do you have the right site or space to run your proposed program?

3.       A history of successful outcomes
Always track your outcomes even if the program started out with just volunteer support. This will be valuable information for funders when you submit your first grant.  It will look great to funders if you started out without funding and had great results and need their support to take your program and services to the next level.  START WITH WHAT YOU HAVE!

For grant writing consultant services contact Yolanda Shields at innovationgurus@letsgoinnovate.com



Monday, August 4, 2014


Making the Right Connections


Making the Right Connections

The value of building Connections with others that are built on respect, loyalty and trust cannot be underestimated. The highest quality relationships are those built on love and respect.  The Right Connection is not necessarily about your agenda or things that you have in mind or are hoping will happen because of the relationship or connection.  With a divine connection you don’t have to make it happen it is very natural.  Also know when you are supposed to connect them with someone else. Sometimes you are only meeting them, but you are their connection to someone else that is apart of their Destiny. 
The Bible is full of illustrations concerning ‘divine connections.’  David could not possess his kingdom with Jonathan… there would be no Boaz for Ruth without Naomi… Nehemiah accomplished in 52 days what Israel could not accomplish in years because of his positive relationships with the king of Persia, and his ability to find loyalty and trust among the people of Jerusalem.
What constitutes a ‘right connection?’ A relationship that creates a positive contribution to your life, offers nourishment to your mental, emotional, physical or spiritual well-being, and/or supports a God-given goal, mission or vision is a ‘Right Connection.’ This kind of relationship is often complementary, offering all parties involved the opportunity to ‘share their weaknesses,’ strengths with each other, and help each other fulfill their callings. 
How do you make a right Connection?   The highest quality Relationships are built out of mutual respect and unconditional love.  The greatest commandment, given in Matthew 22:37-39, tells us: “Jesus said unto him, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy soul, and with all they mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”  Right connections are the fruit of having unconditional love. But you cannot love others until you love yourself, and you cannot truly love yourself until you know God’s love -- by acknowledging His love for you!
Remember: connection with God releases His love in and through you -- and enables you to make the Right Connections with others that will bring forth blessings in your life and those that God connects you with!