Topic: News

In Difficult Economy, City of Hartford Seeks Grant Development Help

We are honored to have been recently chosen by the City of Hartford to facilitate grant development services, in support of their effort to increase sustainable funding for needed and viable city programs. This is the fourth contract with a municipality we have received in the last year. We are enthusiastic about this project and will keep you all updated as to the outcomes we are helping them to achieve!

Grants are certainly an important part of every organizations funding mix- whether you’re a 501C3, a municipal agency, or a private membership group, your unearned revenue plan should include some grant funding. Grant development goes beyond grant writing, it takes into account assessment of your grantable programs, viable outcomes, and identifying funding opportunities. Additionally, it encompasses facilitating a team to develop grant components including financials, and to write and refine the grant package before submission.
Once received, grants require careful attention to detail as most grantors want a clear and defined accounting of not only expenditures but outcomes.
Grants can be a valuable source of income and all organizations should be generating some grant revenue.

New Means of Funding for Nonprofits

As demands escalate, nonprofits have found themselves in a battle to maintain a stable funding for their programming. With nonprofits generating more than 14% of the state’s private workforce, 78% of these organizations have reported increase in demand. However, insufficient government funds have made it difficult for nonprofits to meet their demands. Federal aid has continued to either decrease or remain stagnant, which causes tight budgets for these organizations.

Tight budgets equal less employees, which leaves the remaining employees exhausted from the additional workload. So, what can these organizations do to avoid this from happening? Nonprofits have begun cultivating strong relationships with public and private partners in order to bring in and increase corporate sponsorship. Though this may seem like a reasonable idea in times of need for these organizations, it can also backfire quickly. Harvest’s own, Sondra Lintelmann-Dellaripa, says, “Nonprofits are essential; they represent a large value to workforce and GDP. New means of funding are needed. Individual giving is the greatest asset. Mergers and acquisitions of npo’s might be necessary.” However, she continues by saying “I don’t agree with events or corporate sponsorship as an answer. That’s a dying and dead end revenue stream for many reasons.” Read the full article here.

Let’s get to talking! Connect with us on Social Media and share your thoughts!.

“A single conversation across the table with a wise person is worth a month’s study of books.” – Chinese Proverb

Patience and Trust

BEST FRIENDS ANIMAL SOCIETY

Twenty-two of the dogs most in need of care after being rescued from Michael Vick’s horrifying dogfighting ring were sent to Best Friends Animal Society for rehabilitation. Each of those dogs was special, but from the start there was a standout: Lance. The best dog trainers in the world worked with the 22 dogs, and over time, each passed the court-ordered Canine Good Citizen test and was placed in a loving home. Except for Lance. Even though a wonderful family was interested in adopting him, he was not allowed to leave until he passed his test, and he had so much anxiety that every time he took the test, he would freeze….

Best Friends Animal Society 

LinkedIn Board Connect

LinkedIn has brought forth another way to use their social media tool. This one is targeted specifically at nonprofit leaders seeking to strengthen and grow their board leadership.

LinkedIn’s new Board Connect, is a suite of tools, including talent finder and a LinkedIn group, that allows nonprofits to ‘advertise’ their organization, mission, vision and goals and to review prospective board members resumes. The hope is that, progressive, caring, thoughtful business leaders will be revealed through this process.

Now for the reality.

Despite many other innovative technological and social media partners considering and launching the same concept – a pool for nonprofits to jump into and peddle their wares- the ability to attract and retain high level leadership is no further advanced.

I commend LinkedIn for their effort. It does no harm, and that is the most that can be said about this endeavor. It feels good for LinkedIn and their leadership team to be doing something – anything – to help the NPO sector. It gives yet another venue for NPO’s to congregate to, in the hopes of landing those really incredible volunteers.

But like the other efforts, it offers only passive development, not active, and creates yet another large room, devoid of substance, but filled with clutter and noise, that can be overwhelming and uninviting to the audience: the prospective business leaders.

A better approach is to create a source for those business leaders interested in seeking a more vested role in the nonprofit sector, to post their interest, areas of interest(types of NPO’s, causes, role seeking) and to have that be presented in LinkedIn as a searchable database. NPO’s have clear guidelines and matrices they use in seeking out and vetting specific people to be on their board. Contrary to common belief (and the way this new LinkedIn resource is designed) it’s not a matter of any captain in the storm or any suitor interested . Board selection is a scientific, strategic process that is lead by a core objective- to secure the right person for the right need in the boards governance goals for the organization.

My hope -and I truly believe LinkedIn is intent on making this a more sophisticated, valuable tool – is that the next iteration leans more toward what the NPO needs in this manner.

 

9-11: Turn that frown upside down….

Some of you may react with repulsion at the title of this post…some may think it is dishonorable to lighten up on this day of tragedy – September 11th…others may not yet be ready to let go of the pain and suffering…and those closest to the tragedy may be experiencing the trauma anew as the anniversary approaches.

Many psychologists suggest its okay to start changing the way we remember 9-11. Not to forget, but to change the meaning of the remembrance. To act on what is left, not on what has been taken away.

Some of us have seen this already happen around us:  Look on any calendar and this Sunday you will find fairs and festivals going on- even in New York.  You may have friends who are  getting married on this Sunday or celebrating a birthday or anniversary with a party.  Even many of the news media are turning their memories to reflect on the positive and hope of the nation. We Americans have an uncanny and admirable ability to do this- turn tragedy into hope. Its the backbone of this great nation.

The American Psychological Association has produced a great video helping turn our tradition of remembering to more healthy activities.

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What else can we do?

  • Meditate and pray:  Prayer and meditation have been shown to have a tremendous healing affect on those who engage in this activity.
  • Promote unity:  Remember the feeling of oneness and brotherhood that grew during those awful weeks after the 9-11 event? Capture that once again in your life, through your own expression and through organizational activities.
  • Allow diversity:  We may not agree with others, but if we honor their right to feel and think and behave in ways that don’t hurt us- but may be different- we promote peace
  • Celebrate:  Embrace the joy that comes from knowing we have, as a people, overcome such a great calamity and have won the battle to remain human and whole through it all. Sometimes the worse that can happen cannot be imagined and gratefully is never revealed.
However you choose to spend 9-11, know that what was taken from those 3000 people during that horrific attack, remains for us – Life.  Celebrate your life through gratitude and through honoring the life of others.

How a gift to someone else, can be the perfect gift for your Dad

Dad’s, at least the Dad’s of my generation, had two jobs- Earn an Income and Make Pancakes on Sunday Night for Mom’s night off.

The first we knew represented his RESPONSIBILITY to his family.

The second we knew represented his LOVE for our mother and for us.

There never seemed anything we could do to repay  him.  There wasn’t a tie nor trip nor lighter nor ballgame ticket which could ever- EVER- be as valuable as what he gave and sacrificed and provided for our welfare, spirit and education.

And so maybe we stop trying. We give up on the gifts and just purchase a card. Or maybe we continue to maniacally hunt down JUST THE RIGHT THING, in a blind, ambitious desire to give him something that comes close to saying Thank You.

What Dad was doing was not only loving and nurturing his wife and his family. He was passing down years of learned respect and responsibility, he was educating us on what Fatherhood really means, he was mentoring and coaching a future generation to prepare them for the same offering of self that he so willingly provided, in love and in gratitude for all he was given.

And believe me, he doesn’t want a present for that. What he wants is to know that all of that good stuff has been passed on, that it continues and grows and moves beyond his years to others.

So this year, give him what he deeply desires, by supporting a nonprofit “Fatherhood Initiative” .

Fatherhood is not DNA encoded. It is not something every boy is born knowing, and sadly many do not  experience  in their short lifetime.

But it CAN be learned. And it CAN be shared. And it will live on through the noble work of these organizations and more.

Here are some to get you started. And when you give, give generously as Dad did, from your need, not your excess. And then say Thank You Dad.

                                 

Just because we can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening….. LUNAR ECLIPSE June 15th.

www.harvestdevelopmentgrp.comComing Up JUNE 15th- TOTAL LUNAR ECLIPSE. Visible from Africa, Central Asia, South America and Europe.

Wait? Not America? Never mind….

The upcoming total lunar eclipse will happen on June 15, 2011. The Moon will pass directly through the center of the Earth’s shadow cone. The next such visible event won’t happen until 2018. But we wont see it in the states.

Doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.

Measuring the actions of nonprofit work is a little of the same, wouldn’t you say? Being told things are happening doesn’t quite seem enough. We don’t quite believe things are moving, actions are progressing, outcomes are achieved, unless we actually see it. You’d think we all were from Missouri (with respect to our dear friends down south).

Measuring is a good thing and necessary to establish credibility, check up on progress and ensure that, indeed, we are doing the right things. But too much attention on measuring- too rigid a program for actions and outcomes aligning- eliminates the human aspect of what we do in the nonprofit world. Scientifically calculating and demanding observational documentation of every aspect of our work, blocks out that measure of creativity, intuition, innovation, pivoting, iterating which is based on rationale and observations in real time, that comes from being in the field and experiencing the work “mano a mano”. The human frame of personalization, being present and experiencing the process. Too much measuring makes doubters of us all.

A healthy state of balance in measured progress, as well as a good faith belief that – even though we can’t see it- things are happening. Let our ancestors tell us- Only time and hindsight can tell.

For those of you interested, here are some websites which will broadcast the eclipse live:

Astronomy Live

Bareket Observatory, Israel

Astro-Viten, Norway

Skywatchers Association of North Bengal, India