Tips & Tools

  • 04 Oct 2013 10:15 AM | James Ranieri (Administrator)

    The Surdna Foundation seeks to foster just and sustainable communities throughout the United States. The goal of the Foundation’s Strong Local Economies Program is to support the development of robust and sustainable economies that include a wide range of businesses and access to quality jobs. The Foundation aims to create opportunities for upward economic mobility among communities that have experienced historical economic barriers, including low-income people, communities of color, women, and immigrants. The basis of their work is guided by a strong commitment to social justice and equity. 

    There are three main categories of work in this program area: 
    • Business Development and Acceleration 
    • Equitable Economic Development
    • Job Quality and Career Pathways
    They generally seek nonprofit organizations that:
    • Prioritize and engage low-income individuals, communities of color, women, and immigrants;
    • Utilize policy advocacy, organizing, and capacity building as approaches;
    • Use both research and demonstration projects/programs to prove the benefits of equitable economic development and quality jobs;
    • Leverage the buying power of anchor institutions (universities, hospitals, local/regional government, schools, sports teams, etc.) to drive local economic growth;
    • Increase leadership capacity among populations who have been historically excluded from decision-making processes (low income, immigrant, and communities of color);
    • Utilize strategic communications to make the case for including equity and sustainability in development decisions;
    • Work in urban areas and in a regional context.
    Submit an online letters of inquiry as the first step in the review process.  

  • 03 Oct 2013 11:06 AM | James Ranieri (Administrator)

    Wednesday, October 09, 2013 3:00 - 4:00 pm ET

    Learn the characteristics of effective nonprofits and assess whether yours is ready for foundation fundraising.

    This class is designed for new nonprofits or community groups with very little experience in grantseeking. We focus specifically on foundation fundraising.

    The course will address such questions as:

    • What groundwork do I have to have in place before approaching foundations for funding?
    • What are the steps to obtaining incorporation and nonprofit status and where can I get some help to do so?
    • What are the characteristics of successful nonprofits?

    This session will provide you with a step-by-step checklist approach to help you determine your own readiness for foundation fundraising.

    View website for more details

  • 01 Oct 2013 12:22 PM | James Ranieri (Administrator)
    The Chronicle of Philanthropy has a nice article explaining how the U.S. Federal Government shutdown could affect non-profit organizations, including those receiving federal grant funds. 

    The article points out that many staff salaries at non-profit organizations are dependent on money generated from federal grants.  Those positions may be in for short or longer term elimination.  Interestingly, these funds may end up being distributed at a later date.

    Advice for non-profits included "keep a careful tally of how the shutdown adds to your costs and prepare to make a claim to recover those expenses post-shutdown".
  • 27 Sep 2013 9:26 AM | James Ranieri (Administrator)
    The American Hiking Society has a grant program called the National Trails Fund.  The program provides $500-$5,000 support to grassroots nonprofit organizations throughout the country working toward establishing, protecting, and maintaining foot trails in America. 

    Applying organizations must be AHS Alliance Members. Online applications may be submitted from November 1 to December 13, 2013. See for full details.
  • 27 Sep 2013 9:20 AM | James Ranieri (Administrator)
    The National Gardening Association (NGA) awards Youth Garden Grants to schools and community organizations throughout the U.S. with child-centered garden programs. 

    Applicant schools and organizations must plan to garden with at least 15 children between the ages of 3 and 18. 

    Twenty programs will receive a $500 gift certificate to the Gardening with Kids online store. Each program will also receive a tool package from Ames, plant starts from Bonnie Plants, and a seed donation from High Mowing Seeds. 

    The application deadline is December 6, 2013. Application guidelines and forms are available on the NGA website -
  • 20 Sep 2013 10:25 AM | James Ranieri (Administrator)
    USArtists International, administered by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, is committed to ensuring that the impressive range of the performing arts in the United States is represented abroad, and that American artists can enhance their creative and professional development through participation at important international festivals. Support is available to American dance, music, and theater ensembles and solo artists that have been invited to perform at significant international festivals anywhere in the world outside of the United States and its territories. Grants, which generally range from $1,000 to $10,000, will seldom cover the applicant's total expenses. The upcoming application deadlines are December 6, 2013, and April 18, 2014. Eligibility details and application guidelines are available on the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation website -

  • 17 Sep 2013 2:00 PM | James Ranieri (Administrator)
    One of the major advantages to our company is shared resources.  Rather than a small non-profit or association having to lease/purchase a phone system, copier, fax, folder, mail machine, computer, server, and so forth, these items are essentially shared by our clients.  In addition to shared products are shared systems. For example, data security is a major issue for small organizations that may currently have files either scattered among volunteers or on one individual's home computer!  At Prime Management, our data is stored securely and backed up every night.  

    We use Enveloc - - and have found their service to be affordable and extremely customer friendly.  We've had two occasions where we have had to retrieve data: once an accidentally deleted file and a second time was due to a file becoming corrupt.  In one instance we were able to retrieve the file from their software in minutes.  In the previous instance we had some trouble and called their customer service who retrieved our file on our behalf.  

    It could not have been easier and with this experience we are now very confident that this expense is money well spent to keep our client's data protected. 

  • 05 Sep 2013 5:26 PM | James Ranieri (Administrator)
    The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) today announced a $5 million investment to identify and cultivate innovations in the growing field of family engagement that support children’s educational success from birth to 8 years old. Organizations that have developed effective family engagement models that address obstacles faced by low-income families are encouraged to send initial submissions for possible funding of up to $500,000 for one to three years.

    Read more details at the organization's web site.
  • 30 Aug 2013 10:53 AM | James Ranieri (Administrator)
    The Georgia-Pacific Foundation primarily invests resources in four key areas that are essential to creating and sustaining strong communities: Education, Environment, Community Enrichment, and Entrepreneurship. Georgia-Pacific leverages these four key areas ("The Four Es") to impact communities.

    Requests for support will be accepted between January 1st and October 31st. No requests will be accepted after the annual deadline. Requests should be postmarked by October 31st for current year consideration.

    See for additional details.
  • 30 Aug 2013 10:51 AM | James Ranieri (Administrator)
    Grants made by MVAT are for military and veterans groups who support or provide services to promote and enrich the lives of active and retired military and their families. Included are educational and research programs that directly benefit veterans or who educate the public about veterans.  Organizations must be IRS tax exempt public charities, 501(c)(3).

    See additional details at

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