"Let's Talk Nonprofit" is a blog by Third Sector Consulting that addresses common questions that nonprofits have. Questions about fundraising. Questions about boards. Questions about what's going on in the nonprofit sector today. Ready? Let's Talk Nonprofit.

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A Look Inside a Grantmaker's Decision Process
There's a saying, "If you've met one foundation, you've met one foundation." It's true. Funders have different priorities. They're different sizes. They all have different trustees and different sized staffs. They also have different ways of making decisions. Yet one thing that all funders have in common is this: there's usually a method to the madness when it comes to their decision-making. Understanding the process from a funders' perspective can help you in your overall grantseeking process. (read more)

Avoid 'Fact Traps' When Writing Grant Proposals
How often do you fall into the "fact trap" when writing grant proposals? Do you even know when you're in it? Learn what the "fact trap" is and why you want to avoid it when writing grant proposals. (read more)

What To Do After You've Written a Grant
There's more to grant writing than just "writing." A lot more. At its core, grant writing has three steps that I call the 3Rs: Research, wRiting, and Review. In a previous post, I shared the importance of doing your research before starting to write a grant. This post will offer tips on reviewing what you write, before you submit your proposal to a foundation. (read more)

The Most Overlooked Part of Grant Writing
Here's a secret: there's more to grant writing than just "writing." A lot more. Successful grant writing always starts with thorough research, and it ends with a thoughtful review. This post focuses on research - the most overlooked part of grant writing. (read more)

Foundation Tax Forms as a Free Research Tool
Unless you're an accountant, you probably don't like tax forms. But if you're a nonprofit (and especially if you're a grant seeker), you should love them. That's because tax forms - specifically the 990-PF - are a terrific, free research tool. Tax forms are a treasure trove of information. You can learn about a foundation's giving guidelines, how much they give, who they've given to recently, and so much more. (read more)

The State of Grant Seeking Today
If you're new to grant writing, or even if you've been at it for a while, you might have questions like, How long does it usually take to get a grant? How much is a typical award? If I apply for 2 or 3 grants, will I get at least one? Each year, the State of Grant Seeking Report answers these questions and many more. Here's a summary of the latest data. (read more)

The Year In Review Best of LetsTalkNonprofit in 2017
In case you missed a post (or just want to re-read a favorite), here are the top 5 articles from this past year. Rankings are based on email open rates and social shares. (read more)

Is Your Writing Too Long, Too Short, or Just Right
Twitter recently increased the number of characters per tweet from 140 to 280. Just because you can say more, should you? The same question holds true for grants. If you're writing an online application and the response allows 300 words, do you need to use all 300 words? If it's a paper application, and you're allowed 5 pages, do you need to fill every page? And what about your donor appeals? What's the right length of the fundraising materials you write for your nonprofit? (read more)

Storytelling Differences Grants vs Donor Appeals
All stories are not the same. In fact, your stories should be different - very different - depending on your audience. Data may tell, but it's your stories that sell. Your grant proposals will include lots of data, but your direct appeals to individual donors won't. So what kinds of stories should you tell, especially in your year-end donor appeals? (read more)

Overhead Its Not A Bad Thing
There's a new school of thinking is that overhead isn't a bad thing, especially when those expenses are being used for growth. I like Peter Drury's metaphor - that overhead is like cholesterol. There's good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. Just because your number is high, that doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad thing. Do you know your number? (read more)

The Real Value of Your Volunteers
Chances are, you missed International Volunteer Day on December 5. And that's understandable. This time of year, most nonprofits are focusing their attention on donors and year-end giving. At the same time, let's not forget the volunteers who make great things happen all year long. Volunteers add a lot of value to your organization – as both human and financial resources. Here are some tips on how you can assign value and show your appreciation to your volunteers. (read more)

Cool Google Tools and How Your Nonprofit Can Use Them
Google. Can you imagine life without it? We use it every single day and in so many ways. There's Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Hangouts, Maps and more. And we can't forget where it all started: good old-fashioned Search. And as much as you use Google, I'd bet there are tools and programs that you're not using...and that could benefit your nonprofit. Here are five of them. (read more)

Whats In Your Writing Toolbox
Grant writing is a skill that you hone over time. And just like a good craftsman, you need a good set of tools if you want to do the job well. Maybe you have an APA style guide. If you're old school, you might even have Mr. Webster's work sitting nearby. When it comes to proofreading and review, I'll bet you're probably using your word processor's spell check and grammar check features. And that's good. But there's more. (read more)

Proofreading vs Editing Whats The Difference
It's called grant writing. Alas, there's so much more to grant writing than just "writing." Grant writing always starts with comprehensive and thorough research, and it always ends with a careful and thoughtful review. Your review should be a combination of proofreading and editing. What's the difference, you ask? Read on, dear reader. (read more)

Fundraising vs Grant Writing Whats Right For My Nonprofit
The start of the new year is the perfect time for you to think about your nonprofit's fundraising objectives and strategies. Do you need to raise money? Of course! Should you be writing grants? Maybe. Grants are just one piece of the funding puzzle, and they aren't the only way for your nonprofit to bring in money. Learn how grant writing can fit in your broader development plan. (read more)

Improve Your Writing Keep It Simple Seriously
The U.S. Navy is credited with creating the "KISS Principle." The acronym stands for "Keep It Simple, Stupid." You should apply the KISS Principle to your nonprofit's writing. Whether you're writing a grant proposal, a direct appeal or website content, you want to write so your audience will understand...and be inspired to take action. (read more)

Why Grant Writing Is Like A Three-Legged
A three-legged stool functions most efficiently when you have three legs of equal size. Without that, you'll be off balance. Similarly, in grant writing, if you're only focused on "writing," your stool only has one leg. You might be writing a lot of proposals, but you won't be winning many grants. That's why your grant writing stool needs three legs. (read more)

Part 2 of 2 Your Nonprofit Can Get This 10,000 Grant
How would you like to get a $10,000 grant? What about a monthly $10,000 grant? Guaranteed? You can! Really! Your nonprofit can get $10,000 each month in the form of a Google Ad Grant. What's a Google ad grant, you ask? And how does it work? This two-part post will answer those questions and many more. (read more)

Part 1 of 2 Your Nonprofit Can Get This 10,000 Grant
How would you like to get a $10,000 grant? What about a monthly $10,000 grant? Guaranteed? You can! Really! Your nonprofit can get $10,000 each month in the form of a Google Ad Grant. What's a Google ad grant, you ask? And how does it work? This two-part post will answer those questions and many more. (read more)

Improve Your Writing Commonly Confused Words
March 4 is National Grammar Day. Isn't that fun? At the very least, you'll have to admit that grammar can be funny. Grammar can also be frustrating, which is why I'm sharing some common errors with you. Do you know the difference between use and utilize? Continual and continuous? Alternate and alternative? What about impactful - is it a word, or isn't it? (read more)

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