Last Saturday, September 28, Amy Lottes, GPC (Grant Professionals Association - St .Louis Chapter board member and Director of Grant Management at The Little Bit Foundation and Logos School) shared her wisdom about grants and grant writing with a group of approximately 20 aspiring grant writers and/or founders or staff members of local nonprofit organizations. Early on in her presentation, Amy broke this bad (but important) news:
We often have this conversation with visitors to the Grants & Foundation Center at Central Library who have the misconception that nonprofits can and do get by with grants alone. Grants can, however, provide a significant and ongoing source of funding for nonprofit projects, and it is worth putting in some time trying to identify likely sources and applying for grants from those organizations. One way to search for funding is by visiting Central Library where you can access Foundation Directory Online, a database that allows nonprofits to enter their mission or project and the location where they are doing the work (and other parameters as appropriate/useful), hit search, and generate a list of potential funders with information about who and what they have funded previously, procedures to apply for a grant, and much much more. Visit FDO's YouTube page for a sneak preview, and call (314 539-0357) or email the Grants & Foundation Center to set up a time to visit and explore for yourself/your nonprofit organization.
Once your nonprofit has received the grant, it is important that your organization complies with all of the funder's reporting and other requirements, and to that end we are offering "Grant Management Basics" Thursday October 3 from 2-4 with Dan Sise from UMSL's Nonprofit Management and Leadership Program. Dan will return in November to teach a class on another important topic: "Legal Issues for Nonprofit Board Members" (click links to learn more &/or to register). And of course in addition to the occasional, instructive, and FREE in-person programs that St. Louis Public Library offers, we subscribe to several nonprofit-related magazines, including the Chronicle of Philanthropy and Stanford Social Innovation Review and of course we have lots and lots of books - for example, here is a list that includes the books recommended by Amy Lottes in her Grant Writing 101 presentation.
If you missed these programs, keep an eye on the SLPL Events calendar for new offerings (search "GFC" to see what is coming up), or see what is on offer from area partners like the Network for Strong Communities (here's a link to their programs, which includes Grant Writing 101 with Kent Hornberger, also of the GPA, on November 19) or the UMSL NPML Program (click here for their upcoming noncredit courses).
Happy fall, happy learning, visit your library, and let's all go make the world a better place!