Category Archives: Nonprofits

Wisdom from GrantStation’s Report on the State of Grantseeking

I recently came across GrantStation’s latest State of Grantseeking Report, based on the first half of 2017. The report aims to help readers understand recent trends in grantseeking and identify benchmarks to help measure their own success in the field.

Because of the uncertainty caused by federal and state government program changes, the report suggests that grantseekers project the same total number of government awards for 2018 as in the previous year and to not plan for any increase from those awards.

Private foundations and community foundations were funding sources for 80% and 64% of the report’s survey respondents, respectively: a 1% and 4% decrease from the previous 2 reports. The report also provides many statistics about award amounts, characteristics of grantees, and a host of related issues.

I found 3 other areas of the report especially interesting:

1) The report highlighted collaborative grantseeking as one strategy that has worked for some organizations. Collaborative grantseeking entails several organizations joining together to submit an application  for joint activities or programs. It’s a good strategy to pool resources, leverage funds, and demonstrate to funders that you are not duplicating efforts but instead are coordinating work with your allies to get more done. The whole is really more than the sum of the parts, and the more we can work as a team to fit into a funder’s grantmaking strategy. the better off we all are. Continue reading

Social Enterprise Alliance Conference 2017: Our Takeaways

[We are continuing our series on the highlights and key takeaways from social impact and innovation conferences around the world. You can view our calendar of upcoming conferences, and let us know of others you’d like to share!]

I was pleased to attend my first national conference of the Social Enterprise Alliance (@SocEnt Alliance) in Los Angeles last month. I was fortunate enough to meet David Coy (reachable here), Senior Marketing & Communications Associate at a leading organization that invests in the growth and effectiveness of social enterprises: REDF. David graciously agreed to share some of his thoughts from the conference, as he has attended three of these gatherings.

With several hundred participants, the conference showcased a wide variety of social enterprises that broke into two broad categories: 1) nonprofits running a social impact business to help fund their operations and carry out their missions, and/or 2) for-profit businesses with a bottom line that includes a social/environmental purpose.

The biggest takeaway for me? The sector is realizing that their marketing actually has to spotlight quality on BOTH sides of the equation: both the story of their social impact AND the effectiveness and efficiency of their entrepreneurial venture’s product.

For us communicators, this is important. In the past, we may have wanted to focus our reader’s attention on the social good that emerges from social enterprise work (empowering communities, offering meaningful work to hard-to-employ folks, producing recycled or recyclable products, etc.). But just as important is communicating the high quality, desirability, and benefits to the consumer that each product or service provides.

David got the same impression: “You need to lead your brand with a quality product or service. Too many social enterprises lead with the social impact or who the business empowers.” Instead, we learned, “Put forth a quality product and use its social benefit as the ‘add-on’ to trigger a purchase as part of marketing.”

That gets to the heart of one of the key rules in marketing: “Know thy customers and keep listening to what matters to them.” Continue reading

Content Development for Your Website: Today’s Best Practices (Webinar)

Have you been putting off making needed changes to your website content? Not sure what will make the most impact? Need some detailed feedback?

Of course, you know that your website forms an essential part of your organization’s marketing. It needs to deliver compelling content that your readers eagerly engage with. The words and pictures have to jump off the screen and meet your readers where they are. But actually cranking out that copy can sometimes be a challenge.

This popular webinar will offer you plenty of tips and techniques to make sure your content is web reader-friendly, while it stresses your community impact.

• 3 planning fundamentals that help you get the results you want
• What you need to know about today’s web users
• How to ensure website usability & accessibility
• Intro to Search Engine Optimization
• Recommended resources on the web

SPECIAL OPPORTUNITY: Would you like us to review your organization’s website live on the webinar? If so, just send us the URL. We will choose a few sites that represent a variety of content-related issues to address.

1) Use promo code “makeadifference” to get $10 off.
2) All participants are eligible for a special discount on a professional website audit.



Anyone responsible for strategizing around and/or implementing their nonprofit website’s content development.


“I feel very inspired to go back and work on my site!”

“This session was not just 101, but offered next-level info. It also had lots of critique of assumptions.”

“It was really, really good: comprehensive, well-organized, useful, and had relevant content.”

“The information presented was very valuable; it gave me a starting point in which to begin improving writing for both the website and grants.”

“In a short workshop, Dalya gave us simple, clear guidance that really shifted my approach to web copy for my organization. Her recommendations were powerful and simple – and all very do-able. As we began our website redesign process, I felt better equipped to communicate our needs to our designers. I also have great copywriting tools and guidelines available to me. It’s put us in a great position to create a much more effective and current redesigned website, and has informed updates we’ve made to our existing site in the meantime.”

Learn more and register for my October 30th webinar, part of Nonprofit Learning Lab’s Online Nonprofit Institute.

Featured Service: Grantwriting Coaching

With grantwriting coaching, anyone on your team can make grantseeking improvement a regular part of their professional development! They can choose to work with their coach for any period of time, from a few hours to several months, either one-on-one or alongside a team of colleagues. They will:

  • Get expert feedback and individual instruction that fits their learning style
  • Work on specific skills or fill knowledge gaps
  • Boost their confidence
  • Get their creative juices flowing

Thus far, all of my coaching clients have seen improvement in just a few sessions (some in as little as 1 session!).

Here are some recent comments:

“As someone fairly new to the fundraising world, I found it easy and not intimidating to approach Dalya with my questions… And best of all, her strategy is really working! This year we secured support from new funders and we are thrilled to finally diversify our portfolio.”

“We have had this project idea for a year and [working with Dalya] really helped prioritize the value of what we’re trying to do. I know that I’m going to get something out of every call, so it has made me actually set the time aside.” Continue reading