This fall we are offering nine essential courses to help you get through today's tough fundraising environment.
In addition, we are now accepting scholarship applications for our full-day training seminars. If you represent a California nonprofit organization with a budget under $1,000,000, you are eligible. Learn more and apply»
The San Francisco Foundation is launching a grants program to strengthen local nonprofits in their campaigns to bring visibility to hard-to-count populations. Grants of up to $10,000 will be awarded, with an additional $2,500 available for the engagement of an artist to design and produce visual art media to create visibility around the census.
The Foundation is particularly interested in organizations that can substantially strengthen community outreach for the census in San Francisco, Alameda, and Contra Costa counties. Successful applicants will target hard-to-count populations in counties, cities and neighborhoods that have been undercounted in the past. Priority will be given to organizations that have a clear strategy for their outlined work that includes education, outreach, establishing Questionnaire Assistance Centers, etc.
Applications are due September 25, 2009. Decisions will be made in November 2009.
For the latest installment of our Philanthropy Chat series, Janet Camarena, director of Foundation Center-San Francisco, interviewed Fatima Angeles, of The California Wellness Foundation. The mission of The California Wellness Foundation is to improve the health of the people of California by making grants for health promotion, wellness education and disease prevention. Fatima discusses the foundation's grantmaking priorities, a glimpse in trends in the field of health care philanthropy, and insights into best practices in securing foundation support.
In addition to finding the Foundation Center's Philanthropy Chat podcasts here, you can also subscribe to them at iTunes, or via our feed.
Throughout 2009, we've seen a growing number of individuals asking about career resources and job listings for nonprofits. This has been no surprise, given the effects of the economic crisis and the job losses in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. With many organizations having cut back on staffing or temporarily frozen hiring, more and more job seekers have been looking at independent consulting as a possible solution.
For the right person, working as an independent consultant can have many advantages, including setting one's own schedule and priorities, working with a variety of clients, and developing a wide range of personal skills and experience. However, like any start-up, launching your own consulting business involves some financial risk and a great deal of personal commitment. While working independently often provides for greater personal freedom, it may also involve an inconsistent work load and an unpredictable income. Consultants must be well-organized and self-disciplined in order to effectively manage their time and resources while working with several different clients at any given time. Some other considerations include:
Experience/credentials – As a consultant, you are the product. Nonprofit organizations select consultants based on their experience, education, and other credentials, as well as on personal referrals and relationships. Before setting out on your own, you will need to consider whether or not you have the experience necessary to advise different types of nonprofits on a wide variety of topics. You may also want to consider certification, such as Certified Fund Raising Executive(CFRE), or even graduate or professional education to build your knowledge base.
Contracts/fees – Consultants must know how to develop effective contracts with clients. You will also need to research other consultants' fees and develop your own fee system. Will you charge by the hour, or on an annual or project basis?
Specialization – Nonprofit consultants may begin as generalists, but most will eventually focus on one or a few aspects of fundraising, management, or grant writing. Know your preferred areas as well as those in which you do not wish to consult.
Physical space – On the more practical side, you must determine where to set up your work space. Working from home may seem comforting, but can be distracting or tiresome. Having an office outside the home can help provide focus and a routine, but will usually require money for rent payments.
Lack of benefits – While individuals are often able to increase their earnings by shifting to consulting, this can be offset by the loss of insurance coverage, retirement funds, and other benefits associated with institutional employment.
At the Foundation Center-San Francisco, you can find a number of books and articles on becoming a nonprofit consultant, including:
How to Become a Grant Writing Consultant: A Start-up Resource Guide for Your Home-Based Business (2nd ed.), by Beverly A. Browning (Buckeye, AZ: BBA, 2005) Call Number: 705 BRO HOW
So You Want to be a Consultant! by Henry Goldstein (Alexandria, VA: Association of Fundraising Professionals, 2006) Call Number: 710 AFP GOL
Start Your Own Grant-Writing Business: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Success, by Preethi Burkholder (Irvine, CA: Entrepreneur Press, 2008) Call Number: 705 BUR
- Becoming a Consultant: Is This the Job for You? – Chronicle of Philanthropy This transcript of an online discussion moderated by the Chronicle of Philanthropy includes answers to many frequently-asked questions about becoming an independent consultant in the nonprofit sector.
- How Can I Become a Freelancer?– Puget Sound Grantwriters Association Contains tips and advice for individuals thinking about becoming an independent grant writer. The web site also includes more general resources for grant writers, including additional FAQs and fee-setting guidelines.
Philanthropic Ventures Foundation (PVF) now presents $500 vocational training scholarships to full-time students of Berkeley City College, Chabot College, College of Alameda, Laney College, Las Positas College, Merritt College, and Ohlone College.
The Charles and Connie Meng Scholarship Program was established over 10 ten years ago by PVF to provide $500 scholarships to Alameda County community college students pursuing vocational and trade careers such as cosmetologists, cooks, bank tellers, pharmacy technicians, dental assistants, paralegals, x-ray technicians, carpenters, and more.
Many foundations have publicly announced their plans for how they are responding to the economic crisis. We've compiled an overview of announcements by California-based foundations along with the original sources of information. California Foundation Giving Forecast is a dynamic chart that presents foundations' planned responses to the economic crisis, their most recent fiscal information, and summary forecasts for giving in the near future. Users can use the chart to gain insight on how the philanthropic sector is confronting the economic crisis and how the largest foundation in California plan to support the work of nonprofits.
The forecast chart is free and available to all and will be updated on a continuous basis, so check it out and let us know what you think. A national list of these announcements is also available.