[TheThinkTank] grant proposals

lance ayer lanceayer at gmail.com
Tue Oct 23 09:08:26 PDT 2007

Thank you for your reply Rachael! The information you have provide
will take us a long way.

I completely understanding your emphasis on networking. Luckily for us
this was our first step. We just kept poking our heads around until we
found an interested party. Now they are request the full proposal.
This is nice because it really feels like the work of putting it
together is worth it.

Our approach at this time to to secure enough seed money to get the
project off the ground, and over time turn it into a self-sustaining
endeavor. We are hoping to do this mainly through memberships, selling
bikes etc  . . .

Again, thank you for sharing your experience, Im sure it will prove to
be invaluable to us. I will be sure to stay in touch and let you know
how this all turns out. On that note we have been keeping a blog of
our experience: www.campusbike.blogspot.com.


On 10/23/07, rachael spiewak <rachael at sopobikes.org> wrote:
> Congratulations, Lance!
> My favorite resource is the Foundation Center.  It's a free library for
> foundation information that also offers free fundraising workshops.  I'm
> lucky enough to live up the hill from one.  There are a few others, and
> there are also cooperating libraries across the US (doesn't help you out too
> much in Calgary).  I've spent a lot of time in there finding foundations
> headquartered in Atlanta, so it would take me forever to find things for all
> y'all (I wish I could!).  Another way to go is to reach out to your network
> and find out who's got connections to a development director at another
> nonprofit.  Take that development director out to lunch and pick their
> brain.  After all, the game is all about networking.  Writing your proposal
> is only the half of it.  Most foundations want a phone call or letter of
> inquiry before you send the whole package, and that point of contact can be
> a make or break moment.  I have a packet on how to create these things,
> which I will eventually scan and upload (copyright permitting).
> Meanwhile, grants should only make up around 30 percent of your budget.
> They're unreliable, you're bound to the grant cycle schedule, and there's so
> much work to do for an unknown outcome.  The truth about fundraising is that
> it's all about your individual donors, and getting money this way is pretty
> unsexy.. phone banking, direct mailing, schmoozing.  But I think it makes
> more sense for folks like us.. I'd rather get my support from the
> communities with which we work who trust us to spend it wisely, than some
> corporation or corporate foundation.  Interestingly, my mother is our best
> volunteer in this department.
> To this end, we're developing a media kit or info packet that includes:
> At a Glance (mission, hard numbers, what you can do in the shop)
> Current Programs and Programs in the Works
> Friends of Sopo Pledge Sheet
> Word on the Street (nice things people have said about Sopo.. I used myspace
> to generate content for this)
> Most of this stuff is on our website, and we're working towards going live
> with the pledge sheet, which will be integrated with our wishlist, which is
> partially registered with REI so people can click click click to buy us
> stuff.
> A word about the structure of the pledge sheet.  To get away from the
> typical hierarchical levels of giving, we put actual shop expenses on the
> sheet instead.  This way, people can connect what they're giving to
> something that will directly benefit the community, and no one is recognized
> for giving more than anyone else.  Plus, I imagine, say, a student group
> decides to take on a certain expense that fits in with their world view and
> does something fun to raise that money.
> Finally, work the online fundraising.  I went to a workshop with a
> consultant for this stuff.  People who give online give more than people who
> give through the mail, and it's cheaper and easier for you.  There are ways
> to make this process easier.  I've got a PPT about it that we can upload,
> too.
> We also painted a toolbox green, cut a hole in it, and lug it around as a
> giant hard-to-miss donation box.  A couple of dollars here and there all add
> up.
> People want to be charitable.  Be passionate about what you do and show
> those folks that your bike shop fits right in with what they believe in.
> It's even better if you can get them to come to that conclusion on their
> own.
> Of course, I'm no expert.. this is just what we've learned so far.
> Your friend,
> rachael
> On 10/22/07, lance ayer < lanceayer at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > Greetings all,
> >
> > We are in the midst of starting up a new bike coop here in Calgary. So
> > far it is going very well, but the next task of putting together a
> > business proposal is proving to be quite a task given our short
> > deadline for funding and other grants. Could someone point me in the
> > direction of some resources which could help us out in this regard? Or
> > if any coops have copies of their own proposals available I would be
> > most greatful if they could be sent my way.
> >
> > Cheers,
> >
> > Lance Ayer
> > Campus Bike Initiative, Calgary
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