Fundraising Success #46

Fundraising Success #46

Fundraising Success – Issue #46 – Article: “Grant Writing Tips”; Supplier Spotlight: “Tracy Hamilton, Inc.”; Free ebook: “Parent’s Guide To Homeschooling”


Fundraising Success #46 – September 2006


=> Kimberly’s Column: “Cheer Fundraisers”
=> Reader Q & A: “Fundraising Sales Tips”
=> Feature Article: “Grant Writing Tips”
=> Supplier Spotlight: “Tracy Hamilton, Inc.”
=> SiteSeeing, Bonus & more: “Free Maybelline mascara”
=> Your Ebook: “Parent’s Guide To Homeschooling”

Kimberly’s Column: “Cheer Fundraisers”

Hi everyone!

Now that everyone is back in school, it’s cheer fundraiser time. In middle school and high school, the cheerleaders are usually first out of the gate with their fundraisers.

Like all the other sports groups and school clubs, the cheerleaders need to raise funds for uniforms, travel, competitions, etc. And that means car washes, concession stand duty, raffles, and more.

Well, there’s a lot of discussion of these ideas in our

You can also find out a lot more about the latest in cheer fundraising ideas in our newest articles:

This month’s Bonus is a free sample of Maybelline mascara.

This month’s free ebook is Parent’s Guide To Homeschooling.

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Readers Q & A: “Improving Fundraising Sales”

Question:  How can we improve on last year’s results with our catalog fundraiser? It’s the same set of candy and holiday wrapping paper that we’ve sold for the last three years. Help!
Janet S.

Answer:  You need to make sure the kids know what to say and you need to make sure they say it to a lot of people!

Use A Sales Script
Don’t send your sellers out unprepared. Part of youth sports is teaching. Helping kids with their sales skills goes a long way toward building self confidence.

Here’s what to tell them:
1 – Make eye contact, smile and introduce yourself.
2 – Say one sentence about why you are raising funds.
3 – Say second sentence that asks for their help.
4 – Make sure that sentence includes the word “because”.
5 – Extend sample item, catalog, or order sheet.
6 – Suggest a personal favorite item or bundle.
7 – Always ask for the order.

Increase Number Of Prospects
Once your kids know what to say, they have to have prospects for their sales pitch. Have everyone make a list of their potential customers. Have each seller stand up in front of their teammates and state how many prospects they have. Then have them make a commitment to raising a certain financial amount. Set sales quotas. Encourage competition by offering prizes for top sellers.

Hope this helps!


You will find my book, Fundraising Success, very helpful in any
fundraising endeavor.

Buy a copy today because you’ll save both time and money!
Yours for only $17:

FEATURE ARTICLE: Grant Writing Tips

If you want to get your grant request approved, then follow these 10 grant writing tips:

1. Understand the needs of the grantors

Behind every foundation grant is a philosophy, intention or basic principal. These principles not only determine how grants are funded, if you pay attention, they will also tell you how to approach the foundation and what areas of your proposal are the most important to the foundation.

Before you even start writing the grant, you need to:

  • Find out about the granting organization and understand the reasons they are offering grants.
  • Determine what they want in return for the funds -positive publicity, leverage of funds, provide vehicle for in-house volunteers?
  • Discover who actually will be reviewing your application – is it the director, a funding or grants committee, bureaucrats?

If the information isn’t available on their Website, ask for examples of recently funded projects, and also for some that have been rejected.
2. Develop your proposal to fit the application

You have a great idea, you’ve identified a need, and you’ve got the tools to make it work. And you have found a grantor who shares your goals. But you still have to make sure that your project matches the funding guidelines of each potential funder.

Make sure the major budget items in your project are clearly eligible for funding. If only part of your project is relevant to a particular funding opportunity then find other way to fund the rest of the project, and let them know (this not only shows them how resourceful you are, it will ensure that you have enough money to actually fund your project).

Use the restrictions and guidelines of the grant opportunity to make sure that you’ve thought your project through and have planned for all contingencies. If you don’t understand what the funder needs or wants, the ASK – don’t make assumptions.

Look at your project through the eyes of the grant reviewer. Where is your project weak? What are it’s strengths? Are you duplicating services? Do you have the capacity to carry out the work? If you’ve got any doubts, now’s the time to address them.
3. Understand and comply with eligibility requirements

Make sure that you understand and can comply with the eligibility requirements and regulations you must comply with. It’s a waste of everyone’s time and resources to apply for grants whose requirements are beyond your resources.

Be certain you understand what you’re getting into – including grant deadlines, scope of work, reports, etc.

Can your organization commit to the contract and other legal requirements?

If the application process takes a long time and funding is not for six months to a year, will your project still be relevant and ready to go?
4. Get a second opinion, and ask for help when you need it

Often people don’t flock to help with fundraising activities. (I don’t know why!). But, if you’re new to proposal writing and you’re taking on the grant writing job for your organization, once you’ve done the research and know what it’s going to take to put together a winning grants package, ask for the help you need from others in your organization.

Get someone else to proofread your application, and make sure that it’s clear and compelling. A confusing application will end up in the discard pile.

When possible, ask someone who knows little or nothing about the project, because if they can understand the need, urgency and goals of the project, you have a better chance that so with the grant reviewer.

The budget is one of the most important parts of your application. If you don’t understand them, get help from your accountant or someone who does.

Don’t be afraid to ask the grantor for help. Don’t expect them to write the application, but they can answer specific questions and even help you to brainstorm ideas.
5. Bring your own resources to the table
Even if you’re not applying for a “match grant” every funder wants to get the maximum “bang for their buck”. Identify partners, associated projects, volunteers, supporters, donors, resources, etc.

You want to give them the sense that you are able to stretch the resources you receive to the maximum amount. Provide documentation that you have more time, resources and expenditures invested into the project than the amount you’re requesting funds for.

Funders want to fund projects that are important and valuable. Show that you have resources from a variety of places; the broader the support the better. This will demonstrate that you’re a good risk.
6. Show the public support for your project
Every project can benefit from grass-roots support and involvement. Document the support. This can come from a record of volunteers, testimonials from clients, newspaper clippings, letters of support, etc.

Go beyond support from the “usual suspects”. Think outside the box – who else in the community would benefit from your project, or support it?

Think of corporate volunteers, other organizations who are in a similar line of work, or who have similar issues, your local city council members or other politicians, youth or church groups, etc.

Provide ways for volunteers to help with your project, even in the beginning stages. Keep track of the hours spent, take pictures, get letters of support.
7. Make your application come alive in the minds of the grant reviewers

Help them to see your project. Use words that paint a picture of what you want to accomplish. Let them feel your excitement and passion for your work. If they are conducting a site visit, have clients attend.

Prepare a short slide show, or put together a photo album. Put pictures on a Website.

Don’t forget about new marketing tools such as blogging. There are many free blogs now, and you can post pictures, invite comments and provide interaction.

You can let the funders know about your blog before you send in the application, or include the URL with your contact information.

Know your audience. Don’t assume they know technical jargon or acronyms related to your project. State your goals and objectives clearly and concisely.
8. Make sure that every sentence in your application counts

Say what you need to say, but make your words convey exactly what the funder needs to hear to be able to say yes.

Don’t waste their time or try their patience. If you don’t have a good answer for some of the questions, be honest and say so.

Use bullets, or bold-face type, or a list of key elements to convey the high points of your project, and don’t bury them in paragraphs of verbiage.

If you’re invited to do a presentation, practice first, and stick to the point.
9. Make the grant application easy to read

Use a reasonable-sized font and leave enough blank space. Don’t include voluminous attachments, unless you have a very good reason clearly stated in your application.

Make every word convey an important point to the grant reviewer. If it’s not relevant, leave it out.

If allowed, use pictures, diagrams, plans, or maps instead of long, confusing descriptions. The history and war stories of your project are vivid and important to you, but a grant reviewer may not care; keep your background and history brief and focus instead on the project.
10. Give them what they ask for

If you can’t provide the information requested, call the grantor to be sure it is alright to send in without it.

Supplier Spotlight: Tracy Hamilton, Inc.

(Excerpt from my book, Fundraising Success!)

Supplier: Tracy Hamilton Inc.
Phone: (800) 645-6550
Fax: (516) 546-4746
Address: 20 Maple Place
City: Freeport
State: NY
Zip: 11520-0210

Description: Earn 50% profit and more with brochure and product fundraisers. Free shipping and free prizes.

Nice variety of catalog and direct sale items at reasonable prices. Example: Safety First catalog has items that retail for $6.50 to $26.00.

Catalog sales offer these profit margins:
If your total gross sales are over $5,000 it’s 50%.
If your total gross sales is below that, but more than $2,500 it’s 45%.
If your total sale is less than $2,500 it’s 40%.
FREE shipping on all orders over $1,250

Case Candy includes free delivery and has a minimum order of only 10 cases. Profit margins improve to 50% at 36 cases.

Product Lines: Americana, Candy, Candy – Case, Catalog Sales, Chocolate, Coffee
Mugs, Cookie Dough, First Aid Kits, Flower Bulbs, Food Items, Gift Items,
Lollipops, Pizza, Pretzels, Safety Items, Snacks

Terms: Prepay or net terms available to qualified organizations

Notes: Long time fundraising supplier. Have field sales reps available to assist
you in many major metropolitan areas. Includes a prize program or an option to
earn an extra 2% without the prize program.

Places To Go, Things To See, Bonus Item & More

Places to go:

National Geophysical Data Center

Educators in the geophysical sciences will find much to work with on this site
created by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration’s National
Geophysical Data Center.

Utilizing data captured over time by their team of scientific experts, the site
includes a climate timeline informational tool which can be used to demonstrate
the transformation of the Earth’s climate over the past 100,000 years and a
section titled “All About Snow”, which provides answers to questions about snow.

The real treats here are the interactive hands-on activities that include an
origami balloon of elevations and an even more complex dodecahedron globe that
offers a three-dimensional visualization for use by students and teachers.

Finally, the “Visualizing Data” area contains a few recent additions that can be
used in the classroom, such as several animated dives to the bottom of the
Marianas Trench off of the Philippines.

Things to see:


More and more people are rediscovering crafts these days, and rediscovering 
the world of the crocheted tea cozy and finger puppets in a number of innovative
and inherently hip ways.

Sponsored by the magazine Craft, this site contains a weblog of compelling craft
projects, excerpts from their print magazine, and a number of community forums
where visitors can kvetch and commune about their diverse craft experiences.

The “Projects” area is a delight, as visitors will get introduced to
multi-colored spiral crochet hats and funky skirts made out of fabric from a
broken umbrella.  Like a child at a candy store, even casual visitors may
find themselves dipping back into this site’s proverbial jar of craft treats and

Bonus Item:

Free sample of Maybelline Mascara!

Click this link to score a free sample of Maybelline mascara!

Your Free Ebook:

The Parent’s Guide To Successful Homeschooling. A 58-page PDF report on what you
need to know about homeschooling your children. Includes sample education plans
and sample lesson plans.

Download here:

That’s all for this issue. See you next month.

Copyright 2006 by Kimberly Reynolds. All rights reserved.

Maximize your fundraising success!

Related Pages

Newsletters – All the Back

Fundraising Ideas – Ideas for fundraising
that focus on the best activities for high school, elementary school, sports teams, and youth groups to raise funds
with events, activities, programs, projects and products.

Fundraising Events – Three profitable event ideas
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Event ideas you
can do in a monthend that work anywhere from Canada to Australia.

School Fundraisers – Easy fundraising ideas for schools that consistently
produce excellent results. Includes articles on cheerleading, high school football,
soccer, and band, plus more great youth sports team activities and events for other high school groups.

Thank You Letters – Seven tips
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Fundraising Letters – See what fund
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Fundraising Letter – How to
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How To Write A Fundraising
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Nonprofit Software – Listings and descriptions of popular software programs
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Church Fundraisers – Church fundraising ideas for capital campaigns through donor recognition –
Christian fundraiser charity activities and events that produce quick results.

Articles – Full list of articles on high school fundraisers,
nonprofit fund raising, and great event ideas.