Community foundations are nonprofit agencies established to act as superintendents of trust funds and donations by local philanthropists whose mission is to give back to, and support, the local community and local nonprofit agencies. These foundations educate and empower local non-profit groups and agencies to start-up, operate and sustain various programs. They can also serve as a hub to help your program staff network with other agencies, programs, resources and funding sources in your area. Community foundations often have a reference library of research resources and they host various workshops.
Staff there have great insight into who is giving out the money and for what purposes. These foundations often archive all their activities so if you happen to miss something important, you can go there later and watch a video or read a transcript of the session you missed. Becoming a familiar face at and getting on the mailing list of the nearest community foundation in your area is absolutely essential.
These foundations often host “Meet The Grantmaker” sessions that offer the opportunity for you the potential grantee to meet, hob nob, ask questions of—but not shamelessly beg—staff and officers representing various local and national foundations. These meetings should be put on your organization’s “must attend” list and are extremely critical to you getting an edge over your competitors.
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