Campus Life

Organization Members, Leaders Get Tips on Earning Grants

Local nonprofit organization members and leaders gathered at UCA Downtown on Feb. 2  to get advice on earning grants from proffessionals in the industry.

The event featured three speakers, each of whom gave short presentations about their jobs, organizations and general tips on how to be successful before taking questions as a group panel.

The first speaker was Arkansas Community Foundation Executive Director Gloria Cheshier, who spoke on her organization’s reach in Arkansas, the impact it has had, and about some of the things it looks for in applicants for grants.

She said that when members of the organization are reviewing requests for funding, they consider things like, creativity, description and information provided for the proposed project. She also said that it’s important to “eleminate the BS” from applications, explaining that the proposal shouldn’t be too long-winded.

She also explained that some things to avoid in applying were redundancy, vagueness and last-minute phone calls.

After Cheshier finished her presentation, United Way of Central Arkansas Executive Director Maret Cahill-Wicks gave hers.

Cahill-Wicks described her organization as being similar to ACF except in a few ways, such as funding only programs and no agencies and that the grants they dealt with tended to be larger. The first grant application tip she had for the audience was, “you have to be specific.”

She said that it was preferred that applicants included full amount needed.

The last speaker of the morning was Abby Hughes Holsclaw, who is  an independant consultant and founder of the organization Proper Southern Strategies.

Holsclaw stressed to the audience the importance of building relationships with grantmakers, saying that talking with them in person and building raport is often more affective than a well-written application.

Holsclaw also said that grantmakers tend to look for unique ideas with very clearly stated missions.

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