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What the CFDA Is Going on Here?

December 10, 2019

The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) is a compendium containing all the domestic assistance grant programs available to government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and other entities eligible for federal assistance. Recently, the federal government completely remodeled, renamed, and moved the CFDA system from CFDA.gov to beta.SAM.gov—a move that makes sense, as the System for Award Management (SAM) is the financial distribution system for domestic assistance programs. The name change from the well-used CFDA acronym to the title of “Assistance Listings” may take a little while to take hold with users, but the online search system at beta.SAM.gov is doing its part to make it easier for anyone to locate information on available grant programs.

As the description for Assistance Listings states, “The federal government . . . supports a broad range of programs—such as education, health care, research, infrastructure, economic development and other programs—through grants, loans, scholarships, insurance, and other types of financial assistance.” But searching through the numerous agencies of the federal government to find funds for education, health care, research, infrastructure, and economic development has historically been a daunting task. However, the search feature found at beta.SAM.gov is easy, user friendly, and intuitive. By selecting “Assistance Listings” as the domain in the search dropdown menu at the top of the homepage and entering in a keyword, you’ll find a government-wide catalog of assistance and support programs at your fingertips. You can narrow or target your search by using a series of filters such as status (open or closed), applicant type,  beneficiaries, and assistance types (formula grants, project grants, guaranteed loans, etc.), from the left side of the page for easy navigation.

The search feature is especially useful because it does not limit you to only one entry for each filter, and several options are available to describe the beneficiaries, applicants, and types of assistance you are looking for. Once you execute a search, each Assistance Listing is presented with valuable information to the right of the title, such as whether it has been previously funded, when it was last updated, the type(s) of assistance it qualifies as, and the five-digit CFDA number. Clicking on the title of the listing will take you to a summary page that provides an overview, authorizations, financial information, criteria for applying, details on applying, compliance requirements, and contact info. The financial information is especially robust, featuring the range and average values of assistance and the date range for approvals. The summary page also includes a historical timeline that shows when the Assistance Listing was first published and all the major milestones that the listing has experienced.

The value of the new Assistance Listings search feature is that detailed information is now in a single place, making it much easier and faster for those of us who need this information to find it quickly. No longer will grant seekers need to crunch the numbers to define the potential range or average value of awards (a key indicator to understand the level of effort an organization can expect to put forth and the realistic award value they will likely receive). Moreover, most entries already have examples of funded projects so grant seekers will no longer spend hours hunting through USAspending.gov for project examples. In addition to valuable information on the opportunity, hyperlinks to apply for the assistance programs and other application information is made readily available.

Hats off to beta.SAM.gov for the improvements this government make-over has made to the CFDA system. Grant seekers in the nonprofit community and government agencies across all areas of work and program support, will surely benefit from exploring the improved search feature and new line up of information found at beta.SAM.gov in Assistance Listings.

Contact: Deanna Aquiar, Resource Development Officer deanna@thegrantplantnm.com

Featured Funding Opportunity! Bernalillo County $6M Behavioral Health Continuum

November 4, 2019

Please note:

There is a mandatory pre-proposal meeting on November 6, 2019 at 10:00 am (local time) at the following address:
One Civic Plaza NW
10th Floor Conference Room B

Bernalillo County: Behavioral Health Continuum

Deadline: November 22, 2019

Bernalillo County will provide capital or startup funding to expand the behavioral health continuum in Bernalillo County. Services should build capacity, enhance existing services, or address underserved populations or gaps in services. All services should encompass the needs of the individual and family, be trauma informed, and must have cultural, linguist, and disability accessibility. Proposals must draw on evidence-based practices or promising practices in specific areas of behavioral health. In true alignment with problem-based procurement, Offerors are asked to identify the need and gap in services in Bernalillo County and describe the proposed service to address it and desired outcomes.

The programming and providers that are eligible to apply can span the array of available, evidence based, behavioral health services in Bernalillo County. This proposal provides an opportunity for any Bernalillo County community provider to apply for funding to expand currently existing services or develop new behavioral health services. While the intent of the proposal is to remain flexible and non-prescriptive, below is a key component that could be addressed.

  • Providers should aim to develop capacity and collaboration within the community and expand existing programs to meet gaps in the service continuum

There are multiple interventions that could be proposed and as such are not limited to the list below. Providers in Bernalillo County and Offerors can propose other evidence-based and/or promising practice.

  • Capital requests for facilities to deliver new or enhanced services
  • Start-up requests for new programs that address marginalized or underserved populations
  • New sustainable collaborative partnerships between agencies to address an unmet community need

Interventions should draw on both evidence based practices as well as promising practices. In true alignment with problem based procurement, Offerors are asked to provide a solution in Bernalillo County. To provide adequate coverage, at the County’s sole discretion, multiple awards may be made.

Amount: Several program formats may be funded at a total cost not to exceed $6,000,000 over three years (which includes New Mexico Gross Receipt Tax). The County is interested in using this opportunity to fund one or more interventions for 1-3 year contracts with the expectation that programs will be scaled-down and funded at a reduced rate as programs build momentum and sustainability for up to a maximum of three years.

Eligibility: An Offeror is defined as any person, corporation, or partnership who chooses to submit a proposal.

Link: https://www.bernco.gov/general-services/request-for-proposals.aspx

Note: There is a mandatory pre-proposal meeting on November 6, 2019 at 10:00 am (local time) at the following address:
One Civic Plaza NW
10th Floor Conference Room B

Join Us for the 2019 New Mexico Association of Grantmakers Conference on November 13

October 30, 2019

Investing in a Strong and Equitable New Mexico Social Sector

Wednesday & Thursday November 13 & 14, 2019
Sandia Resort and Conference Center
30 Rainbow Rd, Albuquerque, NM 87113

Join us for our Annual Conference and Membership Meeting, “Investing in a Strong and Equitable New Mexico Social Sector“, on Wednesday, November 13 and a half-day post-conference session, “Health and Social Equity” co-sponsored with Con Alma Health Foundation on Thursday, November 14, 2019.

The conference will bring funders, investors, nonprofit and government leaders, and nonprofit capacity providers together to amplify and leverage the impact and investments in New Mexico’s nonprofits and the broader social sector.

Keynote and Guest Presenters

Wednesday, November 13: Keynote Speaker on Nonprofit Impact Matters: Practical insights on key national and state-level findings
Opening Plenary by Tim Delaney, President and CEO, National Council of Nonprofits

Image of Tim Delaney

 

 

 

 

Post-Conference Session on Thursday, November 14:
Health and Social Equity Discussion with Brian D. Smedley, Co-Founder and Executive Director of National Collaborative for Health Equity

 

 

 

Overview

We all share the goal of a thriving social sector that has impact and addresses the needs of our communities. Funders, investors, government, business and nonprofits all have important and unique roles critical to meeting those needs. Given New Mexico’s social sector size and growth, improving performance has enormous potential with respect to better social outcomes and impact. How can we work better together to amplify and leverage the impact and investments in our social sector? The 2019 NMAG conference will help promote a shared understanding of how we help mission-driven organizations achieve success.

Audience: Funders, nonprofit organizations and capacity providers, governmental funders, Investment organizations, financial institutions, nonprofit consultants and businesses.

Objectives: Participants will understand: 1) the social and economic contributions of New Mexico’s nonprofit sector, 2) how cross-sector collaboration and networks can leverage impact and improve outcomes, and 3) how financial and non-financial investments can help build capacity and achieve the goal of a stronger and more equitable social sector in New Mexico.

 

Agenda details are available on the event homepage.

Share our event with your networks! 2019 NMAG Conference Flyer

Interested in Sponsorship?
Please contact Cathy Frey, Executive Director at cathyfrey@nmag.org.

TGP Saw a Record Year, and Keeps Growing!

September 17, 2019

The Grant Plant, Inc. shattered its year-over-year growth in terms of grants applied for and received. In 2018, grant awards written by TGP amounted to more than $29 million. Funding from outside of New Mexico represented 91% of these dollars, bringing much-needed resources to our Philanthropic Divide state. The average grant size for these awards in 2018 was $370,590. TGP’s clients saw a rate of return of $65.40 for every dollar they spent on grant seeking with TGP. Grants applied for in 2018 resulted in a 63% success rate.

This brings TGP’s cumulative funding awarded to $132,468,310 since 2003 and its 16-year success rate stays solid at 56%.

To keep pace with business demand as nonprofits increasingly look for grant writing expertise, TGP is now hiring for a Resource Development Officer (experienced grant professional).

On behalf of TGP, we appreciate our clients who entrust us with their work, our team who works diligently on their behalves, and the creativity and resourcefulness of the tax-exempt sector in New Mexico.

 

With gratitude,

Tara Gohr, President & CEO

Erin Hielkema, Vice President

Talent Academy Raises $9,500,000 for New Mexico Nonprofits

June 18, 2019

Applications for next cohort being accepted through June 30.

 

The Talent Academy for grant professionals, a four-month professional development program run by The Grants Collective, has helped 29 New Mexican nonprofit organizations refine their grant seeking processes and secure over $9.5 million in grant funding during the first year after completing the fellowship. The Talent Academy is geared toward local experienced grant seeking professionals who want to rapidly improve their grant seeking abilities, learn through a comprehensive and hands-on curriculum, and set up a robust grant program within their agency. Grants make up an important income stream for the nonprofit sector, which employs approximately 10% of New Mexico’s workforce. In addition to contributing to the economic vitality of the state through employment, nonprofit organizations (which encompass education, healthcare, the arts, and social services, among other areas) raise the state’s quality of life, making New Mexico a more attractive place to live and work.

 

“Knowing how much money previous cohorts raised, we have the data to show that what we’ve done works.” says Program Manager, Robert Nelson. “Now that we have three cohorts under our belt, we seek to capitalize on this success and help local nonprofit organizations continue to build their capacity to seek and secure transformative, high impact grants.”

 

Previous fellows report feeling more confident approaching funders, taking risks, thinking big, developing Federal grant applications, and working collaboratively. The Talent Academy is currently accepting applications for its fourth cohort. Accepted fellows will have in-person and online access to curated, exclusive training and resources to guide them in prioritizing needs, determining and connecting to appropriate funders, and crafting competitive applications. The application for the fourth Talent Academy for grant seeking professionals will be open until June 30, 2019.

 

For more information or to apply, please visit www.thegrantscollective.org/apply-now.

Apply Now for the Talent Academy of Grant Professionals (New Mexico)

May 21, 2019

From our nonprofit arm, The Grants Collective…

It’s hard to believe we’ve hosted 3 cohorts of the Talent Academy in the last 3 years! All told, 29 organizations have completed the program and have raised almost $9M, with over $7M of those awards coming from out-of-state funding. It’s an amazing testament to the tremendous work occurring in our communities.
The application for the fourth Talent Academy cohort is open now.  Click the application link below for the Early Bird Registration, which ends on May 31st.  We can’t wait to engage with the next amazing group of grant heroes!

 

To learn more, contact Robert Nelson at robert@thegrantscollective.org or 505-226-0171, ext. 0. Regular applications will be accepted through June 30.

APPLY NOW

The Donor-Advised Fund Boom: How Do Nonprofits Engage Donors?

March 26, 2019

Donor Advised Funds (DAFs) are increasingly becoming a more prevalent giving tool in philanthropy. In fact, DAFs are the fastest-growing form of philanthropy today.  In 2017, there were 463,622 individual DAFs across the country, together holding assets that surpassed the $100 billion mark for the first time, as reported in The National Philanthropic Trust’s 2018 DAF Report. This Report goes on to reveal that DAF donor contributions and grants reached record highs in 2017; donors contributed $29.23 billion to DAFs, using them to recommend $19.08 billion in grants to nonprofits.

DAFs are attractive to donors because they are an easy, cost-efficient method individuals can use to donate to nonprofits, simplify record keeping around donations, and claim an immediate tax deductible charitable contribution. But how do nonprofit organizations approach DAFs? Most DAF fund managers do not offer an option for nonprofit organizations to apply for funds or introduce themselves, nor do they post an easily accessible listing of their managed DAF funds. Below, we explore the types of DAF funds available and provide suggested steps nonprofits can take to better their chances at receiving DAFs.

What Are The Basic Principles Behind Donor-Advised Funds?

DAFs accounts are administered by nonprofit organizations (called sponsoring organizations) that manage the donors’ contributions (cash, stocks, real estate, etc.) and provide a vehicle through which the donor can contribute to the charities that they want to support. Donors have the option of taking a hands-on approach and deciding which nonprofits to contribute their to, or can leave it up to DAF managers at sponsoring organizations. Every sponsoring organization has its own rules and procedures for managing DAFs. Generally, DAF sponsors require an initial investment ranging from $5,000-$25,000 to open the fund and many have their own policies that mandate regular giving. DAFs fall into three categories:

  • Commercial funds: These are funds that were started by national financial-services firms, such as Fidelity Charitable, Goldman Sachs Charitable Gift Fund, Schwab Charitable, and Vanguard Charitable. Although they are separate nonprofit organizations from the financial-service firms, assets in the funds are often managed by the related investment company.
  • Community Foundations:This is typically a nonprofit organization that supports a specific geographic area, offering grantmaking programs to address community needs and support local nonprofits. These Foundations will often offer to manage donor-advised funds and advise donors on local community needs or organizations that align with donor interests.
  • Single-issue funds:These are sponsoring organizations that focus on a single issue and encourage giving to a particular cause or organization. This may include schools and faith-based organizations. Sometimes sponsors of these funds stipulate that donors must steer a certain percentage of their gifts to an institution, like a university.

How Do DAFs Determine Who To Support?

The DAF donor is the primary decision maker when it comes to determining who they wish to support with their funds. National DAF sponsors (such as Fidelity Charitable and Vanguard) ultimately leave these decisions up to donors. There were no opportunities found for nonprofits to submit an application for DAFs through national sponsors. Typically, national DAF sponsors encourage their donors to evaluate charities on their own through nonprofit assessment groups, such as:

  • Guidestar:Users can search for nonprofits using a number of criteria, including: organization name, geographical area, cause area, revenue amount, and Guidestar profile level. Guidestar provides a platform for organizations to share a summary of their mission, programs, financials, and operations that can be viewed by potential donors. This appears to be the primary assessment tool that national sponsoring organizations recommend to their DAF fund donors.
  • Charity Navigator:Users can search for nonprofits using a number of criteria, including: organization name, category/cause, location, and size (expenses). Charity Navigator currently only evaluates organizations with more than $1M in annual revenue, but does provide advice to users who want to evaluate a charity on their own; indicating that they should look at the financial health of the organization, accountability and transparency, and results. Descriptions of organizations are typically not as detailed as Guidestar summaries are, but users can donate directly to the nonprofit from the Charity Navigator website.

Community Foundations managing DAFs typically provide more advice to donors than national sponsoring organizations. Many donors open accounts with their local community foundations because these funders tend to have a good understanding of the area’s nonprofits and many offer services such as family philanthropic consulting. Often, these Foundations will provide public listings and summaries of local organizations that may be of interest to donors.

How do Nonprofit Organizations Tap into DAFs?

Since DAF fund contributions are largely controlled by individual donors, there is often no single, straightforward application process available for nonprofits to request DAFs. Additionally, listings of DAF donors for national sponsoring organizations are not readily available, making it difficult for nonprofits to target individual DAFs that may be aligned with their work. The best approach is to get to know DAF sponsors in your local area take steps to help DAF donors to learn about your organization on their own. A few action steps nonprofits can take to try and engage DAF donors are:

  1. Research the DAF sponsors in your geographic area and determine if they have any ways that the organization can approach donors (e.g., submittal of a summary of the organization that can appear in a listing of local nonprofits or if the Foundation releases any requests for proposals that are tied to DAFs).
  2. Ensure your organization is well represented on Guidestar (e.g., demonstrating high marks on the general targeted nonprofit assessment areas for donors such as financial health, transparency, program effectiveness) or any other applicable websites that offer donors nonprofit evaluation assessments.
  3. Let donors know on your website, and in all communications, that you can handle gifts from DAFs. Consider placing a prompt on your website allowing donors to give to your nonprofit directly from their DAFs.
  4. Provide avenues for DAF donors to find your organization. Publicize your work through media outlets to spark the interest of DAF donors. Make it easy for donors to learn about and discover your nonprofit.

Contact: Wendy McCoy, Resource Development Officer wendy@thegrantplantnm.com

Listing of Reviewed DAF Sponsoring Organizations:

DAF sponsoring organizations in New Mexico include: 

  • Santa Fe Community Foundation:This Foundation offers three kinds of donor advised funds: Gift funds, long-term invested funds, and permanent endowed funds. To assist donors in determining where to distribute their donor advised funds, The Foundation’s Giving Togetherprogram initiative summarizes all proposals it receives that meet basic due diligence, and includes them in a catalogue shared with donors each season. Donors are invited to make grants toward any proposal in the catalogue. Nonprofits that wish to be included in the Giving Together Catalogue can login into the online grant applicationand then click the option that allows applicants to complete a mini-proposal. This gives the Foundation just enough information to get the organization into the catalogue. Samples of past Giving Together catalogues are also available online.
  • New Mexico Community Foundation: This Foundation offers a variety of funds to meet donor needs, including: donor advised funds, agency or nonprofit funds, geographic affiliate funds, fields of interest funds, etc. The Foundation helps donors identify where to distribute their contributions through grants, programs, and scholarships. One example, is a listing of program partnerson the Foundation’s website, where donors can learn more about local nonprofits and choose to support them through an online link. Nonprofits have the option of completing a Nonprofit Information Formso the Foundation can learn more of the work they do, and determine if they are a good fit with the Foundation’s program grants, donor interests, or other resources. The form can be updated annually.
  • Albuquerque Community Foundation: This Foundation offers DAFs to individuals, families, and businesses. Types of funds include donor advised fund, family advised fund, fields of interest fund, now and forever fund, etc. There are no direct action steps needed to apply or be considered for ACF Donor Advised funds. The Foundation indicates that it is knowledgeable of most area nonprofits and can make donors aware of the greatest needs in the community, if they are unsure what they would like to support. Additionally, if there is a nonprofit that they are not familiar with, the Foundation will conduct research and provide the donor with the information.
  • Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico: This Foundation manages and invests charitable funds for individuals, families, businesses and other nonprofit organizations. The Foundation has more than $15 million in assets under management and administers more than 200 philanthropic funds that make grants to charitable organizations and causes worldwide. The Foundation offers nonprofits the opportunity to apply for a few DAF funds through annual grant cycles. It also has an online list of nonprofit partners and their mission statements for potential donors to learn more about organizations they may wish to support.
  • Jewish Community Foundation of NewMexico: The Foundation’s mission is to build and perpetuate support for a vibrant, caring Jewish community through partnerships with donors and organizations. Approach:The Foundation manages the following funds that accept applications from charitable organizations: Jewish Women’s Endowment Fund and Immigrant and Refugee Assistance Fund.

Leading national sponsoring DAF organizations include:

  • Fidelity Charitable: Established in 1991, this organization manages DAFs for over 200,000 donors, providing nearly $35 billion in grants since its inception. In 2018, it made $5.2 billion in donor recommended grants and supported 140,000 charities in every U.S. state and internationally (Fidelity Charitable 2019 Giving Report, 2018). To connect with DAF donors, nonprofits are encouraged to:
    • Ensure they are in good standing with the IRS as a 501(c)(3) public charity.
    • Earn a GuideStar Seal of Transparencyand provide robust information in their Guidestar profile, giving donors background information about the nonprofit, the work it does, and demonstrating transparency.
    • Put a link to DAF Directon their website, or include a link with the organization’s “donate now” messaging next to Mastercard, VISA, and PayPal. Donors who already have a donor-advised fund are able to submit their grant recommendations from the organization’s website immediately. Note: DAF Direct is a tool that enables donors to recommend grants through their donor-advised fund directly from an organization’s website. There are no transaction fees, and the full grant value goes to the recipient organization.
  • Schwab Charitable: Established in 1999, this organization has served 2,525 investment advisory firms and has supported 142,000 charitable organizations, including the granting of $2.2 billion in 2018. To connect with DAF donors, nonprofits are encouraged to:
    • Increase visibility by keeping GuideStar profile up to date.
    • Include a DAF direct link on their website, making it easier for people to make donations.
  • Vanguard Charitable: Established in 1997, this organization has made $8 billion in grants to charity since its inception, including 740,000 grants. It currently has 17,500 active accounts. Nonprofit approach:Vanguard encourages donors to get to know the organizations they wish to donate to before granting, and indicates that donors will often use GuideStar as a resource.
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