Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Children's Trust Bidders Conference

Bidders Conference for OOS Funding OpportunityA bidder's conference will be held Wednesday, Nov. 7 from 9:30 AM-12:30 PM for the RFP (request for proposals) for agencies that provide after-school and summer programs (OOS) for school-age children that are easily accessible and located geographically around Miami-Dade County. The conference will be held at Temple Israel, 137 NE 19th Street, Miami. Call: Emilio de la Cruz at (305) 571-5700 Ext. 227 or Click here to register.

Let me know if you'd like assistance

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Upcoming grants

Contact me for grant writing services at <>
Cintas Fellowships to Support Creative Artists of Cuban Lineage
The Cintas Foundation awards fellowships annually to creative artists of Cuban lineage who are currently residing outside of Cuba. For 2008, fellowships will be awarded in the categories of visual arts, music composition, and creative writing. The category of "visual arts" may include painting, installation art, sculpture, photography, video art, and filmmaking. Eligibility is limited to artists of Cuban citizenship or direct descent (having a Cuban parent or grandparent). Cintas may pursue their artistic activities as they wish. Fellowships are not awarded for academic study or research, or to performing artists. Award ceiling: $15,000. Application deadline: January 14, 2008.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Contact me at info@pegasuswriter if you need help applying for grants! <>
Kiwanis International Foundation

Through its matching grant program, the Kiwanis International Foundation provides grants to projects involving young children that further the goals and ideals of Kiwanis and promote the growth and development of Kiwanis in the area. Award ceiling: $10,000. Eligible applicants are nonprofit organizations in the US with 501(c)(3) tax exemption status with proper liability insurance. Through its general grant program (, Kiwanis International Foundation provides grants to projects involving young children from Kiwanis clubs or Districts for Kiwanis only. Kiwanis-family sponsored programs are given top priority. Eligible organizations in the US must have 501(c)(3) tax exemption status with proper liability insurance. Award ceiling: $50,000. Application deadlines: July 15th, November 15th, and April 15th, annually (both programs). <>

Garth Brooks Teammates for Kids Foundation Grants

The Teammates for Kids Foundation accepts proposals for grants from nonprofit organizations that specialize in working with children in the areas of health, education and inner-city services. Eligible applicants are organizations with 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status with the IRS. 100% of grant monies received from the Teammates for Kids Foundation must be used exclusively for the benefit of children. Award ceiling: $50,000. Application deadline: open.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Upcoming Grants for South Florida

Let me know if you need grant writing services!

Florida Marlins due 10/31

M-D Summer Arts and Science Camp due 11/05

Dade Community Foundation Due 11/15

Broward County Regional Operating due 11/15

Funding Arts Network due 12-07

State of Florida Cultural Support due 12/14

State of Florida Arts In Entertainment due 12/10

Shubert Foundation Offers Funding for U.S. Professional Theaters
Deadline: December 3, 2007
The Shubert Foundation ( ) annually awards unrestricted grants for general operating support to not-for-profit, professional resident theaters in the United States.
Shubert Foundation grants are awarded exclusively to U.S. organi- zations, which must have current 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. The foundation provides grants only to organizations that have an established artistic and administrative track record, as well as a history of fiscal responsibility.
RFP Link:
For additional RFPs in Arts and Culture, visit:

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Season of the Arts: Time to Plan Ahead!

Fall is in the air – soon leaves will be changing and the weather will be crisp and clear. This is the time for football, back to school….. and back to the arts.

Fall and winter comprise what is known as high season for many different types of performance and exhibition organizations – Ballet, Opera, Theater – all are in full swing, taking advantage of the increased audiences during the school-year routine schedule and holidays.

Even though directors and producers may be swamped with all of the details of planning for and producing shows, you should also remember to organize all of your attachment information for next year’s fundraising campaign.

This is absolutely the best time to gather and organize everything you will need to make your grant writing campaign a success for next year:

1. Keep plenty of samples of your most impressive programs to use as grant attachments. This goes for brochures, newsletters, advertisements, and email campaigns too.
2. Gather all of the wonderful press you receive – news stories, mentions on websites, reviews. This is terrific support material for showing community support and artistic growth.
3. Keep all letters that you receive – even emails – from patrons who enjoyed your spectacular production.
4. Get the stats – how many people attended each show or exhibit, how much did you earn, who performed, tickets sold, waiting list that could not be accommodated – this is great justification for increased funding for a larger venue or additional performances.
5. Make sure to collect each and every email address, phone number, and address that you can from anyone attending – then conduct that fundraising drive in the off season using all of this information.
6. Keep track of expenses – advertising, space rentals, etc. – for each performance and revise your operating budget for next year accordingly.

File and track all of this information by show, event, or exhibit. Then for each grant application, you can combine it accordingly –by venue perhaps if you want to prove that you need extra nights in smaller venues, or by type of programming if you want to approach a children’s funder, or by type of artist if international programming proved particularly successful. Think of new types of funders to approach for your basic programming. Or ask your grant writer for advice.

It may be hard to plan ahead, but it is easier to keep track now than it will be to try to recover lost information later, in the middle of a grant request and up against a deadline.

Marketing on a Shoestring for Non-Profits

You have a great product or service. The best in its field, without a doubt. You get a great new website, open your doors, and…..

Wait. And wait.

You see, developing a great product is only half of the equation, maybe less. If no one knows about it, you won’t have any customers. How do you get people to find you and buy what you are offering?

It is very difficult to stand out in the marketplace today. Everyone is clamoring for attention, information overload is prevalent, and consumers have little time or money to spend looking for you. Unless you pop up on the first page of an internet search, very few customers will find you, but it is next to impossible to get on that first page without a lot of volume on your site! Classic Catch 22.

The key is for you to go out and find customers, don’t wait for them to find you!

Marketing campaigns and Search Engine Optimization providers can cost a lot of money, but here are some things you can try without breaking the bank:

1. What, you don’t have a website? You have to have a website to sell anything these days. Search around, there are many companies that will design your website for free if you host with them on a monthly basis. You might not get the most customized one, but at least it gets you out there. Or maybe you can barter one for a service that you provide.

2. Analyze your website. That’s right, not all websites are equal in the mechanical eyes of the search engines. You need to make sure that your website has the right key words, that the density of those key words is high in your site, and that your links work, etc. Type in “Search Engine Optimization” on Google or another search engine, and you will get a list of companies that provide services to improve the rank of your website. Just reading these sites will give you a wealth of information, but using some of the free tools on these sites can greatly improve your website and how traffic gets there. Of course if you can afford it, give them some business and let them analyze your site and redesign it for you!

3. Put the word out! Write letters, articles, email your friends and ask them to email their friends. Your local business section in the newspaper probably has a new businesses feature. Submit news about your product or service to ezines. All of this is free!

4. List on Its amazing how popular craigslist has become, and listings are free.

5. For a little more money, sell on ebay or Amazon. They have a variety of services for small businesses. Their customer service workers are knowledgeable and polite, so don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t know how to get your product up and running. Some services cost a monthly fee, some are one time, so make sure to read the fine print.

Get ready to start making sales!

How to Start Grant Writing

All non-profits face the same pressure when it comes to raising money, so why do some succeed and others fail? Why do some organizations get funded year after year, while others submit over and over without any funding? Why do some organizations never even start submitting grants, keeping them selves from receiving potentially thousands of dollars?

The biggest reason most non-profits don’t get funded is because they never submit! Starting the process of grant writing can seem daunting, but if you just take it in small increments, setting small goals, before you know it, your organization will be on the road to successfully submitting award winning grant applications.

First, you must have your 501(c)3 designation from the IRS. While some funders allow for fiscal agency (meaning, another organization that does have a 501(c)3 can submit on your behalf, and keep a percentage of the award to administer the grant funds), you really need to obtain your own designation to qualify for the most grant opportunities.

Second, gather your essential documents. While these vary from grant to grant, funders usually ask for enough information to make sure that your organization is legitimate and that it fits in with the area that they fund. These documents usually include your articles of incorporation; past, current, and projected organizational budget; list of Board of Directors; one-page history of organization; media reviews, programs, or any other publicity you may have; audited financial statement or most recent tax filing; and resumes or bios of key staff.

Third, find a funder. With the internet, it is simple to search for funders who make grants to your type of organization, in your state or region. The application is usually straightforward (although it might be lengthy) and accompanied by a set of guidelines that explain step by step exactly how to fill out the application, what documents to attach, how many copies to make, where to send, and the all-important deadline. Do not miss the deadline.

That’s it. Keep your writing to-the-point and simple, and if you have any questions at all, call the person listed in the guidelines as the grants administrator. Just be polite and introduce yourself, admit that this is your first application, and ask for any advice she may be able to offer. Often, funders offer a workshop or may even have samples of funded grants available.

Remember, if you don’t submit, you won’t get funded. So give it a try. You have nothing to lose, and thousands of dollars to gain.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Grant for Investing in Real Estate

By now, we have all seen the commercials shouting that you are a fool for not taking advantage of the government grants available for everything from starting your own business to investing in real estate. Does it sound too good to be true?

That depends. Certainly, some people have received a grant for investing in real estate. A very few have received a large grant for investing in real estate. And even though these grants exist, the requirements can be quite stringent, the competition very tough, and the amounts small.

However, there are some circumstances where it is possible to start or improve a real estate investing career by seeking and obtaining grants. Most often, local municipalities fund affordable housing initiatives. These may range from offering individuals grants to assist in a first-time-homeowner down payment, to grants to non-profit developers to build multi-unit affordable housing developments.

For example, currently in Miami, Florida, housing assistance grants are available ( for low-income individuals who meet needs criteria. This type of grant can be found by contacting the housing department of the municipality where you are looking to invest.

Other programs exist on a municipal or regional basis for the elderly, persons with disabilities, and persons with AIDS. If you fall into one of these categories and wish to purchase real estate, again the best place to start looking is your municipal housing authority or agency.

Another class of programs encourages “Sweat Equity,” or seeks to provide housing opportunities for people who are willing and able to provide some of the labor of building the home. One of the best known organizations in this category is Habitat for Humanity, although similar organizations exist on local levels.

Individuals may also qualify for downpayment assistance. This information from the website illustrates a typical example of this type of grant:

AHP Homeownership Set-Aside Program of the FHLBank SystemFederal Housing Finance Board
An FHLBank may set aside up to the greater of $4.5 million or 35 percent of its AHP funds each year for a homebuyer program for low- and moderate-income households. Member lenders provide the set-aside funds as grants to eligible customers generally on a first-come, first-served basis. Set-aside funds may be used for down-payments, closing costs, rehabilitation, or homeownership counseling costs. Each FHLBank may set its own maximum grant amount, which may not exceed $15,000 per household.
To qualify for a grant, households must meet several criteria. Please contact your nearest FHLBank Community Investment Officer to learn more.
Contact: To find your nearest Community Investment Officer, visit

It is also possible to obtain grants to make property improvements to a property that you own. These are most available in Community Redevelopment Areas and can be found through the municipality you are interested in. These types of grants are often available for commercial and residential properties, and may cover anything from disaster preparedness to exterior paint and landscaping to safety items. Rural areas may benefit from irrigation grants and other incentives from the US Department of Agriculture.

For non-profit organizations that seek to obtain grants to build affordable housing initiatives, the Federal government offers several types of grants for real estate investing. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers community development block grants that usually funnel through a competitive awards process to a municipality that in turn awards contracts to businesses to build houses for the low-income and underserved members of the community.

Contrary to popular belief, the Small Business Administration does not offer grants to start new small businesses, so if you have to invest your own funds to start a non-profit organization, you have to decide whether developing affordable housing will be a career that you will follow regardless of whether you obtain grants and contracts.

Other grants for real estate investing can be found for rural and farming assistance projects, tribal projects, and other miscellaneous specific projects.

If you do fall into one of the covered categories, a grant for investing in real estate may help start you on the road to owning property. You will still have to do the work of researching properties for purchase, making improvements on the property, reselling for a profit to convert extra cash into additional investments, and working up into bigger and more profitable deals. Seeking and obtaining a grant for real estate investing may help a hard working, motivated investor gain the leg up necessary to profit in real estate.

Multiple books exist that state they can supply information on available grants and how to obtain them. Internet searches also are quite useful in finding different types of funding opportunities. Municipal housing agencies are also a wealth of information for finding out about grant opportunities. For more information, try or your local housing agency.

Lisa Merritt is the owner of Pegasus Consulting Group, Inc., and, a real estate listing service. Realtors can post their best deals for free. Sign up for our weekly Top Ten Deals and let the deals come to you.