FAQs

Got a question? We’re here to answer! We’ve shared some of our most frequently asked questions to help you out.

Frequently Asked Questions

Member Access

How do I access my purchased content?

You must always log in to your account first to view your purchased content.

  • Click here to Log In, or click the My Account link at the top-right corner from any page on the website.
  • Enter your username or email and the password you created when registering.
  • If you forgot your password, use the “Lost Your Password” link under the Login box to reset it.
  • After logging in, you will see a list of your purchased webinars under My Account.
    Simply click on the webinar title to view your content.

My Account

How do I log in to My Account

Click here to Log In, or click the My Account link at the top-right corner from any page on the website.

Username:
Your username is the email address you signed up with or used to make a purchase on our website.

Password:
After you make a purchase for the first time, a password is automatically generated and sent via a separate email.

If you can’t find your password or simply forgot it, use the “Lost Your Password” link under the Login box to reset your password.

I can't find my password and am unable to log in.

When you purchase a micro-course, download or subscription on our site, we will automatically generate a password for you and send it to the the email address that the purchase was made under.

If for some reason you did not receive or cannot find that email, you may retrieve your password by following these steps:

  1. Go the the FundingforGood.org website and click on My Account at the top-right corner of any page, or click here to go there now.
  2. Click on “Lost your password?” underneath the log in box, or click here to go there now.
  3. Enter the email that you used to sign up or make your purchase (your email is also your username).
  4. Follow the instructions via email to reset your password.
How do I change my password or update my email address?

To change your password or update your email address, simply log in to My Account, and click on either Change Password or Update Email Address in the lefthand navigation menu.

I do review my recent orders?

Click here to Log In, or click the My Account link at the top-right corner from any page on the website.

To the left of the My Account page, click on “View recent orders.”

Board Solutions

Do you help us create a Board of Directors?

No. We do not recruit board members for you, but YES, we can help you create an active board. We offer a variety of customized education, consulting, and coaching services. We can help you identify ideal board prospects, teach you how to engage board members, educate current board members, engage your board members in planning and fundraising efforts, establish an onboarding/offboarding process, and more!

How many people should be on our board?
While there is no "RULE" for how many board members an organization can have, current nonprofit trends indicate that a team of 7-12 members is very effective. The IRS requires that nonprofits have a minimum of three governing board members. Each state has its own restriction, so you should make sure you comply with both the federal and state mandates for board numbers.
How many times should a nonprofit board meet?

Frequency of board meetings depends on whether your board is a governing board or a working board (no staff managing day-to-day) and how much board engagement the organization requires to achieve its mission. If your organization includes multiple programs, fundraising, or outreach events, monthly meetings might be the best option. If services are seasonal bi-monthly or quarterly meetings might be ideal.

Are Board Retreats in person, or can they be virtual meetings?

Retreats are most effective when board members can interact face-to-face with each other and the facilitator. Virtual meetings are practical for regular meetings, educational programs, training opportunities, brainstorming sessions, and accountability check-ins. Retreats should allow board members to relax, connect, and engage in a more social setting.

How long are Board retreats?

Board retreats are typically half-day (3 hrs) or full-day (6 hrs) events.

What are the most common focuses of nonprofit board education?

We customize every training to the unique needs of the board and their organization.

Three of our most popular training sessions are:

  1. Board roles and responsibilities
  2. Fundraising with your Board"
  3. Building an A-list board
Are staff members ever part of the board?

No. Staff members should NOT be duly elected board members as this presents a conflict of interest.

Should staff members attend Board Meetings?

Yes. Staff members often participate in meetings to share updates, respond to board questions and offer insights into decisions directly related to their program/role. Traditionally the Executive Director attends all board meetings and determines which other supporting staff members could/should attend based on the agenda.

What is "formal training" on nonprofit roles and responsibilities?

Formal training means that your board is seeking professional development opportunities with a reputable expert in the nonprofit field. Quality facilitators should highlight the legal and ethical responsibilities of board members as well as industry best practices.  Training events might take place at a conference, via webinar, or a customized training or retreat at your facilities.

What are the most common issues when dealing with Board transitions or turnover?

Many board transitions are painful and slow because the board has failed to implement a succession plan. When "key" board members rotate off, board members still insist on keeping them on "speed-dial" because new leadership lacks the information and knowledge.

What's the Executive Director's role with the board?

The Executive Director (ED) is the only staff member the board directly oversees. The ED serves as a liaison between the board and the staff by attending board meetings and:

 

  1. Submitting regular reports
  2. Partnering with the board to present/approve policies and approvals
  3. Assisting with strategic planning processes

 Coordinating fundraising efforts

Does the Board do Strategic Planning for a nonprofit?

YES. Strategic planning is one of the key responsibilities of the board. While staff, volunteers, and stakeholders contribute to the process, it is the board's responsibility to spearhead and approve strategic plans.

Why would a Board of Directors be involved in fundraising?

Fundraising is one of the most fundamental roles of every board. While no one "owns" a nonprofit, boards exist to govern the organization and ensure that the mission is achieved. While the organization might hire fundraising professionals, at the end of the day, "The buck stops with the board."

What are the most common ways a Board of Directors participates in fundraising? Do they do it as a group, or do the individual board members "fundraise"?

Every board member should be leading by example. In addition to group fundraising efforts, each board member should make a personal contribution to the organization at a leadership level. 

Board members can also participate in fundraising by identifying prospects, supporting annual fundraising events, making thank-you calls, writing thank you letters, etc.

What are examples of "executive coaching"?

Executive coaching is a one-on-one training and support service for your Executive Director or other Executive leader. Coaching could revolve around one or many topics.

            Each coaching program is customized based on client needs.

Is there a "standard executive coaching" package or are they all customized?

They are each customized based on needs.

How long does executive coaching take?

Executive coaching with Funding For Good is a minimum of 3 months and a max of 1 year per contract.

What are examples of "conflicts" between a Board and Executive Director?

The most common board and ED conflicts result from poor communication, lack of clear expectations, and poor understanding of each other's roles. ED's often report that their board is absent or attempts to micro-manage staff.

As a new Executive Director, what sort of "Goals" should I be thinking about to run a successful nonprofit organization?

A great first goal is to partner with the board to clarify the ED's job description, key benchmarks, performance evaluation measures/timelines, and communication norms.

What does "continued board development" mean? Does this mean the things we discuss at our annual meeting?

Continued board development implies that the board should always be seeking ways to   grow their knowledge and skills. A one-time "orientation event" is not enough to equip a board that is in constant transition. While the board might outline key development areas at the annual board meeting, developing a strong board is an ongoing process and should be prioritized to ensure the success and sustainability of the organization.

Grant Research

Why is grant research the most time consuming part of the grant writing process?
Grant research involves finding foundations and organizations whose funding priorities (diseases, homeless, environment, education, etc.), grant cycles and submission deadlines, funding strategies ( general operations, capital campaigns, program support, scholarships, etc.), funding limitations or considerations, and geographic focus match a nonprofit’s current needs. This involves researching various databases and comparing all that criteria for a match. If everything looks like a potential match, you then review the potential donor’s website to see if there are any further specifications or requirements that might disqualify them as a potential grant prospect. Next steps involve documenting the point of contact, phone number, email, deadlines, website links, etc. you will need to refer to later when you start the process of making contact for the grant.
What makes a grant prospect “well-matched”?
Aligning your needs with what prospects want to support makes a prospect well-matched. We use a variety of factors to identify these prospects from geographic focus, financial range of giving, history of giving, subject areas (education, medical, housing, etc.) and grant type (gen. ops, capital, equipment, program, etc.)
Does it matter who a foundation has funded in the past?
Yes. The history of a foundation’s giving pattern is a key indicator of who/what they are willing to fund.
As a new grant writer, how much time will I spend finding grant prospects on my own?
Grant research can take hours or even days at a time. If you want to find a single foundation and make a single grant request, that’s one thing. However, if you are looking to compile a working list of numerous potential donors that are “well-matched” to your needs, you might spend 2-3 days researching. With time and hundreds of searches you will get more efficient, but there are so many searches you can do that it tends to be a little overwhelming if you are new to the process of grant/prospect research.
Are there free websites where I can conduct grant research?

Yes, you can find various websites with grant resources such as The Grantmanship Center, Grants.gov, Grants 4 Teachers, and more. These are just a few examples.

Are there subscription-based services for conducting grant research?

Yes, a popular one is Foundation Directory Online by Candid. This is a comprehensive database. While there are some features that are free, the more robust search engine has a cost. That said, you can access it for free from certain local libraries in the US and we have a Tutorial Video for anyone interested in learning that process.

Does Funding for Good have any recorded videos I can access on grant research?

We have a Tutorial on YouTube for The Grantmanship Center and Foundation Directory Online by Candid.

Does Funding for Good provide Grant Research as a service?
Does Funding for Good guarantee their 8-12 “well-match” prospects will award my nonprofit a grant if I apply?

“Well-matched” prospects are based on available foundation/donor information, history of past giving, current website information and how those known factors (geography, subject are, funding strategy, priorities, etc.) align with the nonprofit organization’s mission and needs. Even if all that lines up perfectly, the donor makes the final decision on who is and is not awarded a grant. While funding cannot be guaranteed, you will receive the highest quality research to identify well-matched prospects for your individual/current needs.

Does Funding for Good have any free resources to help me with Grant Research?
  1. Free YouTube Page channel with playlists such as Grant Research Where to Start and How to Do it
  2. Our Free Stuff Page has a section called Grant Writing & Research Resources
  3. Our Blog has numerous articles on grants, grant writing and grant research
  4. You can also type RESEARCH in our Search Bar to find specific content
What is meant when a Foundation States that “they only give to pre-selected organizations” or they “do not accept unsolicited requests”?

Check out this blog for details on these two terms: https://fundingforgood.org/unsolicited-proposals-and-pre-selected-org/

I have heard of 990PF being used for Grant Research. What is a 990PF?
A 990PF is the information return U.S. private foundations file with the Internal Revenue Service. This public document provides fiscal data for the foundation, names of trustees and officers, application information, and a complete grants list.
Where can I find 990PF's?
You can Google the name of the Foundation and 990PF and several sources will have them available for free. One free site you can use is Candid’s 990 Finder: https://candid.org/research-and-verify-nonprofits/990-finder
How do I understand the 990PF document?

You can read through a 990PF on your own, but this YouTube Tutorial will explain the key sections and how to understand the information.

Should I call the Foundation and introduce myself before requesting a Grant?
YES! – You should ALWAYS call the Foundation to introduce yourself and start building the relationship. Being polite and asking about their funding priorities and current grant cycles is important. They get a lot of requests for funding, but not everyone takes the time to build a personal connection and that could be the difference in your proposal being chosen over other submissions.
If they have an online application should I just submit online or still call?
As long as they have a number to call, you should call first. There are times when a very large foundation actually suggests not calling and suggests strongly to submit online as the initial step. You may not have a choice in those situations, but they are the exception not the rule.
What is a Program Officer at a foundation?

A Program Officer or Foundation Officer is the point of contact for funding requests/grant inquiries. They manage the process and are there to answer questions and communicate information with potential grantees. Check out this article on What You Should Ask Program Officers About Proposals.

Does a Foundation always award the same kinds of grants or do their priorities change?

It depends on the foundation or donor and should be taken on a case by case basis. One foundation may only give to higher education and never change. Another foundation may give to 5 or 6 different areas but when a natural disaster occurs, they divert funds to only that issue for a period of time. Another example is a family foundation where the younger family members are becoming more involved and start adjusting what is funded from the generation that preceded them. Check out this Tutorial How to Ask Foundation Officers about changes to Grant Priorities

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