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Archive for the ‘Philanthropy’ Category

While it’s a play on words, the truth is, it’s often RRUF out there for non-profits to find the funding their organization needs in today’s tight economy. A recent announcement of funding post on Linkedin from MojaLink’s Non Profit Network revealed the need for an insider’s view of Not For Profit funding. Every successful funds seeker follows the RRUF Principle of Read,Reread, Understand, & Follow; read the request, reread the request to be certain you understand the grantor or fund raisers purpose, needs, and objectives, then follow their directions implicitly. In their recent announcement, Jazz For Peace (www.jazzforpeace.org) offered a fund raising opportunity for qualifying organizations. Like so many other offers of funding and requests for proposal posts I have seen on various forums, nearly ever respondent to the post asked for the organization posting to send them information on how to obtain the funding they were offering. These respondents ignored the instructions which specifically requested interested groups please go to the Jazz For Peace website and review their information.

Understanding how the funding process works will make you more successful as a funds seeker for your organization, whether it be fund raising opportunities such as the original Jazz For Peace announcement or foundation and governmental grant funding; as well as making you  more savvy in building the ever important relationships your organization must have with it’s funders. Every funds seeker and grant writer on the planet would give their eye teeth to have a magic “Staples” button which instantly brings us the information we need when we hit it, but our reality is we must do the research if we want to be successful in obtaining the funding our Not For Profit requires. As enlightened, cutting edge fund seekers we need to make the most of the time and effort we invest in our search for funds.

Using the Jazz For Peace post as an example, fund seekers receive the best return on their time and effort investment by reading and rereading a fund raising offer or a Request For Proposal thoroughly; then doing EXACTLY what the Grantor/Fund Raiser asks. I cannot stress the importance of this step in your search enough. In this instance respondents needed to go to the Jazz For Peace website (www.jazzforpeace.org) and give the website their due diligence. As a funds seeker it is YOUR responsibility to find out if your organization and the funder are a good fit. Once you have established the missions and objectives of both parties mesh you can then tailor your request for information specifically so the funder/fund raiser can offer you the help and information you need to make an informed decision.

While I can’t speak for Jazz For Peace, as an experienced professional in the field I can say with confidence, that nearly every organization who issues an announcement of funding, especially on a site like Linkedin, which has specific instructions, such as a request fund seekers go to the website, does not reply to requests for information. The volume of responses not only makes it impossible for the organization to respond to you individually, it tells them you are not committed heart, mind, and soul to your groups mission because you did not take the time to read, reread, understand, and follow the information they gave you. Reading, understanding, and following an organizations initial directives is the first step in creating a positive interaction with that entity. In the Not For Profit world, whether an organization follows instructions to the Tee or not is the number one way potential applicants are thinned out. Following the RRUF Principle: read, reread, understand, and follow the directions  will put you miles ahead of your competition. The best to all of you in your fund seeking endeavors.

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