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Applications Not Accepted: Get on Their Radar

Apr 25, 2011

Does this excerpt from Mr. Smith's recent blog post at PhilanTopic, Don't Call Us, We'll Call You, sound familar: "You're working at a great nonprofit, you've got a wonderful idea that's going to change the world, and all you need is a grant to get you started. Guess what? The majority of America's foundations don't want you to send in a proposal."

Nearly half of the grantmaker profiles in Foundation Directory Online state, "Applications not accepted", i.e., these funders do not take unsolicited proposals. Explore some reasons why foundations choose not to accept applications and learn what you can do to get onto these foundations' radar screens and ultimately, onto their "preselected" list of grantees.

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Brad Smith

Bradford K. Smith is president of the Foundation Center. Before joining the Foundation Center in 2008, Brad was president of the Oak Foundation in Geneva, Switzerland, a major family foundation with programs and grant activities in 41 countries in North America, Europe, Africa, Latin America, and South Asia. Read his full bio.

Pamela Grow

Pamela Grow is an author, coach, copywriter, nonprofit marketing consultant, and political junkie, who has successfully approached and gotten funding from foundations that do not take applications. Pamela shares her knowledge at her web site and Twitter feed. Pamela’s greatest satisfaction lies in teaching the small community-based nonprofits how to, in her words, “market like the big boys” with limited time and resources. Read her full bio.