Bagels & Bytes Meeting Notes – May 2015

Entrance to the Frick Art & Historical CenterThe sun was out and the gardens at the Frick Art & Historical Center were in full bloom for our May meeting!  Thank you once again to Linda and the Frick staff for hosting our group this month!

Please join us on June 3 at Animal Rescue League for our special summer meeting “Bagels & Bytes & Critters” – we’ll be receiving a tour of ARL during the last half hour of the meeting!

More of the Frick's groundsThis month, we had a special presentation on technology funding by Katherine Heart from Heart Resources, LLC.  Katherine is a professional grantwriter.  Here are the notes from the presentation:

  • Katherine passed around two sample proposals.
  • If looking for IT funding, try:
    • Grantstation
    • Foundation Center
    • Individual Allegheny County-based foundations
    • Search by keyword “technology” and also look by program, like “STEM”
  • Funding can generally be requested for equipment and capital projects
    • Wiring, wireless, infrastructure, phones, servers, other equipment
  • This month's prize winners!Funding can also be requested when writing program grants
    • Mobile apps, website, any tech needed to operate or administer program
  • Having an endowment is a plus on a grant application
    • Endowments show sustainability and that you have some funding to cover operations
  • IT is considered overhead, so do grants to request operating support, but you also consider writing technology in grants for program funding too
  • Also look for cross-referenced funders who give to capital campaigns and to the types of programs your org does
  • It is okay to write grants just for technology
  • Try to capture funding in as many grants as possible, dividing costs among different grants and general funding
  • For Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) costs, you can write those into program grants if you need the software service to run the program
  • Include key IT activities into proposalwhenintegral part of project or program
    • Have to justify it logically in budget:  logic, goals, key activities, timeline for implementation
  • Overhead sources (if not program-related technology)
    • Different type of funding
    • Look for unrestricted grants (but will still need to discuss how tech will be used in the grant proposal)
  • Katherine handed out a nifty pre-proposal worksheet to attendees
    • If you cannot answer the questions on the worksheet, you aren’t ready to write a proposal
    • Once you answer the questions, you can transfer to the answers to corresponding fields on the other side of the worksheet to auto-generate a letter of inquiry (usually the first step in contacting a funder)
    • To request another copy of the worksheet, send Katherine a message at http://www.heartresources.net/contact
  • When writing grant proposals, also note
    • What are the adverse effects on your organization if you don’t receive this funding
    • What improvements or impacts will the project have in the community
  • Include needed technology training in proposals too
  • Include outcomes and how you plan to evaluate the end product (look at cost-benefits in the long run and what efficiencies will be gained)
  • Capture the value of IT volunteer time as an in-kind resource when you can do so
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