Requests for calls

Reaching out to see what you do when nonprofits request calls with your Foundation. I receive approximately 10-15 requests per month and typically spend 20 minutes with each. These "get to know you" calls can take place over Zoom, in person or the telephone. Is this typical for Foundations to receive this many requests per month? Typically the nonprofits want to share their mission, services and gain access to our fundholders to request funding. I'm toying with the idea of using Foundant to create a "Get To Know You" form that a nonprofit can fill out that has general questions about their mission, programs, general needs, an attachment area for a one-pager, etc... Has anyone ever set up a "Get To Know You" type form in Foundant that nonprofits can fill out with general information? Would you be willing to share your form?

Answers

  • Hello, @SusanVanMeter I don't know of any clients currently doing this, but I have seen processes where the application form is built out to be the "get to know you" form. Just remember you'll need to think through what to do with the request within the context of a process. Do you just abandon all of them? Do you approve them with no $?

    Talking with organizations first like you're currently doing could also prevent organizations that are ineligible to apply from creating accounts. Since it is a conversation rather than a form, you also get to ask questions. Setting up a form may save you some time in the short run, but if you have questions once the form is submitted, you'll still have to have a conversation with the organization. And as I mentioned before, you'll still have to process the form to move it off your dashboard. It may be just as efficient and certainly more personable to continue the phone conversations.

    I'd love to hear how other folks are handling this! Thanks for the topic!

    Best,

    Ashley Harper, CSM

    KaraAdamsSusanVanMeter
  • Thank you, @AshleyHarper for your insight and great points!

    I was looking at the option of approving with a $0.00 amount. I've attached a very rough draft of what I've created for a visual. If someone is doing something different, I'd love to hear/learn about your process, if you're willing to share.

    I definitely don't want this form to become something that makes us appear exclusive or inaccessible. So, any feedback is appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Susan Van Meter


    AshleyHarperKaraAdams
  • Hi @SusanVanMeter!

    We do not use a form of any kind, but also don't have requests coming in at the numbers you do. In fact, I reach out to many of our local nonprofits to find a time for that "Get to Know You" piece. I have seen other CF's specifically indicate on their website that a potential grantee should look through grant eligibility and previous funding on the CF's website before reaching out to ensure there is alignment. Perhaps this simple step could help eliminate some conversations that aren't serving you or the nonprofits? If it's simply a matter of time, maybe you can clearly state only a certain number of slots in your calendar are available each month for new solicitations and create a space on your website listing those spots at the beginning of the month and when they're full the nonprofit should wait until the next month? Certainly a good problem to have - lots of interest in your CF! Best of luck!

    Ellie

    KaraAdamsAshleyHarperSusanVanMeter
  • How many of the folks you are holding meetings with meet your grant requirements? If not many of them- it's a marketing/communication issue. If they all qualify, then I'd say meet them! We tend to hold these meeting during Q4 of the year and will probably talk to almost 200 orgs prior to their submissions.

    KaraAdamsSusanVanMeter
  • Thank you @elliemoore for the idea of designated days and timeslots each month. I think that's a great idea and easily doable. I also like stating on our website that the nonprofit should review previous funded programs and eligibility requirements before reaching out to ensure there is alignment. I don't have that stated but our RFP's and previously funded organizations/projects are listed. A simple statement could potentially eliminate some of those calls. Thank you for your thoughts and advice.

    -Susan Van Meter

    KaraAdamselliemoore
  • Thank you @IsabelEljaiek for sharing your processing of meeting with nonprofits during Q4. I hadn't considered that as an option but it could possibly work for our Foundation. Thank you for your thoughts and advice.

    -Susan Van Meter

    KaraAdams
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