Why You Should Kiss in Supermarkets

I am always amazed at how quickly I lose sight of appreciating the small, everyday wonders that fill my life.

That I have to be shaken by my shoulders by the universe and reminded that we exist by the grace of forces far greater than us. That we need to stop spinning in our own self invented urgencies and be grateful to be simply standing in a single moment.

A moment of thankfulness.

Wishing all of you a joyous and love filled Thanksgiving.

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About the Author: Hoong Yee Lee Krakauer helps artists & creative people grow their careers with great grant writing strategies & mindsets she has developed over 15 years as an veteran grant panelist, grant maker & grant writer. Get her FREE Master Grant Strategy Worksheet and a weekly dose of insights from a grant reviewer’s point of view.

 

 

 

Getting Grants Is All About Mindset: How Powerful Is Yours?

Are you tired of not knowing how this all works?

The right words, catch phrases, jargon…  how do you make a compelling case for yourself?

You have one shot and your proposal has to rock so how do you make sure you got everything right?

Watch this video to learn a powerful grant strategy that will set you up for success and make the grant reviewers sit up and say ,”Yes!” to you.

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Hoong Yee

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About the Author: Hoong Yee Lee Krakauer helps artists & creative people grow their careers with great grant writing strategies & mindsets she has developed over 15 years as an veteran grant panelist, grant maker & grant writer. Get her FREE Master Grant Strategy Worksheet and a weekly dose of insights from a grant reviewer’s point of view.

 

How To Create A Get-To-Yes Grant Budget

images

He looked familiar but I wasn’t sure why.

Did I meet him at an art opening, maybe a recent reception?  Why couldn’t I place him in my memory?

His eyes landed on my puzzled brow and he broke into a huge smile, the kind that can light up a room.  “Your ratios!  Your percentages!  They changed everything for me.”

If you are one of those people who inevitably chides people like me who possess less than a photographic memory for remembering everybody I have ever met, you might try this little technique of mine:

To put a name with a face, use an equation.  Numbers don’t lie.

With those magic words, I remembered immediately who he was.

Ratios?

Really?

For some people, especially people who are artists trying to build their creative careers and get their work out there, the process of getting grants is not at the top of their list of gratifying artistic activities.  It can be an extremely frustrating and mystifying process. How do some artists get those grants that boost them to the next level bringing them cash awards, recognition and prestige?  Do they have connections, the right words, were they let in on the secret handshake?

What about you?

Foundations give away over $4 billion dollars a year.  They exist to do exactly that – give away money.  There are many successful artists who write grants so they can afford to spend more time creating their work, practicing their craft and building up their careers by leveraging the recognition and prestige that comes with each award.  There has never been a better time than now for you to be one of them.

Narrative, budget, work samples, criteria…  It seems like a daunting task to make sense of all of it.

What do funders want to see?  What are the right catch phrases to use?  And what really happens once you Hail Mary your grant proposal out into that black hole?  It all seems so mysterious when you don’t know how it all works.

Let me pull back the curtain and give you a peek at what goes on once your proposal lands on the table to give you an insight that can help you Get To Yes with your grant budget.

Like ratios.

OK, enough teasing.  I am going to tell you exactly what ratios are and how they can be game changers for you.

 

 

The Positioning Behind A GET TO YES Grant Project

Before you pick up your pen, pick your positioning

 

I like to teach artists a powerful strategy I call positioning.  It is one of 3 cornerstone mindsets of grantwriting concepts I teach in my Grantwriting Roundup course to set them up for success.  Your grant budget is one of the most important components of your proposal.  It is the structure that supports your project and it is here where grant reviewers can see your proposal’s strengths and weaknesses.

Here’s how positioning works:

It’s Saturday night and you are looking for a great place to have dinner.  You drive around and you see a restaurant that looks interesting.  However, there are no cars in the parking lot and there are hardly any customers inside.

Across the street is another restaurant.  Business is booming, the tables are full.

Which place would you go to?

People are influenced by something called social proof.  We will follow the wisdom of the crowd, in this case – the busier restaurant.  Think about it: who wants to be the guinea pig, or take a risk being the only customer in a sea of empty tables?

Grant reviewers are no different.  We want to see who else is on board in your project and we don’t want to be the only funder.  In fact, we prefer being the last dollar in, not the first.

In most cases, funders will not fund more than 50% of your project.

You want to find other sources of funding to support your project so that your grant request is less than half of your budget expenses.

Example:

Project income

1,500       Donation from a local bank

3,000       Kickstarter

2,700       Sale of artwork

    500       Community grant

7,700       SUBTOTAL 

2,300       Grant request      

10,000       TOTAL

 

The grant request of $2,300 is 23%, way below 50%.

 

And if you have some overhead in your project, you want to show that you are spending at least 65% of your money on your programming and 35% on your administrative costs.

This is one of the most common mistakes artists make in their grant budgets.  It sends up a red flag and that can be a deal breaker.

You can do this.

Ratios

Two simple ratios:

50:50

65:35

If you can keep those ratios in mind as you create your budget, you will be way ahead of the others in the applicant pool.

Position yourself as someone like a busy restaurant with lots of customers.  Like a winner with lots of supporters.

What do funders want?

They want to be confident in you to put money into your project.  You can easily reverse engineer your proposal to give funders what they need to green light your grant proposal if your budget aligns with these 2 ratios.

 

Need help remembering this?

  • Position yourself like a popular restaurant  Everyone likes to hang out with the good news and be where the buzz is.
  • 50:50  Show you have other money, other supporters, other raving fans.  At least over 50%.  I can already see some of you pursing your lips and thinking, “At least over?  How much is that percentage?  You know what I mean – enough to be able to say, “Hop on the bandwagon!”
  • 65:35  There is no reward in grant heaven for martyrs.  Are you asking us to believe that you can write your play, cast it, sew costumes for the cast, paint the sets, and sell tickets?  The opposite is true.  You will gain more respect by building in line items for people to do these very necessary things at 35% so you can do what you are best at doing at 65%.
  • Sell confidence   What are grant reviewers really looking to fund?  The best artist?  The best written proposal?   The answer is:  Funders want to fund the best candidate for the grant, someone who they are confident can deliver what they propose to do.

 

So there you have it.

Add these strategies to your grantwriting skill set to create a powerful and persuasive budget.  Numbers don’t lie.

2015-03-28 22.09.37

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hoong Yee

 

 

 

20140603_142704

About the Author: Hoong Yee Lee Krakauer helps artists & creative people grow their careers with great grant writing strategies & mindsets she has developed over 15 years as an veteran grant panelist, grant maker & grant writer. Get her FREE Master Grant Strategy Worksheet and a weekly dose of insights from a grant reviewer’s point of view.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nonprofit Management Ninja Michael Clark: At the Intersection of How to Change the World & What Really Matters

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Think about it.

Leake & Watts Row New York, Graham WindhamThe Children’s VillageCSH, BronxWorksRed Hook Initiative Harlem RBI, Open Door Family Medical Center

At some point, all these companies told a compelling story that caught our attention — and held it.

And the more we talked about them, the more they got under our skin. Through clear stores about how they manage the great work they do, these groups won our confidence and the prestigious Nonprofit Excellence Awards.

Managed by the Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New YorkThe New York Community Trust, and Philanthropy New York, and sponsored by WNYC, the Awards program gives organizations a FREE 360-degree review of their key management strategies in eight nationally-recognized key performance areas.

Winning organizations receive a total of $60,000 in cash awards and scholarships for Columbia Business School Executive Education Programs in Social Enterprise. Winners are honored at a special Best Practices Workshop & Awards Presentation.

What did these groups do to capture attention, enlighten, and inspire a roomful of grant reviewers focused on the practice of excellence?

Some say you can build upon best practices and grow your nonprofit through excellent programming.

That may be true, but only if the way you manage your organization follows a certain philosophy and structure.

But the truly great ones drink a different Koolaid and achieve remarkable success in serving their communities and achieving their missions.

How? By focusing on the work needed to create exceptional management practices.

 

“No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”
Martin Luther King Jr.

 

 

How to structure your nonprofit management

Many years ago, Michael Clark embarked on a mission to make a meaningful change in the world.

He was passionate about helping nonprofits become better at doing their mission based work and making the lives of the people they serve better.

How? By focusing on the work needed to create exceptional management practices.

I feel as if I have been given a gift.

To read a stack of grant applications that can stack up several feet in the air?

To review, debate and argue over nuances in the criteria of 8 areas of nonprofit management practice?

To sit cookieless and overcaffeinated in a meeting with 40 other equally exhausted people?

Yes to all that, and more.

 

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I have been given the opportunity to be part of Michael Clark’s vision as a member of the selection committee and to learn from a master.

As Michael steps down from his position at the Nonprofit Coordinating Committee to begin a new chapter of life, I want to share some of the valuable wisdom we have all gained from working with him.

As Judy Levine so aptly said, “Michael did his work based on 5 principles.”

 

VISION

Michael’s consistent vision of recognizing and encouraging exemplary management practices among New York’s diverse nonprofit community.

PASSION

His life’s work is focused on creating a better, more just world through the empowerment of its citizens.

WISDOM

Underlying all of his efforts is the knowledge and acceptance of what it takes to have lasting impact in this work.

CONVICTION

Michael knows what really matters and believes in deeply held principles.

EXCELLENCE

This program was created to spur the sector to management excellence.  During his career, he never settled for less.

 

Mix and shake well.

 

Now you can raise your potent drink to toast the accomplished and noteworthy career of Michael Clark.

 

2015-03-28 22.09.37

20140603_142704

About the Author: Hoong Yee Lee Krakauer helps artists & creative people grow their careers with great grant writing strategies & mindsets she has developed over 15 years as an veteran grant panelist, grant maker & grant writer. Get her FREE Master Grant Strategy Worksheet and a weekly dose of insights from a grant reviewer’s point of view.

 

Welcome to the Gig Economy

booking-the-right-gigIn a bright and open space nestled in a grid of streets lined with fruit trees and mom & pop shops in Astoria, a young man looked up from his laptop and stretched, eyeing his empty coffee cup.  As he walked over to the kitchen area, he fist-bumped a friend coming out of the presentation room who just pitched her newest service to a group of investors.  At the other end of the room, a cluster of prototypes covered the table.

Another day, another website. Another app. Another product.  And yes, dollars.

Welcome to the Gig Economy.

Some people took offense to Hillary Clinton’s comments about how Americans are making extra money in the so-called gig economy.

Meanwhile, many Americans are making extra money renting out a small room, designing websites, selling products they design themselves at home, or even driving their own car. This on-demand, or so-called gig economy is creating exciting economies and unleashing innovation.

But it is also raising hard questions about work-place protections and what a good job will look like in the future.

Welcome to the artist’s life.

This is not a new thing for creative professionals.  This is what artists have always done to support themselves.

Gigs.

Not sure I agree with the part about creating exciting economies.  Most self employed or freelance workers going from gig to gig would not describe their financial situations as exciting.  Terrifying at times, yes.

Truthfully, I am happy this is now part of the articulated economic vision of a Presidential hopeful.  It is an important reality for so many people who are making a living like working artists and deserves to be part of a national conversation among potential leaders.

Work place protections – insurance, liability coverage, pension, benefits – these have always been elusive for the Starving Artist and Friends.  In addition to those, what about copyrights, intellectual property, royalties, commissions?  Are these included in the hard questions we need to ask ourselves?

What I hope to see more of are people like Howard Schultz of Starbucks and 20 big American corporations who have come together with a plan to find jobs for 100,000 unemployed young people over the next three years.

The effort, to be called the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative, is aimed at the estimated 5.6 million Americans ages 16 to 24 who are neither studying nor working, and will offer full-time positions as well as apprenticeships and internships.

“We’re living at a time when for-profit public companies must redefine their responsibilities to the communities they serve and to their employees,” he said.

There are some big philanthropies involved in this effort including the Rockefeller Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation as well as many types of businesses.

It is exciting to have the focus of a Presidential candidate, businesses and foundations on where our economy is heading and the consequence of policies created around it.

You can read the entire transcript of her remarks here.

Let me know what kinds of workplace protections you would love to have to make this gig economy work for you in the comments.

I get to collar politicians and this is something worth pitching.