Foundation Funding Sources

Last week members of our C2C team completed the fundraising course through the Connecting to Collections Online Community. If you are interested in learning more about this topic and were not able to participate in the course, many materials, including archived webinars, are still available on the course page. Also, make plans to attend an upcoming affordable face-to-face learning opportunity. Next month the Federation of NC Historical Societies will be holding a workshop on fundraising in Raleigh on Friday morning, November 22nd. Click here and scroll down to the workshops section for more information and registration links.

In most institutions funds available for collections care either do not exist as a separate budgetary line item or have not kept up with increasing professional standards for storage and exhibition. Even the low-budget and “on a shoestring” strategies we try to devise and promote often come with a cost. Consequently, all collection stewards need to familiarize themselves with fundraising.

Many of us have tried our hand at grant writing. C2C Project Director, LeRae Umfleet, has written about “Finding Funding” and set up a slide presentation you can access here on various grantors to consider for collections funding on the local, state, and national levels. While grants are an important component of fundraising, those monies, on average, make up less than 20% of non-profit budgets. Individual giving—either by institutional members or benefactors—comprises 80%. Grant writing, though time consuming, is worthwhile; successful grant applications can help leverage individual gifts as well as raise the status of your project or your institution within your community and professional organizations. However, focusing more on raising funds from individuals will do more to sustain your institution. David Winslow, a successful fundraiser for cultural heritage institutions in NC, will be sharing some of his tips for cultivating individual donors at the Federation workshop in November.

Logo from a current exhibit at the Greensboro Children's Museum, produced with support from a corporate foundation with local connections.

Logo from a current exhibit at the Greensboro Children’s Museum, produced with support from a corporate foundation with local connections

Foundations are a potential source of funding that form a middle path between grants from federal and statewide grantors and individuals. Some have formalized grant applications; others are smaller and can be family run. Forging personal connections with foundation representatives in your area can help your non-profit achieve its goals. The Foundation Center’s free online database  allows you to look up basic information on individual foundations and to search by location. Focus on those foundations in your communities that have substantial capacities to give and missions that align with that of your organization or special project.

foundation Center free networkYou can also get free access to the full database of information at the Foundation Center’s Funding Information Network Centers in NC. They are, from east to west:

  • Onslow CountyPublic Library, Jacksonville
  • New HanoverCountyPublic Library, Wilmington
  • Braswell Memorial Library, Rocky Mount
  • Olivia Raney Local History and Research Library, Raleigh
  • Chapel Hill Public Library, Chapel Hill
  • Durham County Public Library, Durham
  • Greensboro Public Library, Greensboro
  • High Point Public Library, High Point
  • Forsyth CountyPublic Library, Winston-Salem
  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library, Charlotte
  • Blue RidgeCommunity College, Flat Rock
  • TransylvaniaCounty Library, Brevard

About collectionsconversations

This blog will contain posts from the C2C project staff on a variety of topics related to collections care and disaster preparedness. Enjoy the posts and let us know if you would like additional information or have a topic you would like for us to address.

Posted on October 15, 2013, in Grants and Funding and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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