Ep 23: Unlocking the Mystery of Foundation Funding (with Molly de Aguiar)

nonprofits are messy

Are you funded by a foundation? Do you want to be?

A lot of nonprofit folks seem to find foundation funding something of a mystery. What do funders look for? How do we find a foundation that is a good fit for our organization? My guest today is Molly de Aguiar of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation – a real-life foundation officer — and she will help us navigate this mystery.

Who is Molly de Aguiar?

Molly is a treasure at the Geraldine R Dodge Foundation here in my home state of New Jersey. The Dodge Foundation has supported leadership innovation and collaboration for a better New Jersey for the last 40 years. I’m all for that!

Molly herself leads the Informed Communities program – a program that supports a wide range of projects and ideas that explore the future of local journalism, focusing on collaborative reporting, community participation, and creative storytelling. Molly also leads the Dodge Foundation’s efforts to promote the value and impact of philanthropy in New Jersey. Lastly, she writes a great blog called “Philanthropy Sketchbook.”

In This Episode:

  • How to write a great grant proposal
  • Why you should be honest about the challenges your organization is facing, even when asking for money
  • What metrics are foundations looking for
  • The biggest reasons foundations say no
  • How to do your homework
  • The trend toward general operating support
  • What does good communication with your funder look like?

Episode Links:

Joan Garry
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Joan Garry

Widely known as the "Dear Abby" of nonprofit leadership, Joan works with board and staff as a strategic advisor, crisis manager, change agent and strategic planner. Joan also teaches at the University of Pennsylvania with a focus on nonprofit communications and leadership.
Joan Garry
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