Thursday, December 10, 2009

System needs to be fixed

In my last blog I pointed to the future of philanthropy, if we create it. Right after that I received an email from a local organization that I had worked with to help them submit a proposal for the government Stimulus Funding for Mentoring Programs.

In the rejection letter they were told that they had a good proposal, but only 23 out of over 1400 proposals were funded.

Think of this. I spent a little time investigating doing a proposal for this grant. It cost me $600 for the time a grant writer spend investigating this. She would have charged me $1600 for the full proposal.

If each agency who submitted a proposal spent just $1600, then the total fund raising cost was over $2.4 million dollars.

I'm sure the time and labor of many of the organizations who submitted these proposals was much more than $1600. What a waste!

We need to find a more effective system of drawing dollars to doers. Who wants to help?

One way is to use map/databases like the Chicago Program Locator. Anyone can search by zip code, to find contact information, and web sites, for more than 160 organizations offering volunteer based tutoring and/or mentoring in the Chicago area. Using this information, you can choose who to fund, and how much to give.

If we can find ways to increase the volume of potential donors who search the maps, we can push dollars to doers, without them spending the time, money, and emotional energy, that goes into writing these un-funded grant proposals.

If we can apply the ideas in the Disrupting Philanthropy 2.0 article, we can do this even more effectively.

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