Introducing “Ask The Grant Advisors” would like to introduce you to a new web site,, launched by grant experts Ray Sweeney and Frank Klimko.

Welcome to the Grant Advisors

We attempt to address the burning fundraising issues of the day, produce witty prose and offer sage advice to those in the philanthropic world who we think have probably the toughest jobs in the universe — raising money.

Nobody grows up wanting to be a grant writer. It’s a profession usually borne of necessity, generally fueled by a need to attract money for necessary but underfunded or unfunded programs. Grant writing can be a satisfying and rewarding experience, no matter if you’re an unpaid volunteer or building a career in philanthropic development. It’s a great feeling when the check comes in the mail, but there’s a lot to do before you can start counting the money.

That’s where this website comes in. The Grants Advisors (Ray Sweeney and Frank Klimko) travel through the fundraising world in search of expert advice. We think the site is especially relevant today, even as the country emerges from tough economic times. Grant writers and those in fundraising must adapt to whatever constitutes the current economic reality.

In 1987, when the stock market crashed, some on Wall Street said the market would never recover. However, President Reagan correctly predicted that the 1987 market “correction” would be just a temporary blip. He was right, but only until 1990 when
the economy tumbled again.

Keep in mind, too, that it’s easy to blame the economy for a variety of ills. However, our experience shows that much of what is being blamed on the economy has actually been true and problematic in all the different economic times. These are problems endemic to the fundraising world, such as “mission creep,” not being able to get to “the ask,” and how nonprofits undermine themselves by trying to do more and more with less and less. More often than not, most of the questions that cross the Grant Advisors desk have to do with such matters.

The single largest group of questions we get fall into the category we call “Where do I Start 101.” Economic shifts may have put some grant writers off their game. Or it may be that their traditional funding streams have dried up, leaving them adrift in a river of red ink while a flood of new clients—seeking even more services—appears at their doorstep.

Making things worse, many nonprofits then tend to engage in a form of wishful thinking about how they can raise money to do their work. Having heard through the funding grapevine about large gifts from major foundations or other funders,
they chase after these sources of funding, usually in vain.

The Grant Advisors website is not an all-purpose vaccination against wishful thinking. But we can answer the “where do I start” questions, help you remember your fundraising basics and get you off on the right track.

More than 100 years ago John D. Rockefeller said “You never need to apologize for asking someone to give to a noble cause.”

And that’s really at the center of grants seeking—trying to find money to fund programs you know in your heart help the needy, promote good health, improve education or just give unlucky folks a fair shake.

We love to hear from our readers. Give us a shout and we will do our best to help.

Questions or Comments? Contact us!

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(410) 934-7652

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