Blogs are a great way to hear about innovations in grant development and nonprofit management. I organize my blog-reading by using Google Reader, which allows me to subscribe to blogs then catch up on on my favorites whenever I have some spare minutes.
Blogs I recommend that you check out are:
Based in California, “Grant Goddess” blogger Veronica Robbins is a highly experienced grant proposal writing consultant. Working with school districts and nonprofits, her company produces many successful federal and state (public agency) proposals each year. She shares her best guidance freely and doesn't shy away from a little healthy venting. This is a must-read for folks who want to write top-notch proposals to public agencies!
Nonprofit fundraising expert Joanne Fritz curates the internet's most helpful information about grantseeking and other types of fundraising on her About.com blog/website. Her writing is accessible and authoritative – for an example of her style, check out “How to Approach a Small Family Foundation.”
This blog covers all the bases of best practices in grants development. One of Betsy Baker’s specialties is training people who are newer to the profession of grant proposal writing, so her blog posts are accessible to people at all levels of experience. I loved her recent post titled, "Three Tips to Help Your Nonprofit Understand Your Job as a Grantwriter." This reminded me that if I had a dollar for every time a well-meaning colleague has suggested that I look into the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation... I'd be able to give you a grant!
4 - Blue Avocado
The online magazine of American Nonprofits, Blue Avocado is made up of “practical, provocative and fun food-for-thought for nonprofits.” Topics include grantseeking, but go much broader. To give you a taste of what Blue Avocado covers, the site’s recent “editors and readers picks” included these posts: Our Executive Director is Embezzling; Regrets of a Former Arts Funder; and Telecommuting and Flexible Work Arrangements: Do Them Right.
Fundraising consultant and trainer Pamela Grow currently has two active blogs, “Pamela’s Grantwriting Blog” and "Pamela Grow.” I recommend you follow both of these sites for well-curated content and excellent advice. Her posts are especially useful for people working with smaller nonprofits (where the Executive Director is doing the bulk of development work, or the development staff is limited to one or two people).
This blog is good to follow, both to learn about new RFPs that you might otherwise not hear about, and to read well-reasoned advice of grants development professional Arlene Spencer. For example, in September 2012 she wrote a post titled, “Someone Has To Say It: The Nonprofit's Founder May Not Be the Best Executive Director or Board President Candidate (and Should Certainly Not Be Both)."
Grant Writing Confidential is written by a father-and-son team of grantwriting consultants. Many of their posts are about writing grant proposals to federal and state agencies (as opposed to private foundations). They are a little jaded, a little cynical – and usually right on the mark!
This blog is written by the Executive Director of The Nonprofit Center at La Salle University in Philadelphia. She's very smart, and very candid. Maybe you don't need that master's degree in nonprofit management after all... just start reading this blog!
Mazarine Treyz has a fresh, insightful approach to grassroots fundraising. While she addresses a range of subjects (with a special place in her heart for younger and new nonprofit employees) her expertise includes grants development.
Grants.gov is the central website for finding and submitting applications to U.S. federal government agencies. Glancing at this blog, you might not believe that it's for real... because Grants.gov went with blogspot (free google service) for hosting, rather than hiring a contractor to build a fancy site. Kudos to them for keeping it cheap and simple! The information shared varies from big news about changes to the system of applying for federal grants, to minor announcements about technical glitches and fixes.
Good grantseekers don’t focus solely on grant proposal writing – they have a broader view of strategic nonprofit communication and marketing. To help you understand grants in context of all nonprofit communication, Katya Andresen’s blog is a must-read! It covers news and best practices for “nonprofit marketing, fundraising, social media and doing good in the world better and faster.”
Just as is true for Katya’s Nonprofit Marketing Blog, Kivi Leroux Miller writes about the bigger-picture issues facing nonprofits that want to communicate well and raise more money. Her posts on copywriting, fundraising, messages and taglines, thank-you letters and “ideas for nonprofit writers” are especially germane for grantseekers to read. (To find these posts, see this complete archive of her content organized by topic.)