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Catalogue Financial Workshops

We are officially half way through the application window for the 2013 Catalogue for Philanthropy! Over the past few weeks, the Catalogue has partnered with the accounting firm (and Catalogue supporter) Raffa to offer financial workshops on the financial supplement part of our application. The workshops covered the details of the financial supplement and offered suggestions on how to best present financial information, especially for small nonprofits with unique financial pictures. Representatives from over 100 nonprofits attended the workshops, held on January 29th and February 6th, and took away helpful tips on issues ranging from reporting on in-kind donations and services, allocating costs between fundraising and programming, and correctly calculating administrative costs.

The Catalogue for Philanthropy’s review process differs from many other reviews through watchdog sites and others, in that we consider a nuanced view of each application, in both the programmatic and financial review. As Tom Raffa, CEO of Raffa and Catalogue Board Member, pointed out during the workshops, our review is meant to not only select “some of the best” small nonprofits in DC, but also help those still growing to become stronger and more sustainable through our feedback. We encourage all applicants to include additional information when appropriate to explain “red flags” — high ratios of G&A, fundraising, or salaries to total expenses, or a high percentage of revenue coming from government grants.

Even if you missed the workshop, the Catalogue’s APPLY website includes plenty of information about the financial (and narrative) application — and feel free to reach out to us ( with questions. Remember, applications are due on Monday, February 25th…and we can still use your help in spreading the word!

Request for Proposals

Happy New Year, friends!

And on this second day of the year, the application for the the 2013 Catalogue for Philanthropy is live and online:

The mission of the Catalogue is to create strong and vibrant communities by connecting caring citizens with worthy community causes. We do this by raising visibility and resources for the best small community-based nonprofits, and engaging donors in a more meaningful giving experience. To that end we publish an annual print Catalogue that is distributed to 25,000 high net worth individuals, encouraging them to give to vetted, community-based nonprofits. The past few years have seen new channels of distribution open for the Catalogue and its featured nonprofits — through corporate portals and our workplace giving program, a budding school portal program, and partnerships with local media.

Applications are due on February 25, 2013, at midnight. As we did last year, we’ll feature some FAQs a bit later in the month. So if you have any questions about the process, feel free to leave them in the comments and we will be sure to tackle them.

Looking forward to reading your application!

Short and Sweet?

I just noticed today (courtesy of Culturebot) that the Knight Arts Challenge Philadelphia is accepting applications through the end of the month. I’m jumping a few states away, but after clicking through their website, I found the philosophy of the Arts Challenge, and the application process in particular, quite intriguing.

In a nutshell, this September, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation “launched a three-year, $9 million initiative … providing new funding opportunities to the steadily rising Philadelphia arts scene.” The parameters for applicants are broad to say the least:

1) The idea must be about the arts. 2) The project must take place in or benefit Philadelphia. 3) The grant recipients must find funds to match Knight’s commitment.

When I first read this, I asked, “That’s it?”

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