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Sloan Fast Track Grants for Film….

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation awards one participant of Film Independent’s Fast Track financing market the annual Sloan Fast Track Grant. The recipient receives a $10,000 production grant, admission to Film Independent’s Fast Track, and year-round support from Film Independent. Learn more about the Sloan Foundation on its website.

The grant is funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, which seeks to create and develop new scripts and films about science and technology and to see them into commercial production with national and international distribution. It has screenplay development programs with the Tribeca, Sundance, and Hamptons Film Festivals, as well as other select independent partners and film schools.


Future Weather

When she’s abandoned by her eccentric single mom, a 13-year-old loner grows fixated on environmental disaster, forcing her and her grandmother to confront each other and the things they can’t control.

Jenny Deller, Writer/Director/Producer

Jenny Deller is a writer, director, and actor living in Philadelphia. Her feature-length screenplay, Future Weather, received the 2009 Showtime Tony Cox Award for Best Screenplay. Slated to go into production in 2010, Future Weather was also awarded Alfred P. Sloan Foundation grants through Film Independent’s Producers Lab and Fast Track, and the Tribeca Film Institute. A recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities Young Scholars grant, Deller has been writing fiction for over twenty years, and directing theater and film since attending high school at the Illinois Math & Science Academy. She has directed, produced and edited eight short films, including a documentary for Anthropologie, where she served as Senior Copywriter for four years. After graduating with a self-designed major in fiction-making from Lewis & Clark College, Jenny went on to study acting at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, and in New York at the Ward Studio Meisner Program and American Mime Theatre. Her appearances include Law & Order and many New York theatre productions including Romeo & Juliet. In 2009, Deller was selected to participate in the Nantucket Screenwriters Colony and the Film Independent Screenwriters Labs.

Kristin Fairweather, Producer

Kristin Fairweather has worked in local politics and public finance in Philadelphia for the past ten years, managing public relations campaigns as well as large field efforts for local politicians – an experience that translated well to film production. Before going to work at both local and state levels in public finance and elective politics, she received her Masters in Government Administration from the University of Pennsylvania. As a producer, her political savvy has aided in development and marketing for Future Weather and will play a crucial role in managing pre-production. She was instrumental in producing Save the Future, Deller’s companion-short to Future Weather for the Netflix FIND Your Voice Film Competition. The short recently premiered at the 2010 Nantucket Film Festival. Fairweather also participated in the 2009 Film Independent Producers Lab.



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New Community Grant Requests for Proposals

Ashoka’s Changemakers Launches Global Sustainable Urban Housing Competition
Grants of up to $10,000 will be awarded to individuals, teams, and organizations working to develop affordable, inclusive, and sustainable urban housing solutions for any city in the world; Latin America and the Caribbean are of particular interest….
Deadline: February 2, 2011
Posted: November 25, 2010

Fiskars Invites Applications for Project Orange Thumb Garden Grants and Makeovers
Grants worth $5,000 plus program support will be given to community groups conducting gardening projects in their neighborhoods; one applicant will receive a complete garden makeover….
Deadline: December 31, 2010
Posted: November 12, 2010

Bank of the West Introduces Online Charitable Grants System
The new system is designed to expedite the application process for nonprofits seeking charitable investments through a user-friendly, efficient interface that also allows Bank of the West employees who volunteer with local charities to provide input….
Deadline: Open
Posted: February 13, 2010

Peoples Bancorp Foundation Offers Community Grants in Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky
The Peoples Bancorp Foundation seeks to enhance the quality of life for individuals served by organizations located in the communities served by Peoples Bank….
Deadline: Open
Posted: October 20, 2009

Ausherman Family Foundation Invites Applications for General Grants Program
Grants will be awarded to institutions working to enhance the well-being, environment, and cultural experiences of children and young adults residing in Frederick County, Maryland….
Deadline: Open
Posted: August 5, 2009

North Carolina’s Golden LEAF Foundation Announces New Open Grants Program
Grants will be awarded to nonprofits and government agencies working to assist North Carolina communities; the new program replaces the foundation’s annual grants cycle with year-round grants and an easier application process….
Deadline: Open
Posted: June 2, 2009

Former Talk Show Host Jenny Jones Announces Continuation of Community Grant Program
Grants of up to $25,000 will be awarded to individuals who have proposed lasting ideas to improve their communities….
Deadline: Open
Posted: December 16, 2008

Skoll Foundation Announces Deadlines for Social Entrepreneurship Awards
Awards of up to $1 million will be given to honor social entrepreneurs working in the areas of the environment, human health and rights, institutional responsibility, and peace and security….
Deadline: Open
Posted: July 7, 2008

Green Communities Announces Charrette Grants Program
Up to $5,000 will be awarded to housing developers to finance a multi-stakeholder workgroup on integrating sustainable green design principles into affordable housing developments….
Deadline: Open
Posted: May 2, 2006

Rohm and Haas Seeks Proposals for Community Partnership Initiative
Up to $30,000 will be provided to nonprofit organizations in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey for after-school education and recreation for youth or programs for seniors….
Deadline: Various
Posted: April 7, 2006

Rapides Foundation Re-Opens Walking Trail Mini-Grant Program
As part of its mission to improve community health, the Rapides Foundation funded twenty-seven walking trails from 1999-2004 throughout the foundation’s Central Louisiana service area….
Deadline: Open
Posted: May 24, 2005

Cisco Offers Community Support Through San Jose Impact Grants Program
A giving program of Cisco Systems, Inc. , the Cisco San Jose Impact Grants Program awards grants to community-based nonprofit operating within fifty miles of Cisco’s San Jose, California, headquarters….
Deadline: April 30, 2005; and November 30, 2005
Posted: April 3, 2005

Green Communities Initiative Announces Grant Guidelines
The initiative will offer financing, grants, and technical assistance to developers to build affordable housing that promotes health, conserves energy and natural resources, and provides easy access to jobs, schools, and services….
Deadline: Rolling
Posted: December 14, 2004


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Can’t Small Nonprofits Raise Capital Too? PART I.

Hi All! I know its been awhile…Anyway, I’ve had several clients who work or serve as Director’s of small nonprofits and the question of how to “compete” for major capital dollars is always the theme of the day. To that end, I have conducted research and found this wonderful article by Nell Edington who interviewed George Overholser, Executive Director, of the Nonprofit Finance Fund, an organization based in New York City that provides loans, financial consulting, and growth capital services to help nonprofits improve their capacity and strengthen their communities. Please gain some insight from this article that could possibly assist you on your journey. Learn.Apply.GiveBack!

By: Nell Edgington

In our two part interview with George Overholser of the Nonprofit Finance Fund, George made an argument that gave me and some of my readers pause. He argued that only the largest nonprofits can really benefit from his “radical” idea of using a capital campaign to build their organization (instead of a building). But with Social Velocity I have seen small and medium-sized nonprofits raise capital to grow their impact or  build a stronger, more sustainable organization, albeit on a smaller scale.

George believes that raising capital for building an organization is currently only feasible for the largest nonprofits, as he argued:

Only a small percentage of nonprofit organizations actually aspire to undergo major growth, or any of the other disruptive transformations that are inextricably linked to a capital investment…Still, what about the small organizations that DO aspire to undergo a big transformation?…I believe that it is absolutely vital that we come up with a way to better capitalize these smaller organizations. Sadly, though, at this stage of capital market evolution, it is still quite expensive to prepare for a successful nonprofit equity campaign. Unless several million is being raised [the costs are] prohibitively high. This constrains us to campaigns of $5 million or more, which, in turn, constrains us to organizations that are already pretty large.

This argument got me and some of my readers thinking. As one reader wrote:

As the ED for a very small nonprofit (<300K) I am greatly disheartened to essentially read “yes, we can cure the large guys, but for the rest of you -80% – well good luck! No answers for you yet.” WOW…Really is education and awareness for buyers to support the whole organization vs. its programs enough? (Although I agree wholeheartedly, a needed step) I believe there has to be a way to “create compelling ‘asks’ for equity capital” that is less expensive. There has to be way to finance a small organization’s desire to meet the needs of the community which could mean doubling their impact. We are asked to relearn, redo, change our practices to support (finance) the organization’s mission to change the world, but is no one considering the relearning, redoing or changing the expensive processes/methods so all nonprofits can benefit?

I agree wholeheartedly, and that need–to strengthen and grow smaller nonprofits–is why I launched Social Velocity. There is a category of capital that smaller nonprofits, who aren’t interested in or able to achieve major growth, can access. It can be capital to grow a successful program to other clients, other cities, other regions. Or it can be capital to strengthen and make more sustainable the organization.  For example, as any small nonprofit will tell you, it is nearly impossible to get a funder to pay for a Development Director, a donor database, marketing collateral, a new website and so on. These are the tools that will allow the “sales team” to raise the income necessary to run programs. What if these smaller nonprofits could hold a mini-capital campaign to raise the capital necessary to increase the enterprise’s ability to raise income. Or to purchase technology to increase operational effectiveness?  Or to grow, not to scale, but significantly?

True, a $5 million equity capital campaign is beyond all but the largest, most sophisticated nonprofits. But there is still the vast majority of organizations that are struggling within the vicious starvation cycle of not having the right elements of their built enterprise necessary to effectively deliver or grow programs. Yet money can be raised to build out that enterprise.

Social Velocity has worked with a number of small to medium sized nonprofits to create a pitch for capital to help the organizations strengthen their revenue function, grow programs, and so on (read about this here,here and here). The idea is the same as George’s, but on a smaller scale. With a good plan and the right pitch, any nonprofit can raise the capital required to achieve more social impact through a strong, sustainable, bigger enterprise. A nonprofit equity campaign is not just for the largest and wealthiest nonprofits. The principle can be applied to even the smallest nonprofit, and in that way, George’s radical idea could become revolutionary.