Resources for Nonprofits

About Us

Resources for Nonprofits

About Us

About Us

Resources for Nonprofits

Below are some helpful resources for nonprofits. Please review these resources and let us know if you have any questions about them.
Competitive Grant Program FAQs

Coffee Chat Notes

We had some great questions come through our coffee chats. Here is a summary of what was brought up.

Process and General:

  • What will the process look like for the presentation? The grant panel members will be in a separate room when you enter the Zoom. This will allow you to gather your whole team prior to entering the room with the panel. Upon entering the room with the grant panel, you will have 5 minutes to present, followed by a 5-minute Q&A with the panel.
  • What if I do not use the full 5 minutes for presentation? You will not lose the time you do not use. It will be added to the Q&A time.
  • How many people should present? It is up to you on who is present. Based on past experiences, we recommend having a limited amount of people, however, it is a good idea that individuals who hold specific knowledge be present, such as finance. They can be available to answer any questions specific to them, if needed. You may invite folks from your organization who do not plan to speak unless necessary and all are welcome to join and observe. You are welcome to Zoom in from separate locations or in one room, whatever is comfortable for you and your team. In the past we have had panelists in a breakout for organization to collect their thoughts and teams before presenting.
  • What kind of visuals can I use for the presentation? This is completely up to you! We only ask that if you are using a PowerPoint, video, or photo, that you share them with us at least one day prior to your presentation if you would like us to share it for you during your presentation. This is recommended to avoid technical difficulties and distractions; however, it is not required – you may share visuals yourself as well.
  • The pandemic has affected our foundation, how much of a role will our current situation affect the questions from the panel? We will weave COVID recovery into every grant we make this year, so we are looking to see how organizations have pivoted to respond to COVID. There will be a COVID lens with every grant made this year.
  • How does the Q&A portion work? After your presentation, one at a time, panelists will ask questions regarding the presentation and if there is extra time left, you can add to your presentation.
  • What in general should be shared that was not in application? It is hard to say now that we have moved to general vs programming, typically there is no need to reiterate that information. Please feel free to mention items you couldn’t voice in application and find ways your panelists can relate to your organization.
  • Should we plan to keep track of time? The foundation will give visual cues of your time. We will let you know when you have one minute remaining during your presentation and Q&A.
  • How do I get a copy of the application that I submitted? Once the applications are in the evaluation stage, they are not visible to you. If you need a copy of your application, reach out to Grants at grants@abqcf.org.
  • What if we need interpretation? If you will need interpretation services, please reach out to Grants at grants@abqcf.org.
  • What makes a good presentation? Great question, imagery helps. It shows committee something visible and is like a site visit and they can see your organization from your POV. If you can bring that element i.e., photos, videos, and/or storytelling of your organization it is appealing to the panel.

Zoom and Tech Logistics:

  • How will we get the zoom link? The link will be sent to the email of whomever filled out the presentation sign up form prior to the date of your presentation.
  • How much time before my presentation should I join the zoom? We ask that it not be more than 5 minutes before your assigned time.
  • What is the platform for presentations? Zoom only for organizations, panelists will be in person at ACF.
  • What kind of format should my video be in if I am sending it to you? To avoid internet lagging, we suggest sending us a video we can download as an MP4, MOV, or WMV format. If you have a YouTube video, we will share it, but there may be a risk of internet lag.
  • What format should the photos be in? .Jpg and .png are preferred. Let us know if you have an issue with this format.
  • If I am sharing a video, how will I show it? We are available to show the video for you if you can share it with us the day prior to presenting. We can have it ready to show when you are ready. Please also let us know if it is a backup plan or you plan to solely have us show them.
  • Do you advise showing images and graphics during or going back and forth between video and presentations? Our suggestion is to have images built into presentation. Since there are only five minutes allotted, you can choose to share screen, show a video, and slide presentation.
  • Will the panel look at the website ahead of time? The panel will review your application and documents ahead of time. They are not required to look at your website, so they may or may not have viewed it.
  • Are the awarded amounts adjusted? Sometimes organizations receive the amount they asked for and other times they are adjusted. It depends on a variety of factors, including but not limited to, the panel’s discussion and the number of applicants that year.

Panel:

  • What does the panel look like? The panel is comprised of ACF Board members, community members, and nonprofit representatives. There will not be anyone from the nonprofits who may benefit from a grant, or representatives applying in the same field-of-interest. ACF staff is not part of the panel. The panel member names can be shared once we have finalized panel members.
  • How often does the panel ask about finances? Not very often and it might be less this year because of the shift to general operating grants. Our finance team reviews the financials before we go into panel as well. However, it is possible that a finance question may come up.
  • What did the panel review ahead of time? Everyone in the panel would have read the application, so it is a good idea to add things that were not stated in the application.
  • Can you share the information of our panel? How many on the panel? About 6-8 people participate on the panel. Once we have the finalized list of who will be on panel, we will send this list to you before your presentation.
  • How are panelists chosen? Is there a mix of people? Committee members are based on current demographics and are invited to serve, and the invitation is also sent to Future Fund members and those on our grant newsletters and of course all are subject to sign a conflict-of-interest form.
  • Will the panelists be ready to participate in fun? We hope so! We will let them know that some interactions may occur.
  • Would it be best to show panelists the organization’s general mission or specifics of programming and daily work? We don’t mind you repeating the application, but theoretically all panelists have read what has been submitted in your application. This is the opportunity to share something you couldn’t do on paper and bring to light information that has not been said before.
  • Why are panelists in person and not presenters this year? In the effort to avoid having to cancel in person or give unfair advantage to those who could join and not. Also, so that the panel can have face to face discussion after all presentations.
  • Will panelists make funding decision or ACF and will they be deciding on all fields? Panelists will make full decision, the foundation will not have a say. All panelists from the preliminary round and final round are different for each field of interest.
  • You mentioned “this round of panel members” will there be another round following this? No, this is the final round. All organizations that have been invited to present have been already reviewed in preliminary rounds and are now in the final round and about half of the presenters/organizations will be funded.
  • What are some patterns of deal breakers during organization’s presentations? A presenter reading off PowerPoint presentation slides full of only words and not engaging with the panelists.
Tips for a Competitive Grant Proposal

We know staff resources are tight at every nonprofit and the grant-writing process can often be tedious and long. Our hope is that the following tips will minimize the time needed to write your proposal and will position your grant proposal in the strongest light.

While acknowledging every grant panel is different, certain approaches create a more competitive grant proposal. Please consider the following tips when preparing your application:

 We love to read about the great work you are doing, but first and foremost: answer the questions. It’s an easy pitfall to stumble into: when describing aspects of your programming and the various ways your organization enhances the community, you forget to tie the information back to the question in the grant application. Remember, your answers don’t need to be long or elaborate; they just need to specifically provide the information requested.

Highlight outcomes. With limited grant dollars available, it’s important for the Foundation to closely track program outcomes from grants. This helps us to measure the impact of our philanthropic investments and it helps us to continue raising funds which can then be reinvested in the community. When listing outcomes in your grant proposal, keep them specific, realistic and achievable.  

Be consistent. Sometimes grant applications will ask for the same information in multiple places. Be sure to double check that the information you provide is consistent throughout the proposal. For example, if you indicate that you will impact 2,500 individuals on your cover sheet, be sure you don’t write that your program will impact 5,000 individuals in the grant narrative.

Collaborate. Collaboration is not required for grant funding, but it can strengthen your proposal. Funding dollars are consistently limited, so it’s always attractive when a grant can tangentially support multiple organizations. The aim is not to force collaboration, but to support non-duplicative services among partner organizations. When describing a collaboration in your proposal, be sure to demonstrate how your program operates in a way that is mutually beneficial to one or more organizations and the populations they serve.     

Questions are welcome! Our goal at the Foundation is to support our community and to ensure we are making strategic and effective grants. We are here to help you! If you find yourself struggling through a proposal or uncertain of what program would be a competitive fit, please contact our Community Impact team. While we can never predict the grant panel’s funding decisions, we can try to offer tips or suggestions that may prove helpful in the application process. Note: Foundation staff are not on the grant panel and do not have an official vote on funding decisions for the Competitive Grant Program.

If you are new to grant-writing, we recommend you visit Candid’s website for additional tips on writing proposals and preparing grant budgets. Candid offers a wealth of information, in addition to many free webinars and seminars that could be invaluable in submitting a competitive grant proposal.

What to Know about Presentations

All presentations will be hybrid this year - nonprofits will present virtually via zoom and the panelists will be present at the ACF office. Presentations are ten minutes, allowing five minutes for the presentation and five minutes for grant panelists to ask questions. Please note: grant presentations are required in order to be eligible to receive funding. Remember: grant presentations are intended to be engaging, informative and fun! This is an opportunity to lift your proposal off the page and bring your program to life.

Tips for a Successful Grant Presentation:

  • Make your words count – you only have five minutes! These five minutes should be an opportunity to inform the panel about an aspect of your program that may not have been represented in your grant application.
  • The presenter is key. Sometimes in these situations, it feels imperative for the Executive Director to serve as the primary presenter. That may be the case – if the Executive Director is also the individual who can speak most knowledgeably on the program. In many instances, it is more effective to have a Program Director or Development Director speak directly about the program.
  • Budgets! Grant panelists occasionally ask specific questions related to program budgets. Don’t hesitate to bring your Finance Director to the presentation – just in case you need to call on his/her expertise in a pinch.
  • Manage your group size. There is no maximum number of people from your organization who can attend the grant presentation; however, it is advisable for groups not to extend beyond five people. Larger groups with board members and additional staff members can sometimes make the presenters feel anxious and can add an extra layer of pressure on the presenter. The majority of presentations are led by 1-2 people.
  • Have fun! We know public speaking is not the easiest or most comfortable activity for most people. Just remember: the grant panel is on your side. Everyone listening to the presentation wants to learn about the great work you are doing in our community. Enjoy yourself, let the passion and inspiration you have for your work guide you in delivering a fun and lively presentation.

Coffee Chat Hours

Community Impact Staff, Khia Griffis and Letisha Spencer, will be hosting virtual coffee hours to answer any questions you might have. This will be a casual opportunity and attendance is not required.

Grant Presentation Tips
Groundworks New Mexico
Groundworks New Mexico is a social impact organization. They connect those working to have a positive impact in New Mexico to a network of peers, partners, and resources. By providing a space to come together, they create stronger partnerships and prevent overlap so that we all can have a greater impact in New Mexico’s communities.
Learn more about Groundworks New Mexico
501(C)PA
501(C)PA serves over 30 nonprofits in multiple New Mexico counties. They also deliver services at fees that are generally well below private sector rates, thus reducing the financial barriers for many nonprofits. However, the really big impact for their clients is that the accounting, payroll and other administrative tasks that used to consume so many management and clerical hours can now be accomplished by their specialists in a fraction of that time, with professional quality and enhanced organizational reputation. This can amount to several hundred hours saved each year, and those hours can be refocused on strategic planning, programming, fundraising, and increasing mission impact. In the financial world, this is called leveraging, doing more with less, and it is the essence of their mission.
Learn more about 501(C)PA
Pivotal New Mexico
Pivotal New Mexico is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization helping organizations get the funding they need to achieve their charitable and social missions. Through their programs, organizations access new sources of funding, grant writers, and our community becomes stronger. They train, advise, and support organizations in the search for funding.
earn more about Pivotal New Mexico]
The Grant Plant

The Grant Plant works primarily with tax-exempt organizations including nonprofits, public agencies, and educational institutions to secure grants from private and public sources.

With the Grant Plant, you can expect:

  • Professional partners – You’ll work with a team of grant experts – researchers, writers, designers, and project managers – who will put their hearts into your project.
  • Comprehensive services – The amount of guidance our clients require varies. That’s why we offer a range of grant services so they can choose what best fits their needs. We help our clients find and apply for grants, report on grant use, and support their internal grants office.
  • Singular experience – Expect a professional, rigorous – and, yes, enjoyable – experience when you collaborate with us.
  • Ethical approach – Industry standards and best practices are fundamental to everything we do.
  • Flexible process – We pride ourselves on being approachable and flexible and are happy to adapt our proven processes to the way you like to work.
  • Dedicated project management – A dedicated account representative (your “bud”) will manage your grants calendar so you can focus on your work.
Learn more about the Grant Plant

Marketing & Communications

Download our logos for marketing purposes.

Below are some helpful resources for nonprofits. Please review these resources and let us know if you have any questions about them.
Competitive Grant Program FAQs

Coffee Chat Notes

We had some great questions come through our coffee chats. Here is a summary of what was brought up.

Process and General:

  • What will the process look like for the presentation? The grant panel members will be in a separate room when you enter the Zoom. This will allow you to gather your whole team prior to entering the room with the panel. Upon entering the room with the grant panel, you will have 5 minutes to present, followed by a 5-minute Q&A with the panel.
  • What if I do not use the full 5 minutes for presentation? You will not lose the time you do not use. It will be added to the Q&A time.
  • How many people should present? It is up to you on who is present. Based on past experiences, we recommend having a limited amount of people, however, it is a good idea that individuals who hold specific knowledge be present, such as finance. They can be available to answer any questions specific to them, if needed. You may invite folks from your organization who do not plan to speak unless necessary and all are welcome to join and observe. You are welcome to Zoom in from separate locations or in one room, whatever is comfortable for you and your team. In the past we have had panelists in a breakout for organization to collect their thoughts and teams before presenting.
  • What kind of visuals can I use for the presentation? This is completely up to you! We only ask that if you are using a PowerPoint, video, or photo, that you share them with us at least one day prior to your presentation if you would like us to share it for you during your presentation. This is recommended to avoid technical difficulties and distractions; however, it is not required – you may share visuals yourself as well.
  • The pandemic has affected our foundation, how much of a role will our current situation affect the questions from the panel? We will weave COVID recovery into every grant we make this year, so we are looking to see how organizations have pivoted to respond to COVID. There will be a COVID lens with every grant made this year.
  • How does the Q&A portion work? After your presentation, one at a time, panelists will ask questions regarding the presentation and if there is extra time left, you can add to your presentation.
  • What in general should be shared that was not in application? It is hard to say now that we have moved to general vs programming, typically there is no need to reiterate that information. Please feel free to mention items you couldn’t voice in application and find ways your panelists can relate to your organization.
  • Should we plan to keep track of time? The foundation will give visual cues of your time. We will let you know when you have one minute remaining during your presentation and Q&A.
  • How do I get a copy of the application that I submitted? Once the applications are in the evaluation stage, they are not visible to you. If you need a copy of your application, reach out to Grants at grants@abqcf.org.
  • What if we need interpretation? If you will need interpretation services, please reach out to Grants at grants@abqcf.org.
  • What makes a good presentation? Great question, imagery helps. It shows committee something visible and is like a site visit and they can see your organization from your POV. If you can bring that element i.e., photos, videos, and/or storytelling of your organization it is appealing to the panel.

Zoom and Tech Logistics:

  • How will we get the zoom link? The link will be sent to the email of whomever filled out the presentation sign up form prior to the date of your presentation.
  • How much time before my presentation should I join the zoom? We ask that it not be more than 5 minutes before your assigned time.
  • What is the platform for presentations? Zoom only for organizations, panelists will be in person at ACF.
  • What kind of format should my video be in if I am sending it to you? To avoid internet lagging, we suggest sending us a video we can download as an MP4, MOV, or WMV format. If you have a YouTube video, we will share it, but there may be a risk of internet lag.
  • What format should the photos be in? .Jpg and .png are preferred. Let us know if you have an issue with this format.
  • If I am sharing a video, how will I show it? We are available to show the video for you if you can share it with us the day prior to presenting. We can have it ready to show when you are ready. Please also let us know if it is a backup plan or you plan to solely have us show them.
  • Do you advise showing images and graphics during or going back and forth between video and presentations? Our suggestion is to have images built into presentation. Since there are only five minutes allotted, you can choose to share screen, show a video, and slide presentation.
  • Will the panel look at the website ahead of time? The panel will review your application and documents ahead of time. They are not required to look at your website, so they may or may not have viewed it.
  • Are the awarded amounts adjusted? Sometimes organizations receive the amount they asked for and other times they are adjusted. It depends on a variety of factors, including but not limited to, the panel’s discussion and the number of applicants that year.

Panel:

  • What does the panel look like? The panel is comprised of ACF Board members, community members, and nonprofit representatives. There will not be anyone from the nonprofits who may benefit from a grant, or representatives applying in the same field-of-interest. ACF staff is not part of the panel. The panel member names can be shared once we have finalized panel members.
  • How often does the panel ask about finances? Not very often and it might be less this year because of the shift to general operating grants. Our finance team reviews the financials before we go into panel as well. However, it is possible that a finance question may come up.
  • What did the panel review ahead of time? Everyone in the panel would have read the application, so it is a good idea to add things that were not stated in the application.
  • Can you share the information of our panel? How many on the panel? About 6-8 people participate on the panel. Once we have the finalized list of who will be on panel, we will send this list to you before your presentation.
  • How are panelists chosen? Is there a mix of people? Committee members are based on current demographics and are invited to serve, and the invitation is also sent to Future Fund members and those on our grant newsletters and of course all are subject to sign a conflict-of-interest form.
  • Will the panelists be ready to participate in fun? We hope so! We will let them know that some interactions may occur.
  • Would it be best to show panelists the organization’s general mission or specifics of programming and daily work? We don’t mind you repeating the application, but theoretically all panelists have read what has been submitted in your application. This is the opportunity to share something you couldn’t do on paper and bring to light information that has not been said before.
  • Why are panelists in person and not presenters this year? In the effort to avoid having to cancel in person or give unfair advantage to those who could join and not. Also, so that the panel can have face to face discussion after all presentations.
  • Will panelists make funding decision or ACF and will they be deciding on all fields? Panelists will make full decision, the foundation will not have a say. All panelists from the preliminary round and final round are different for each field of interest.
  • You mentioned “this round of panel members” will there be another round following this? No, this is the final round. All organizations that have been invited to present have been already reviewed in preliminary rounds and are now in the final round and about half of the presenters/organizations will be funded.
  • What are some patterns of deal breakers during organization’s presentations? A presenter reading off PowerPoint presentation slides full of only words and not engaging with the panelists.
Tips for a Competitive Grant Proposal

We know staff resources are tight at every nonprofit and the grant-writing process can often be tedious and long. Our hope is that the following tips will minimize the time needed to write your proposal and will position your grant proposal in the strongest light.

While acknowledging every grant panel is different, certain approaches create a more competitive grant proposal. Please consider the following tips when preparing your application:

 We love to read about the great work you are doing, but first and foremost: answer the questions. It’s an easy pitfall to stumble into: when describing aspects of your programming and the various ways your organization enhances the community, you forget to tie the information back to the question in the grant application. Remember, your answers don’t need to be long or elaborate; they just need to specifically provide the information requested.

Highlight outcomes. With limited grant dollars available, it’s important for the Foundation to closely track program outcomes from grants. This helps us to measure the impact of our philanthropic investments and it helps us to continue raising funds which can then be reinvested in the community. When listing outcomes in your grant proposal, keep them specific, realistic and achievable.  

Be consistent. Sometimes grant applications will ask for the same information in multiple places. Be sure to double check that the information you provide is consistent throughout the proposal. For example, if you indicate that you will impact 2,500 individuals on your cover sheet, be sure you don’t write that your program will impact 5,000 individuals in the grant narrative.

Collaborate. Collaboration is not required for grant funding, but it can strengthen your proposal. Funding dollars are consistently limited, so it’s always attractive when a grant can tangentially support multiple organizations. The aim is not to force collaboration, but to support non-duplicative services among partner organizations. When describing a collaboration in your proposal, be sure to demonstrate how your program operates in a way that is mutually beneficial to one or more organizations and the populations they serve.     

Questions are welcome! Our goal at the Foundation is to support our community and to ensure we are making strategic and effective grants. We are here to help you! If you find yourself struggling through a proposal or uncertain of what program would be a competitive fit, please contact our Community Impact team. While we can never predict the grant panel’s funding decisions, we can try to offer tips or suggestions that may prove helpful in the application process. Note: Foundation staff are not on the grant panel and do not have an official vote on funding decisions for the Competitive Grant Program.

If you are new to grant-writing, we recommend you visit Candid’s website for additional tips on writing proposals and preparing grant budgets. Candid offers a wealth of information, in addition to many free webinars and seminars that could be invaluable in submitting a competitive grant proposal.

Grant Presentation Tips

What to Know about Presentations

All presentations will be hybrid this year - nonprofits will present virtually via zoom and the panelists will be present at the ACF office. Presentations are ten minutes, allowing five minutes for the presentation and five minutes for grant panelists to ask questions. Please note: grant presentations are required in order to be eligible to receive funding. Remember: grant presentations are intended to be engaging, informative and fun! This is an opportunity to lift your proposal off the page and bring your program to life.

Tips for a Successful Grant Presentation:

  • Make your words count – you only have five minutes! These five minutes should be an opportunity to inform the panel about an aspect of your program that may not have been represented in your grant application.
  • The presenter is key. Sometimes in these situations, it feels imperative for the Executive Director to serve as the primary presenter. That may be the case – if the Executive Director is also the individual who can speak most knowledgeably on the program. In many instances, it is more effective to have a Program Director or Development Director speak directly about the program.
  • Budgets! Grant panelists occasionally ask specific questions related to program budgets. Don’t hesitate to bring your Finance Director to the presentation – just in case you need to call on his/her expertise in a pinch.
  • Manage your group size. There is no maximum number of people from your organization who can attend the grant presentation; however, it is advisable for groups not to extend beyond five people. Larger groups with board members and additional staff members can sometimes make the presenters feel anxious and can add an extra layer of pressure on the presenter. The majority of presentations are led by 1-2 people.
  • Have fun! We know public speaking is not the easiest or most comfortable activity for most people. Just remember: the grant panel is on your side. Everyone listening to the presentation wants to learn about the great work you are doing in our community. Enjoy yourself, let the passion and inspiration you have for your work guide you in delivering a fun and lively presentation.

Coffee Chat Hours

Community Impact Staff, Khia Griffis and Letisha Spencer, will be hosting virtual coffee hours to answer any questions you might have. This will be a casual opportunity and attendance is not required.

Groundworks New Mexico
Groundworks New Mexico is a social impact organization. They connect those working to have a positive impact in New Mexico to a network of peers, partners, and resources. By providing a space to come together, they create stronger partnerships and prevent overlap so that we all can have a greater impact in New Mexico’s communities.
Learn more about Groundworks New Mexico
501(C)PA
501(C)PA serves over 30 nonprofits in multiple New Mexico counties. They also deliver services at fees that are generally well below private sector rates, thus reducing the financial barriers for many nonprofits. However, the really big impact for their clients is that the accounting, payroll and other administrative tasks that used to consume so many management and clerical hours can now be accomplished by their specialists in a fraction of that time, with professional quality and enhanced organizational reputation. This can amount to several hundred hours saved each year, and those hours can be refocused on strategic planning, programming, fundraising, and increasing mission impact. In the financial world, this is called leveraging, doing more with less, and it is the essence of their mission.
Learn more about 501(C)PA
Pivotal New Mexico
Pivotal New Mexico is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization helping organizations get the funding they need to achieve their charitable and social missions. Through their programs, organizations access new sources of funding, grant writers, and our community becomes stronger. They train, advise, and support organizations in the search for funding.
earn more about Pivotal New Mexico]
The Grant Plant

The Grant Plant works primarily with tax-exempt organizations including nonprofits, public agencies, and educational institutions to secure grants from private and public sources.

With the Grant Plant, you can expect:

  • Professional partners – You’ll work with a team of grant experts – researchers, writers, designers, and project managers – who will put their hearts into your project.
  • Comprehensive services – The amount of guidance our clients require varies. That’s why we offer a range of grant services so they can choose what best fits their needs. We help our clients find and apply for grants, report on grant use, and support their internal grants office.
  • Singular experience – Expect a professional, rigorous – and, yes, enjoyable – experience when you collaborate with us.
  • Ethical approach – Industry standards and best practices are fundamental to everything we do.
  • Flexible process – We pride ourselves on being approachable and flexible and are happy to adapt our proven processes to the way you like to work.
  • Dedicated project management – A dedicated account representative (your “bud”) will manage your grants calendar so you can focus on your work.
Learn more about the Grant Plant

Marketing & Communications

Download our logos for marketing purposes.