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
  • Who is eligible for a grant? 
    • Qualified 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organizations and public educational institutions that benefit the citizens of the four-county Greater Albuquerque Metropolitan Area, including Bernalillo, Sandoval, Valencia and Torrance. 
  • I’m not a nonprofit organization; I’m just a person who needs some extra help. Can I apply for a grant? 
    • We are unable to award grants to individuals, except in the case of scholarships and financial aid, which are awarded directly to the educational institution on behalf of the student. If you are a student, please go to the Student Aid section.
  • Does my organization have to be located in the Albuquerque metro area? 
    • No. However, the project must enhance the quality of life in the Albuquerque metro area community.
  • Do you fund new organizations?
    • An organization must be incorporated in the state of New Mexico for a minimum of five years to be eligible for the Competitive Grant Program. Certain exceptions can be made to this, including but not limited to: organizations operating with a fiscal agent or organizations that have spun off from a parent organization and are now operating as their own entity. If your organization has been operating for less than five years and you feel you are eligible to apply for a grant, please contact the Foundation before submitting an application. 
  • Does the Foundation provide Operating Grants? 
    • For 2021: In an effort to ensure our nonprofit partners have as much flexibility to respond to the changes COVID-19 has created (and continues to create) in our community, all grants in the 2021 Competitive Grant Program will be general operating grants. This means, funding will be unrestricted and grantees may use the funds as needed throughout the year. Program-based grants will not be accepted in 2021.
  •  Does the Foundation fund local offices, chapters or affiliates of national organizations?
    • Yes.
  • Does the Foundation only fund large organizations…or only small organizations?
    • There is not a “right” size organization.
  • Does my organization need a 501 (c)(3) designation from the IRS before I can apply for funds?
    • Your organization must have a 501(c) (3) designation or be a public educational institution or be a government agency.
  • What is a 501(c)(3) designation? How can I get one?
    • 501(c)(3) refers to the specific section of the Internal Revenue Code that defines a charitable organization. For more information, contact the Internal Revenue Service.
    • Sometimes an organization can use another nonprofit organization’s 501(c)(3).  This would be called a “fiscal sponsorship.” Organizations using a fiscal sponsor are eligible for funding. 
  • How do we register to the Attorney General’s office? 
    • New Mexico state law requires all nonprofit organizations to report annually to the Attorney General’s Office, Consumer Protection Division, with the Registrar of Charitable Organizations. You will have all of the necessary information and forms at New Mexico Attorney General’s website or call 505.222.9000 in Albuquerque.
  • How do we make sure we are in good standing with the New Mexico Secretary of State?  
    • A Certificate of Good Standing is a state-issued document that shows your corporation or nonprofit has met its statutory requirements and is authorized to do business in that state. Think of it as a kind of “snapshot” of your organization’s compliance status. Certificates of Good Standing for New Mexico may be requested and obtained online.
  • If my organization has received grants in the past, are there limitations to how many years we can receive grants?
    • No.
  • Does the Foundation make multi-year grants? 
    • No, currently the Foundation does not make any multi-year grants.
  • Does the Foundation fund faith-based organizations? 
    • The Foundation does fund faith-based organizations but does not fund projects of a religious nature or projects that require participation in a religious activity as a condition for receiving services.
  • How many applications can I submit?
    • Only one application per calendar year can be submitted to the Foundation’s Competitive Grant Program.
  • Will you review a draft of my proposal and offer comments? 
    • While the Foundation is unable to review specific proposals, Grant staff is happy to answer any questions you may have, discuss your program and provide support or suggestions during the application process, as time permits. 
  • If I know members of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees, staff or a donor, does it increase the likelihood that my proposal will be funded if I contact them?
    • No. All members of our Grant Panels are required to sign conflict of interest forms to ensure that no personal relationships will influence funding decisions. 
  • Who decides which applications receive funding?
    • Assisting Foundation Board of Trustees and staff in the review process are volunteers who contribute time, thought and knowledge of our community.
  • Does the Foundation have submission deadlines for requests?
    • Yes. The Competitive Grant Program deadlines are here.
  • Can I submit a case statement, brochure, or newsletter with my proposal?
    • No, please do not send any materials beyond what is required for the grant application. 
  • How are grant applicants notified?
    • Shortly after grant presentations, Foundation staff will contact organizations to inform them of their funding status. A timeline for the 2021 Competitive Grant Program can be found here.
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

After an initial committee proposal review, select organizations are invited forward to give grant presentations to complement the written grant application.  Grant presentations offer organizations a unique opportunity to speak directly about their programs, share information that may not have been available in their grant proposals and have interactive conversations with the grant panelists.

All presentations are held at the Albuquerque Community Foundation. 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. Presentations are currently being held virtually in response to COVID 19.

While acknowledging every grant panel is different, certain approaches create a more positive grant presentation. Please consider the following tips when preparing your 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. Repeating the mission statement or offering an overview and history of your organization may not be the best use of the time. In other words: dig right into the program for which you are requesting a grant.

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 knowledgeable on the program. In many instances, it is more effective to have a Program Director or Development Director speak directly about the program.

Provide budgets! Grant panelists often ask specific questions related to program budgets. Do not 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. Most presentations are led by 1-2 people. It is up to you to decide who should be present from your team.

Collaborate. If you applied for a grant that is in partnership with another organization, or from which another organization would benefit, bring a representative of that organization with you. Collaboration in writing is attractive – but seeing it in action adds a special appeal to programs.

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 your presentation.

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
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
  • Who is eligible for a grant? 
    • Qualified 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organizations and public educational institutions that benefit the citizens of the four-county Greater Albuquerque Metropolitan Area, including Bernalillo, Sandoval, Valencia and Torrance. 
  • I’m not a nonprofit organization; I’m just a person who needs some extra help. Can I apply for a grant? 
    • We are unable to award grants to individuals, except in the case of scholarships and financial aid, which are awarded directly to the educational institution on behalf of the student. If you are a student, please go to the Student Aid section.
  • Does my organization have to be located in the Albuquerque metro area? 
    • No. However, the project must enhance the quality of life in the Albuquerque metro area community.
  • Do you fund new organizations?
    • An organization must be incorporated in the state of New Mexico for a minimum of five years to be eligible for the Competitive Grant Program. Certain exceptions can be made to this, including but not limited to: organizations operating with a fiscal agent or organizations that have spun off from a parent organization and are now operating as their own entity. If your organization has been operating for less than five years and you feel you are eligible to apply for a grant, please contact the Foundation before submitting an application. 
  • Does the Foundation provide Operating Grants? 
    • For 2021: In an effort to ensure our nonprofit partners have as much flexibility to respond to the changes COVID-19 has created (and continues to create) in our community, all grants in the 2021 Competitive Grant Program will be general operating grants. This means, funding will be unrestricted and grantees may use the funds as needed throughout the year. Program-based grants will not be accepted in 2021.
  •  Does the Foundation fund local offices, chapters or affiliates of national organizations?
    • Yes.
  • Does the Foundation only fund large organizations…or only small organizations?
    • There is not a “right” size organization.
  • Does my organization need a 501 (c)(3) designation from the IRS before I can apply for funds?
    • Your organization must have a 501(c) (3) designation or be a public educational institution or be a government agency.
  • What is a 501(c)(3) designation? How can I get one?
    • 501(c)(3) refers to the specific section of the Internal Revenue Code that defines a charitable organization. For more information, contact the Internal Revenue Service.
    • Sometimes an organization can use another nonprofit organization’s 501(c)(3).  This would be called a “fiscal sponsorship.” Organizations using a fiscal sponsor are eligible for funding. 
  • How do we register to the Attorney General’s office? 
    • New Mexico state law requires all nonprofit organizations to report annually to the Attorney General’s Office, Consumer Protection Division, with the Registrar of Charitable Organizations. You will have all of the necessary information and forms at New Mexico Attorney General’s website or call 505.222.9000 in Albuquerque.
  • How do we make sure we are in good standing with the New Mexico Secretary of State?  
    • A Certificate of Good Standing is a state-issued document that shows your corporation or nonprofit has met its statutory requirements and is authorized to do business in that state. Think of it as a kind of “snapshot” of your organization’s compliance status. Certificates of Good Standing for New Mexico may be requested and obtained online.
  • If my organization has received grants in the past, are there limitations to how many years we can receive grants?
    • No.
  • Does the Foundation make multi-year grants? 
    • No, currently the Foundation does not make any multi-year grants.
  • Does the Foundation fund faith-based organizations? 
    • The Foundation does fund faith-based organizations but does not fund projects of a religious nature or projects that require participation in a religious activity as a condition for receiving services.
  • How many applications can I submit?
    • Only one application per calendar year can be submitted to the Foundation’s Competitive Grant Program.
  • Will you review a draft of my proposal and offer comments? 
    • While the Foundation is unable to review specific proposals, Grant staff is happy to answer any questions you may have, discuss your program and provide support or suggestions during the application process, as time permits. 
  • If I know members of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees, staff or a donor, does it increase the likelihood that my proposal will be funded if I contact them?
    • No. All members of our Grant Panels are required to sign conflict of interest forms to ensure that no personal relationships will influence funding decisions. 
  • Who decides which applications receive funding?
    • Assisting Foundation Board of Trustees and staff in the review process are volunteers who contribute time, thought and knowledge of our community.
  • Does the Foundation have submission deadlines for requests?
    • Yes. The Competitive Grant Program deadlines are here.
  • Can I submit a case statement, brochure, or newsletter with my proposal?
    • No, please do not send any materials beyond what is required for the grant application. 
  • How are grant applicants notified?
    • Shortly after grant presentations, Foundation staff will contact organizations to inform them of their funding status. A timeline for the 2021 Competitive Grant Program can be found here.
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

After an initial committee proposal review, select organizations are invited forward to give grant presentations to complement the written grant application.  Grant presentations offer organizations a unique opportunity to speak directly about their programs, share information that may not have been available in their grant proposals and have interactive conversations with the grant panelists.

All presentations are held at the Albuquerque Community Foundation. 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. Presentations are currently being held virtually in response to COVID 19.

While acknowledging every grant panel is different, certain approaches create a more positive grant presentation. Please consider the following tips when preparing your 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. Repeating the mission statement or offering an overview and history of your organization may not be the best use of the time. In other words: dig right into the program for which you are requesting a grant.

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 knowledgeable on the program. In many instances, it is more effective to have a Program Director or Development Director speak directly about the program.

Provide budgets! Grant panelists often ask specific questions related to program budgets. Do not 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. Most presentations are led by 1-2 people. It is up to you to decide who should be present from your team.

Collaborate. If you applied for a grant that is in partnership with another organization, or from which another organization would benefit, bring a representative of that organization with you. Collaboration in writing is attractive – but seeing it in action adds a special appeal to programs.

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 your presentation.

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