Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Benefactor: The Gap
Amount awarded in 2010: $382,500 to finance the operations of the Career Launch program, which served 53,000 kids nationwide last year
How the charity won it: By reinforcing its ties to a longtime benefactor. The San Francisco clothing retailer provided $7.5-million in 2002 to start Career Launch, which introduce teenagers to possible career opportunities by matching them with mentors and local businesses. But that grant ran out in 2007, and every year since, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America has had to secure new grants from The Gap.
The key to maintaining support, says Cyndi Court, executive vice president of resource development and marketing for the Atlanta charity, has been to talk about new ideas of mutual interest.
Both groups, for example, wanted to promote volunteerism, so the retailer paid for the charity to hire a national volunteer coordinator. In addition, The Gap runs a leadership institute for its employees; this past year, three Boys & Girls Clubs employees were invited to attend the institute for free.
Advice for fund raisers: “Nonprofits should make sure the grant is core to their missions, and they should not go outside of their mission to just secure dollars,” says Ms. Court. “Those dollars are usually short lived, and they won’t be able to deliver anything outside of their project.”
What’s more, treat corporate grant makers “as a partner and not just a transaction,” she adds. “Make sure you are looking for other areas of synergy that capitalize on everything they bring to the table, and not just what they are actually funding. Many corporations will bring other resources that you wouldn’t have even imagined."