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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

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National Philanthropy Day Celebrated in Houston
Aurora Grants & Consulting

November, 2015

This year the Association of Fundraising Professionals – Greater Houston Chapter celebrated  National Philanthropy Day on November 19 with a grand luncheon and awards ceremony at the Hilton Americas Hotel, downtown.

In the spirit of collaboration, Aurora Grants & Consulting took this opportunity to invite our new clients in 2015 to celebrate with us. In attendance were Mika Hasler, Founder/Director of the Mika Hasler Young Artist Competition, Steven Holloway, Founder/Director of P.A.C.E. Youth Programs, Don Ray, Board Chair of Noah’s House, and Jennifer Schiebel, Art Instructor at Klein Oak High School, winner of this year’s Youth in Philanthropy Award. Those unable to attend were George Youngblood, Co-Founder/Director of Teen and Family Services, Jason Roberts, Founder/Director of FamilyPoint Resources, and Tamara Hudgins, Executive Director of Girlstart.

Aurora Grants contract grant writers, readers and consultants in attendance included Kathy Sullivan, Laura Wheless, Katy Atkiss and Linda Beeman. Also missing were Susan Byrd, Dr. Gary Patterson and Suzy von Lengerke.

It was an incredibly moving occasion, honoring Houston’s top philanthropic individuals, corporations, foundations and organizations, and recognizing how their gifts of time, talent and resources have shaped our community. This year’s honorees

Honorees Angela Seaworth and Susan Coulter

were: Lester and Sue Smith, winners of the Maurice Hirsch Award for Philanthropy and hands-down the most entertaining and inspirational speakers of the day; Virginia ‘Ginni’ Mithoff  as Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser; Bristol-Myers Squibb, winner of the Houston Business Journal Outstanding Large Corporation Award for its work with HIV vaccines in the developing world; St. Thomas High School, winner of the Outstanding Fundraising Program – More Than $2 Million Award for its successful campaign raising over $70 Million to purchase land adjacent to its campus; The Cullen Trust for Health Care, winner of the Outstanding Philanthropic Foundation Award for its Gold Humanism Honor Society; Baylor College of Medicine, winner of the Outstanding Community Service Organization Award; KHOU 11 News , winner of the Outstanding Communications Partner Award; M. Anne Murphy, CFRE, winner of the Byron Welch Award for Lifetime Achievement; Susan H. Coulter, J.D. of the Houston Methodist Foundation, winner of the Outstanding Fundraising Executive of the Year Award; Angela Seaworth, ACFRE and Director of Rice University’s Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership, winner of the M. Anne Murphy Award for Professional Advancement; and the Klein Oak High School Student Council, winner of this year’s Youth in Philanthropy Award for raising $60,000 to construct a Habitat for Humanity house in Northwest Harris County within five months.

Aurora Grants & Consulting thanks the winners, our clients, and all philanthropists – large and small – who help to make our world a little bit better every day.


Aurora Grants & Consulting
Based in Houston, Texas, Aurora Grants & Consulting strives to help small and mid-sized nonprofits fulfill their mission of changing lives.  As a provider of essential services, no one knows the hardships faced by your clients better than you do.  Your nonprofit’s story is a critical element in any grant proposal. This is where Aurora’s unique marketing approach to proposal writing is key, helping you build a specific case that is relevant to philanthropic organizations and potential funders.

Aurora Grants & Consulting improves your funding chances through:
Research – Identifying targeted funding sources
Analysis – Looking at funding trends to verify that an ask is appropriate
Planning – Assigning specific roles and tasks, allotting time for contingencies
Probing – Asking the right questions regarding project, outcomes, and reporting
Writing – Making the case about how your project fits the funder’s criteria
Review – Submitting drafts to ensure proper portrayal of the project
Assembly – Complying with all guidelines and documentation requirements
Completion – Delivering proposals on schedule to permit timely submission by client

Proposal Writing Pitfalls
How do you ensure that your grant application gets funded? First of all, there are no guarantees, so if someone tells you there are, politely show them the door. Secondly, the spaghetti method of “throw a bunch of applications at the wall and see what sticks” is a huge waste of your scarcest resource: TIME. To be effective, a development plan must include adequate time to: (1) research and identify funders whose priorities match your nonprofit’s mission; (2) understand the funder’s giving history and what type of request would be appropriate; and (3) compose a well-written and moving document while meeting all of the funder’s requirements.

Does the following scenario sound familiar?
“(T)hose doing the writing of persuasive pieces are generally neophyte writers or experienced fund raisers harried by a thousand concerns other than writing the proposal at hand. In fact, the writing of the proposal is deemed a necessary evil, a chore, an unfortunate task that is often put off and put off until finally the foundation deadline is upon us and — Well, let’s get the thing written and out. Thank God for FedEx!” – from  Writing for a Good Cause, by Joseph Barbato.

It is precisely because so many nonprofits submit their proposals in this haphazard fashion, that your Aurora Grants & Consulting proposal will be noticed.


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