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Shaking the Money Tree: How to Successfully Win Government Funding

Johnson Center for Philanthropy

Thursday, June 20, 2013 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM (EDT)

Shaking the Money Tree: How to Successfully Win...

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Event Details

Shaking the Money Tree: How to Successfully

Win Government Funding


The nonprofit sector is integral to the delivery of public services but funds to support these services do not simply flow to the sector from the government. We have to ask for them. 

This raises a lot of questions. How do you prepare and position your ask? Which kinds of government funds are good matches for your organization? What are the best government prospects? How do you support your ask during review? How do you manage your government contract reward? Workshop participants, along with Marilyn Hoyt and a panel of local experts, will map a process for the best approach to identifying and raising government funding at the city, county, state and federal levels. Types of funding discussed will include government grants, contracts and discretionary funding.


Participants will:

·         Identify policies needed prior to winning government funds,

·         Identify which of their assets are of interest to government funders,

·        Learn how to research prior to meetings and proposals,

·        Identify resources to strengthen their approach,

·         How to craft a proposal/approach, and

·         Learn about keys to the award/post-award period.


The day’s event will be led by internationally renowned expert, consultant and trainer, Marilyn Hoyt. Participants will also engage with panel of local experts on key elements of their own work and trends they are seeing in government fundraising.

A light breakfast and lunch will be served. 


             Marilyn Hoyt

Speaker bio 

Marilyn Hoyt is active nationally in teaching, consulting, and advisory work. She speaks frequently at conferences and fund raisers, and serves as a member of the Young Audiences Program Certification Team and a reviewer for two foundations.

Her past work includes 12 years as a grantmaker for the Westchester Arts Council in New York and the Washington State Arts Commission; fundraising consulting with various nonprofits for J.C. Geever, Inc.; and 20 years at the New York Hall of Science first as head of advancement and government affairs, ultimately as President and CEO. There she raised nearly $200 million including a successful $92 million expansion campaign including $64 million in government funding doubling the Hall's budget and attendance.

Marilyn is one of the authors of the Foundation Center book, After the Grant. She also authored the fundraising chapter for the Handbook for Small Science Centers, and an article on outsourcing during tough economic times for the Association of Science-Technology Centers. Her e-newsletter is circulated to a dedicated list and reproduced on New York's Oram Matters.

Marilyn is an Advisory Board member of Columbia University's Masters in Fund Raising program, and an advisor to New York's Latimer House and Chicago's Public Housing Museum. She is deeply interested in nonprofits led by and serving minority communities. Her recognitions include the 2007 Latin American Women's Council Fanny Calderon de la Barca Award.



   Nicole Dennis

Nicole Dennis is the manager of grant management at the Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS), where she has been tasked with creating a centralized grant section.  Prior to joining DHS, Nicole worked for over five years with the federal government as a grant program specialist for the U.S. Department of Justice, where she was responsible for developing policy and programs, training, providing technical assistance on grant administration, and managing and monitoring over $20 million in federal grants made to states, tribes and non-profits. Her specialty areas included grants to address the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), tribal affairs, children exposed to violence, police and law enforcement training, procedural justice, juvenile justice, and public and private partnership development.  She also worked as a policy analyst for the U.S. Department of Interior, where she provided budget recommendations, guidance and advice to key authorizing officials for federally funded programs.  Nicole’s expertise includes grant application and budget development, post-award monitoring and fiscal review, and training and curricula development.  Prior to her work with the federal government, Nicole earned a Master of Arts in Global Finance, Trade and Economic Integration, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Denver.


                    Miles Wilson

Miles Wilson is the director of Philanthropic and Nonprofit Services at the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Mich. He is responsible for the Johnson Center's national work to provide training and support to foundation professionals and their organizations, and its regional work providing training, technical assistance, and management support to Michigan based nonprofit organizations.

Wilson joined the Johnson Center in 2009 as director of The Grantmaking School and then led the merger of nonprofit programming with an expanded line of grantmaker products to form the Philanthropic and Nonprofit Services unit. Previously Wilson served as vice president of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, program director of the Omidyar Foundation/Network, and senior program officer at the Corporation for National and Community Service. He has also held roles in higher education; community based nonprofits and has led or participated in the launch of several local and national nonprofit organizations.

Wilson serves on the Council on Foundations/Forum of Regional Association of Grantmakers, Learn Philanthropy committee, the allocation and evaluation committees at the Heart of West Michigan United Way, and is a board member of the Nokomis Foundation for Women and Girls, among other local and national volunteer roles. Wilson holds a bachelor's degree from Ohio Wesleyan University, and a master's degree in Educational Policy and Leadership from Ohio State University.

Wilson speaks regularly at regional and national conferences and other convenings on the issues of grantmaker and nonprofit impact. Currently he is working with a colleague to help foundations and nonprofits prepare for the potential impacts of the Budget Control Act of 2011 on communities nationwide.


             John Bracey

John Bracey became Executive Director of the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs in June of 2006, after having served as Director of Programs from 1998. He was recently elected to the Board of Directors… the Founding Board, of the Cultural Data Project, recently spun-off from the Pew Charitable Trusts as a private 501(c)3 and elected by the Board to serve as the new organization’s “Compliance Officer”.

John is currently serving his second three-year term as a member of the Board of Directors for the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies and was elected by the NASAA Board to serve as the Secretary of the Board. He is also serving the second year of a three-year term to the Board of Directors for Arts Midwest. 

John has served on a programmatic task force for the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, and as a grant reviewer for the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Florida, Kentucky and Arkansas as well as the Kresge Foundation. He is also currently a lecturer at the University of Michigan in Flint for the Rackham Graduate School in Arts Administration.

Prior to his tenure at MCACA, Mr. Bracey headed up the Communications and Educational programs for the State of Michigan Liquor Control Commission. In that capacity he worked on statewide as well as national campaigns, including the Detroit Challenge with the California based Recording Artists Against Drunk Driving and the Education Committee of the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association. He also served as legislative contact for the agency and was appointed Ombudsman for the Commission during the privatization of its warehousing operations.


Have questions about Shaking the Money Tree: How to Successfully Win Government Funding? Contact Johnson Center for Philanthropy

When & Where

Johnson Center for Philanthropy
201 Front Avenue SW
2nd Floor
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Thursday, June 20, 2013 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM (EDT)

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Johnson Center for Philanthropy

Established in 1992, the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy is an academic center within the College of Community and Public Service at Grand Valley State University.

Like many academic centers, we offer original research and expertise on the latest theories in our field. Yet when we talk about “doing good,” we mean more than theory. The Johnson Center puts research to work, with and for professionals across the country.

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Shaking the Money Tree: How to Successfully Win Government Funding
Grand Rapids, MI Events

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