YOU have inspired through our Employee Appreciation Day Contest!

               Employee appreciation day

In honor of Employee Appreciation Day, launched a contest last week. Participation has been pouring in and we are so touched by the responses and admiration that people have for their fellow staff.

Common terms used to describe beloved team members were; dedicated, selfless, positive attitude, passionate, encouraging, tireless, going beyond the call of duty, wearer of many hats, compassionate, committed and reliable. Clearly, our nonprofit workers are a unique breed of special people.

We thought that you might appreciate reading a few of the beautiful posts as much as we did. So, we have posted them below.

The contest is continuing for just a few more days.  All entries must be in by March 6, 2015, Employee Appreciation Day.  The winning organization will receive a FREE annual subscription to valued at $199 and the star employee will get a $75 Starbucks gift card!

You can still nominate a valued worker by clicking:

And, now, for a few heartfelt responses (edited for the sake of space):

Christine Castles from Foundation for the Arts and Trauma, Connecticut wrote:“Dear Miss Kendra, All our staff, students, teachers, and administrators cannot thank you enough. Your name says it all: Kind, Enthusiastic, Nice, Devoted, Responsible, Accountable!… you are totally a remarkable woman! Your "List" is phenomenal and all who use it know first-hand how children should be treated, making for a more peaceful world, whose goal is to totally eradicate child maltreatment. Your personal response in penning thousands of letters each year to the children who write you is beyond comprehension. Your dedication to all the thousands of children we serve in Connecticut is a testament to your amazing character, something so rare, yet so necessary in these times.”

Julie Weaver from Amboy Elementary, Arkansas wrote: “Elena Reyes-Lovins is constantly going above and beyond to make learning exciting and hands-on. She shares her knowledge and expertise with the staff and helps new teachers learn how to write grants. She is passionate and is always seeking new opportunities to grow professionally. She is an amazing educator!”

Christine Randall from Philadelphia Senior Citizens Resource Center (PSCRC), Pennsylvania wrote: “Jacqueline Mack, our office manager trainee is the person that I take great pride in nominating for your "Employee Appreciation Day" contest. We thank her for the countless extra steps she takes to make sure that our tasks are complete….She brings us that "Let's Get it Down" attitude each and every day. She encourages all of us with her strength, faith and belief in God.  Even when some tasks are difficult for her she still gives her very best and encourages the other staff members, trainees and volunteers to do the same. To be honest, it is truly because of Jacqueline's cheerleading of our organization that makes us  all be mindful during difficult moments why we do what we do for senior citizens, their families and caregivers.”

Kelli Czaykowsky from Friends of refugees providing education and empowerment, Georgia wrote: “Allen Clark of FREE is always willing to go on short notice for anything that we need. If a mother calls and her baby does not have any diapers he will bring diapers to the mother. If the family is hungry and in need of food, he will go purchase food and take it to them. He is always picking up donated furniture, clothes, and other items sometimes the same day that people will call. He never says no when a person is in need and is always the first to be there to help a refugee. If he sees a child with no shoes he will go to the Goodwill and buy shoes for that child. He has given out hundreds of bicycles for the kids and then he will go and fix the bicycles as they start to breakdown.”

Congratulations to all of the nominees posted above and those we have not yet had a chance to feature.  You are already winners in the eyes of so many! 

(All entries are entered into the contest and one winner will be selected at random on March 6, 2015.  Good Luck!)

Featured Grant: The Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy on College Campuses


college philanthropy


Do you participate in an undergraduate or graduate student group which promotes and encourages philanthropy? Read on to find out how your efforts may get wider recognition through The Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy and the Generous U title.

Seeking to recognize those student groups and programs on US college campuses which encourage charitable giving, The Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy is once again accepting applications from those who increase awareness and involvement concerning the importance and impact of philanthropy and philanthropic values.

Student groups are invited to compete for the $10,000 Sillerman Prize as well as the Generous U title. There will also be one $2,500 Runner-Up prize awarded.

By completing the eligibility requirements as noted on, you will be able to share how your group has increased the practice and awareness of philanthropy or charitable giving from one’s own financial resources on your college campus.  By demonstrating success in engaging a substantial number of peers towards giving, increasing philanthropic awareness and a culture of giving on campus, nurturing a  lifelong habit of charitable giving and developing a model that can be adopted on other campuses,  you are well on your way to winning these generous prizes. would like to take this opportunity to commend you on your exceptional community service in producing a future generation of philanthropists.  We wish you continued success in all of your endeavors.


How to Write a LOI=Letter of Intent, Letter of Interest, Letter of Inquiry

letter of intent picHow to Write a LOI=Letter of Intent, Letter of Interest, Letter of Inquiry

Many foundations ask for a LOI before requesting a full grant proposal.  This helps the funder to weed out organizations which are the most appropriate to receive their offered grant. Organizations also use the LOI to assess how many staff are needed in order to review the upcoming proposals.  More so, the LOI places you on their mailing list for all future addendums and modifications for that particular grant, including deadline changes.

LOI is a non-legally binding document which includes an introduction to your project, contact information at your agency, a description of your organization, a statement of need, your methodology and/or an achievable solution to the need, a brief discussion of other funding sources and a final summary. 

Although foundations usually provide an outline for the LOI, we hope that the following tips will help you successfully win your applied for grants. 

  1. The LOI should be a brief, one page, informative letter which summarizes your ultimate full proposal.  There are times, however, when it can be as long as three pages.
  2. The structure of the LOI is a business letter.  Therefore, write the LOI on business letterhead.  Be sure that your company’s address appears on the letterhead or add it to the letter on the right hand side.  The recipient’s address should appear on the left hand side of the paper.
  3. It is important to use the specific name of the recipient.  It is best to avoid general terminology such as, “Dear Sir” or “To Whom It May Concern”.
  4. The opening of your LOI might be the most important part of your letter.  It should be a concise, executive summary which provides enticing information to inspire the reader to continue.  Include the name of your organization, the grant you are applying for and/or the amount of money you are requesting as well as a short description of the project involved.  You should also include how your project fits the funder’s guidelines and funding interests.
  5. Next, give a brief history of your nonprofit and its programs.  There should be a direct connection made from what you currently do to what you want to accomplish with their funding.  Include a description of your target population and geographic area.  It is wise to incorporate statistical facts about what you are doing and hope to do as well as specific examples of successes and needs.
  6. Elaborate on your objectives.  How do you plan on using the funding to solve the problem?  Describe the project succinctly.  Include major activities along with the names and titles of key project staff.
  7. If you are requesting funding from other sources, mention this in a brief paragraph.  In addition, include any funding already secured as well as how you plan to support the project in the future.
  8. Briefly summarize your goal.  Note that you are open to answering any further questions.  Thank the funder for his consideration in your organization.
  9. You may attach any additional forms which are helpful to present your information. However, keep in mind that this is a LOI and not a full proposal.
  10. Review the given guidelines for the LOI to assure that you have met all of the funder’s requirements.  Failing to include all requested information can cause your LOI to be disregarded.
  11. When signing the LOI, use proper business salutations such as “sincerely” or “respectfully”.  It is best to avoid an overly friendly closing.

For your convenience, here are some links to sample LOIs:

Short LOI:

Long LOI:

May your LOI open the door to your successful winning of grants. 

Helping Veterans Come Home to a Home

veteransFor many, it’s easy to take for granted a roof over the head, a comfortable and safe place to lie down at night and heat in the winter.  But, for the nearly 400,000 United States veterans who are estimated to find that they are homeless in the course of a year, this “American Dream” is illusive.  

In 2014, The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) spent $1.4 billion on efforts to help house homeless vets.  This resulted in a 33% decline of homeless veterans, proving that investing in this problem makes a big difference to thousands of war heroes.  

This knowledge has been recognized by many organizations. has a large selection of funding opportunities to help nonprofits and government agencies improve the standard of living for veterans with new opportunities posted daily.  We would like to highlight one of the special companies who keep veteran needs at the forefront of their charitable work.  

Most Americans have shopped at or are at least aware of the wide range of building materials and helpful information offered at The Home Depot.  Since their opening in 1979, The Home Depot’s goal is to be a one-stop shop for all the do-it-yourselfer’s home improvement projects. Their associates undergo rigorous product knowledge and training.  They also offer workshops to customers on “how to do” home improvements themselves.

A natural outgrowth of The Home Depot’s mission to “improve homes and improve lives” led to the creation of The Home Depot Foundation.  Established in 2002, The Home Depot Foundation partners with local nonprofits offering grants and the labors of the associate-led volunteer force called Team Depot. The Foundation focuses its philanthropic efforts on improving the homes and lives of U.S. military veterans and their families.

“The Home Depot Foundation is placing a special emphasis on U.S. military veterans who are facing growing financial and physical hardships at home as they return to civilian life. In 2011, the Foundation made a three-year, $30 million pledge to veterans' housing initiatives, which was completed more than a year ahead of schedule.

In September 2012, the Foundation announced an additional $50 million commitment to veterans' nonprofits. As of December 2014, The Home Depot Foundation has invested more than $82 million to provide safe housing to veterans and, along with the help of Team Depot volunteers, has transformed more than 15,000 homes for veterans.” 

With millions of dollars available to nonprofits who specifically address veterans’ housing needs, The Home Depot is providing an outstanding opportunity to those who focus on repairing, remodeling, and maintaining affordable housing for deserving veterans and their families.  For further details about eligibility, award amounts and contact information, please visit:

This Friday- Hear Libby Speak at the College of Staten Island

This year, Grantwatch, Inc. is pleased to be joining the Neighborhood Technical Assistance Clinic (NTAC) as it continues its 18-year tradition to bring neighborhood and faith-based organizations together for Dialogue between Funders and Nonprofits.  The forum, in collaboration with the Staten Island Not For Profit Association, Inc., will include a symposium and capacity building workshops on the topic of Rebounding in a Down Economy- Leading in Times of Uncertainty.


Libby Hikind​, founder and CEO of, has been invited to present on the topic of Seeking New Partnerships and Resources for Nonprofits.


If you will be in the Staten Island, New York City area, don’t miss this opportunity to hear Libby speak about searching and locating the best funding opportunities for your nonprofit as well as how to connect with and create valuable partnerships with other nonprofits and funders in your area.  In addition, municipal agencies and grantmaking organizations will learn about new resources to promote their funding opportunities and ensure their activities receive the attention of nonprofits with shared interests and missions.  


Come join Libby and meet other individuals in the nonprofit sector working to promote lasting positive change and learn about the many new tools and resources available to them today. 


Looking forward to seeing you there!


Friday, January 23, 2015

9:00 AM – 3:00 PM


College of Staten Island, CUNY

Center for the Arts

2800 Victory Boulevard

Staten Island, New York 10314


For additional information, contact: or

(718) 455-3784

Staten Island Program Flyer






Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – Celebrating Nonprofits and their Volunteers

 “Even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Most of us are intrigued by dreams.  On that rare occasion when we remember a dream had while sleeping, we might ask ourselves, “What was that all about!?” or “Is there a message in my dream for me to act on?”

Then, there are “goal dreams”, which are light years ahead of night dreams or even day dreams.  Goal dreams occur when we are awake.  They might come to us while sipping our morning coffee, driving in traffic, listening to a tragic news story or any number of other ways.  Goal dreams get our juices flowing.  “If I do this, I can change the world!”

One of the greatest goal dreamers in our time was Martin Luther King, Jr.  A pastor by trade, he managed to shake up a nation by bringing his dream of equality for all to the forefront of our consciousness.  Yes, this is written clearer in the U.S. Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”  But, somehow, nearly 200 years after our forefathers signed this infamous document, people were still not being treated properly.  Martin Luther King, Jr. decided to take action.

On August 28, 1963, more than a quarter of a million people from all ethnicities and walks of life gathered to declare that it was time for our forefathers’ assertion to become a reality for all.   This was the largest gathering of protesters in Washington, D.C.'s history up to that point.  As the saying (almost) goes, “Dream it and they will come.”

For those dedicated to the nonprofit sector, turning dreams into realities might have been mixed into their baby food.  Not everyone has the vision, passion and energy to take action on the hopes for a better world.  By choosing to use your time to help friends, communities and nation, you become part of a great historical team of leaders who took their dreams and created real solutions to real problems.

Last year, over 571,000 people participated in a “day of service” in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy.  Backed by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the idea is to start the New Year off right by giving to those in need.  This year’s date for service is January 19, 2015.  Each year, more people participate.  For many, volunteering on this day is a springboard for continuing a life of service, whether on an individual basis or through nonprofit organizations.

For those who are already nonprofit staff and volunteers, would like to take this opportunity to commend you for acting on your hopes and dreams.  Though there may not yet be a day named after you, your efforts are still celebrated by those touched by your devotion.   Surely, our dreams for a brighter future are materializing with every great deed you perform.  May all your dreams come true!

GrantWatch Launches Improved Website


GrantWatch Launches Improved Website Offering Easy Access to Hundreds of New Grants & Funding Sources Each Week

Visitors will now be able to quickly locate extensive grant resources and an enhanced user experience at

November 14, has officially launched a new streamlined website making it easier for users to identify and apply to new funding sources. The new website provides quick and intuitive access to search and view the full eligibility, funding source, contact information and full grant applications for all types of grant sources, as well as offering extensive resources for receiving grants.  Users can sign-up for a free account to start receiving abbreviated grant updates in their industry or can opt to pay for a member account to have full access to the breadth and scope of the entire GrantWatch database.

Libby Hikind, CEO and Founder of GrantWatch says; “I truly believe the rapid growth of GrantWatch is due to the fact that we listen to our community and respond to its needs in real time.  Recently we added farming and wildlife for the heartland states, refugees for our border states, disaster relief after Hurricane Sandy for the Northeast and added various municipalities for the many local and state government agencies looking for funding. As a former grant-writer I relate to the needs of this community very much and want to make their job easier with the tools we provide on GrantWatch. My team and I are always available to our users, especially during the roll out of the new site. ”

New Site Features Include:

  • Streamlined user account functionality and improved customer support features; providing subscribers with the ability to easily manage and change their account and billing preferences.  
  • Clear and easy portal for funding sources to post and publicize grants.
  • Improved site design, search features and easy accessibility to grant database.


GrantWatch makes it simple for small businesses and nonprofits to find funding opportunities from among thousands of unique and current grants with the largest detailed listing of the newest nonprofit grants and grants for government agencies, small businesses, and individuals.  Our current subscribers include: nonprofits, 501c3 organizations, universities, hospitals, government agencies, schools, community based organizations, religious institutions, research institutions and some small businesses and individuals. There are more than 16,000 current and achieved grants, funding opportunities, awards and contracts displayed on 

Libby Hikind, CEO & Founder