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Two Interesting Nonprofit Projects

Emerging from an unplanned blogging hiatus . . . A couple of interesting nonprofit projects came my way this morning via my Google Alerts.

The First Nonprofit IPO
In the for-profit world, an IPO is an "initial public offering"--the time the company sells stock to the public. Homeward Bound of Marin (CA) County is taking that idea into the nonprofit sector, launching their own IPO--an "Immediate Public Opportunity--to end homelessness. They've put up 200,000 shares at $32/share for anyone to purchase in support of their Next Key initiative. Warren Buffet bought the first share in what appears to be a carefully-crafted marketing campaign. Of course, the returns on this investment for the stock-buyer are not financial, so this is really a catchy way to fundraise. But a pretty cool idea for the Marin County area outside of San Francisco, which is a major IPO hotbed.

Philanthropy and Grantmaking Course Awards $4,000 to Local Nonprofits
Also from California comes this story about a Fresno State College class on Philanthropy and Grantmaking that participated in a hands-on learning experience in the grant funding process:

The class began the semester investigating needs in the community, identified two focus areas for funding (youth and housing), researched nonprofit organizations meeting those needs, developed a request for proposals and invited six select organizations to apply for funding. Students then evaluated and scored the proposals and oral presentations.

The award money was provided by a local foundation. A great way to learn about the grantmaking process.

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