What Do You Know? What Can You Do?

By Celeste Land, Land Family Foundation

This morning I found myself thinking about lessons learned about inspiration in grantmaking from the Girl Scout troop I co-led for many years.

Our girls didn’t do grantmaking, of course, but they did do a lot of community service projects. Several of our 11- to 14-year-olds earned the Silver Award, where the girl selects, plans, and implements a service project that benefits the community.

Two girls had no trouble with inspiration for service project. They “went deep,” using their passions and their significant volunteer experience with specific causes. The aspiring marine biologist organized a stream monitoring program for her neighborhood. The historical re-enactor compiled and tested a colonial cookbook for her local historical site.

But the other girls found the inspiration part excruciatingly hard.

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Making an Impact on a Very Small Budget

By Celeste Land, Land Family Foundation Trust

Our little family foundation is very, very small. Last year, we gave away $50,000 in grants, which is not enough money to solve any of the world’s problems.

Our family is also extremely diverse. We are scattered across the country and are interested in a very wide range of charitable causes. This makes focusing our efforts by geography or subject area extremely difficult at best, and also limits how much we can give to a single organization. As a result, last year we awarded grants of $500 to $10,000 to 12 different nonprofits in five different states.

Nevertheless, we are making an impact in our respective communities with our small targeted grants. How do we do it? Continue reading