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Nonprofit University

National Foundation Relations

National foundations can be sources for larger and more prestigious funding, though the time and effort required to establish the necessary relationships, and to apply, can be daunting – especially when you don't know whether you even stand a chance of being noticed. Not just another course on grant writing, this workshop focuses on the relationship-building practices that drive deep, meaningful partnerships between nonprofits and foundations. With 20 years of experience in the field, course facilitator Brenda Johnson (Director of Philanthropy for the ACLU of Georgia) will provide current, relevant, actionable insight into the spectrum of foundations with national scopes, your readiness to pursue relationships with them, and the mechanics of nationwide grantmaking.


At the end of this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Apply best practices for prospecting and cultivating relationships with national foundations, and understand the differences between local and national foundations
  • Explain prominent types of funding processes and mechanisms, including RFPs, open and limited submissions, and restricted grant making
  • Assess your organization's readiness to pursue national foundation funding.


Executives, development staff, and select board members (including CEOs/EDs, development directors, grant or development managers, board chairs, and board development committee chairs) at mid-size organizations ($1M - 5M) with an established record of successregarding local or state foundation funding, and interest in securing funding from national foundations.



Brenda Johnson is a nonprofit development professional with a passion for connecting donors at every level to the causes they are passionate about.  Her areas of expertise include capital campaigns, data-driven fundraising strategies and donor database systems. Brenda held senior development positions at several national organizations addressing human rights, civil liberties and women and girls’ empowerment.  In her most recent role as Director of Philanthropy for the ACLU of Georgia, Brenda worked closely with national leadership to reinvigorate the affiliate by cultivating the support of lapsed donors statewide after a period of inactivity and executive transition.

Throughout her nonprofit career, Brenda saw nonprofits struggle to achieve the resource development capacity necessary to sustain and grow - and the resulting pressure experienced by fundraising staff. After working in the nonprofit sector for 9 years, Brenda began offering consulting services and trainings to help organizations improve their development efficiency using existing resources.

Brenda received a BS in Engineering from Purdue University, where she minored in Sociology and Political Science. She has served as Director of Philanthropy for Rainbow Village, Manager for the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, and Director of Development for the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership.



  • Coming Soon


9:30 am - 12:30 pm


Georgia Center for Nonprofits
100 Peachtree Street NW
Suite 1500
Atlanta, GA 30303
Get directions

Registration Details

Coming Soon

Member: $150
Nonmember: $195

Questions? Contact us at [email protected] or 678-916-3081.