Returning to community resources

By Marisol Fornoni

I stumbled upon this interesting article from Vu Le, who runs a blog called Non Profit With Balls entitled “Why individual donations strategies often do not work for communities of colour”.

I strongly encourage anyone interested in fundraising or entering the fundraising profession to read this. Fundraising a lot of the times is based on connections. That’s something what smaller grassroots organizations and communities of color need to think of. There is a lot of privilege within the non-profit sector that determines where money gets allocated and who gets funding. It’s easier for white fundraising professionals to be connected to higher points in the hierarchy of power and money.

As the article says “We need to accept the premise that fundraising, the way we understand and practice it currently, is historically designed for white fundraisers to work with white donors.”  The assumption that immigrant or communities of color have access to the same relationships and resources is not true. This is why many grassroots groups from these communities are returning to more guerrilla style fundraising techniques. Next time we will share some of these techniques with you.

Stay tuned.



By Marisol Fornoni

Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions out there when it comes to grants. It’s incredibly hard for first-timers to get their grant application approved. As competition increases for funding and funding continues being cut, it has become harder to obtain funding for organizations that are piloting new ideas or that have no ‘track record of success’ (as funders like to call it). Funders want to see previous experience and be certain that you have a solid capacity of carrying out a project according to their terms.

If you do not have experience carrying out any projects make sure you do! Run a trial and document everything; the good, the bad and the ugly. If you then decide to apply for funding use this documentation to answer these core questions every funder asks in detail:

  • Which community members and stakeholders will benefit the most from your project?
  • How will you involve participants during the planning and execution phases?
  • How will you measure or evaluate the impact of your project?
  • Do you have a work plan outlining all project steps, timeline, and resources?
  • What experience and/or qualifications does your organization have to carry out this project?
  • If activities continue beyond the term of the grant, how will they be sustained?


Lost Lyrics welcomes its new Staff Team

Lost Lyrics would is excited to welcome our new staff team members. These three ladies makeup the new backbone of the Lost Lyrics family and we are happy to have them on board to help move us forward to the next level.

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Paulina O’Kieffe – Initiative Lead

Paulina O’Kieffe is a Toronto spoken word artist, arts educator, project manager, mom of 2 and a self proclaimed travel junkie. The Founder/Artistic Director of Guerrilla of the Word Productions Paulina has been performing spoken word poetry and using it as a means to teach young people in a number of communities about self-education, expression and empowerment for the last 11 years. Paulina has also worked in community in many capacities through organizations such as Toronto Housing, For Youth Initiative, Art Starts and Tropicana Community Services.

When she is not having epic adventures with her two kids, you can find Paulina immersed in a number of projects from consulting community organizations on growth and development to laying down tracks in the studio and performing on stages across the city.




Marisol Fornoni – Resource Coordinator

Marisol is passionate about all things related to gender and grassroots organizing. Marisol has experience in different areas of fundraising and is honored to be part of the Lost Lyrics team in this capacity. She also works with JDC, an organization that supports non-profits and social enterprises with fundraising and communications help.



Veronica Fredericks – Program Coordinator 

Veronica Fredericks an artist-educator based in Scarborough. She is currently completing graduate school at the University of Toronto, in the Curriculum Studies and Teacher Development program. As an educator she is focused on helping young people develop skills towards civic engagement that will allow them to be advocates for themselves, advocates for their communities, and mobilize community members around policy change.