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A Letter from an Evaluator ·

October 30, 2019

A Letter from an Evaluator

  • By: Unfunded List

My name is Chris Trull and I am an evaluator for the Unfunded List.

I have enjoyed reviewing proposals for this program since the very first round of applications. This year I am stepping up my commitment by making my first financial contribution to the Unfunded List. I write you today to ask you to join me. Way back in 2006, Dave accepted an unpaid internship in my office. He moved himself from Maine to DC and began his career in fundraising. When he founded the Unfunded List in 2015, I was one of the first evaluators to join his committee and I have even submitted some of my own proposals for review. Last Spring, it was my pleasure to speak on a panel at Unfunded University. 

Having been so involved with the organization since the beginning, I know how thoughtful and responsive Dave and Margaret are about the program. At the end of each round, they dive deep into their process to come up with improvements that make it easier for evaluators like us to provide helpful and candid feedback. Those of you who have reviewed before have probably noticed these responsive changes. Unfunded List now has powerful tools and a strong, vast network that we can leverage to support fledgling organizations in the social sector. The new custom software they have built is driving a powerful program that will provide substantial support for 138 proposals this year alone. But it is not technology alone that drives this program. Every time I have had a question about a proposal, the process, or my assignments, Dave has been quick to respond, answer, and explain. I appreciate how thoughtful he and Margaret are when they assign my proposals; they are always the perfect fit for my professional skills and interests.

There is still a lot more we could be doing and a lot of unfunded groups we have yet to reach. With increased resources and your continued support of the program, I am confident that Dave, the board, and all of us can continue to grow, build, and improve this already impressive program. I hope you’ll consider joining me by making a tax-deductible gift by the end of the year.

Hundreds of different social impact programs from all over the world have benefited from our efforts. Entrepreneurs from around the world have received advice from U.S.-based fundraising consultants with decades of experience. Elite funders and established nonprofits have received feedback directly from workers in the field about the true impact of their programs. Organizations that were having a hard time “getting in front” of foundations have been introduced and received their very first grants. All in all, Unfunded List has provided thousands and thousands of pages of feedback from hundreds of experts to hundreds of programs from dozens of countries. Along the way we found several million dollars in new funding for proposals and projects that would otherwise have been forgotten.

However, none of this would be possible without your support and dedication to our mission.

Equally important are the countless shifts, pivots, revamps, rebrands, partnerships, relationships, and “aha!” moments that we have been able to influence by providing helpful and candid feedback to talented folks trying to build up programs and solve real challenges. Not every program needs to be funded right now, but every program needs feedback. 

Unfunded List has a lot planned for 2020, including numerous opportunities for evaluators and supporters to get more directly involved with the organization and help shape its future. In February, we will host our second Evaluator Summit at George Washington University. Last year’s Summit was a huge success and we engaged 50 of our evaluators, building reviewing and fundraising skills and deepening connections within the organization. This year, we hope to continue that momentum as we partner with other grantmakers on an event that is quickly becoming the world’s preeminent event for philanthropic reviewers. In the Spring, we will once again host our annual supporter’s weekend, “Unfunded in the Pines” in Pinehurst, North Carolina. 

To make all this a reality, we hope we can count on your support by the end of the year.

Unfunded List offers many ways to make your contribution:

You can give online conveniently and safely. Unfunded List processes online contributions through a secure PayPal portal. Giving takes just a few moments and you will instantly receive a tax receipt.  Our donation page also makes it easy for you to sign up to make a monthly contribution. 

Make a gift online.

Make your gift online!

If you give through a donor advised fund or other giving vehicle, we can provide our information upon request (IRS tax exempt number, wire transfer information). Those of you who are representatives of larger funds or foundations should contact Dave directly if you think there is an opportunity for Unfunded List to submit a request.

You can also mail your contribution:

Unfunded List ℅ OpenGov HUB

1110 Vermont Avenue NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20005

We know you have many other causes you care about and certainly there is no shortage of worthy endeavors to support. As evaluators for Unfunded List, we are uniquely aware of this fact. I hope you will consider joining me in making a financial contribution to the Unfunded List organization by the end of 2019 to help ensure a successful 2020 for all the unfunded. 

Best,

Chris Trull

Unfunded List Evaluator

P.S. Stay tuned to your inbox for this year’s Unfunded List announcement. We will be highlighting some of the most interesting proposals from this fall’s impressive batch.