Fund Development and Grantwriting for Zach's Toy Chest

Fund Development and Grantwriting for Zach’s Toy Chest


The Cause

Zach’s Toy Chest donates toys, games, books and other essential items that help boost the spirits of patients of all ages receiving cancer treatment at North Carolina hospitals.  A well stocked toy chest ensures all patients have a gift for the holidays, birthdays, end of treatment parties and most importantly, a little something to serve as a reward for their courage in fighting childhood cancer.   We are 100% volunteer run and currently provide year round donations to Duke Children’s Hospital, UNC Children’s Hospital and The Brody School of Medicine’s Outpatient Hematology-Oncology clinic in NC.

The Challenge

We are rapidly growing and have a need to expand the nonprofit in order to continue to keep up with the demand at the hospitals as we are the only group that donates year-round.  There are just under 800 children a week at Duke and UNC combined that are seen for a form of childhood cancer and are there receiving treatment.  At the stage our nonprofit is currently at, we are not able to keep up with the demand from the hospitals we currently serve.  We would also like to expand to a children’s hospital in the Charlotte area and then could service the entire state of NC.  We need to continue to grow and keep up with the demand at local NC hospitals.  We need the support of funders and the general public, along with assistance in finding suitable grant funding through local foundations.

The Project: Fund Development and Grantwriting

Estimated Volunteer Time (Now – April 30):

36-38 hours


The professional(s) will:

1. Meet with organization leadership / appropriate stakeholders to discuss and compile information about the organization’s mission, goals, current funding plan, past grant applications, project budget, and challenges.

2. Investigate funding challenges and opportunities.

  • Identify a broad range of fundraising methods that may be appropriate / align with organization’s mission.
    Investigate untapped resources with a goal of diversifying and increasing funds and recommend at least 10, up to 5 of which can be grant sources.
  • Explore role of grants in the organization’s funding needs and make a recommendation on grant strategy as applicable within a diverse funding plan.
  • Draft a basic fund development strategic plan to cover a 1-3 year period for the organization.
  • Review plan with organization leadership for input and feedback.
  • Revise / update plan as needed based on feedback.

3. Draft a grant proposal for the selected grant.

  • Select 1 grant from the list of new grant sources identified previously.
  • Using compiled information, compose a grant proposal.
  • Review proposal template draft with organization leadership.
  • Complete up to one round of revisions to the proposal.
  • Send the revised proposal to the organization to submit for the grant.


End Result

The project will result in the following deliverables:

  • A Fund Development strategic plan for 1-3 year period.
  • 10 recommendations for untapped fundraising resources, up to 5 of which can be recommendations for new grant sources that align with the organization’s needs.
  • A grant proposal with up to one round of revisions the organization can submit for funding and re-use for future grant applications.


This will be a game changer for us because it will allow us to purchase and donate enough toys and other essentials the hospitals need so that every child receiving treatment for childhood cancer will be able to get a ‘something special’ for their courage in fighting cancer in North Carolina.  Currently the demand is much higher than what we can supply without additional funds.  We cannot continue to grow unless there are more donations that allow us to take care of these kids.

The application for this project is now closed, if you are interested in taking on this project or something like it, contact for more information.