As a seasoned grant writer and trainer, I’ve written how grants are not easy money. Click HERE for the article.
I’m often asked by newer nonprofits on WHEN they should start writing grants. Although well-intentioned board members might suggest to start fundraising with grants, that is not the reality.
Here are five milestones to reach before starting your grant seeking.
Nonprofit Has Been in Existence for Minimum of Three Years
While this isn’t a magical number, this means your organization has had several years of programs and collecting data. Many foundations are wary of funding start-up nonprofits.
Board Is Giving at 100%
Yes, every board member needs to contribute financially to the organization. While some nonprofits set minimum giving levels, I prefer to let each board member give at a level that is significant to them.
Strong Base of Individual Giving
During your early years, you need to identify and cultivate a wide-range of individual givers. Establish a monthly giving program as well as having annual appeals.
You have defined programs and are collecting data on your results. Are you tracking the work (outputs) and the results (outcomes)? Are you collecting demographics on the populations you are serving?
I also recommend having at least one staff person before seeking grant funding. Someone will need to be responsible for researching, writing, and administering the grants. Volunteer board members are not usually able to manage the entire process.
Be ready for grants is an important milestone for a nonprofit. Click HERE for tips on establishing grant success.
Michelle Crim, CFRE
Dynamic Development Strategies can help. We offer coaching, grant writing, and fundraising services for our nonprofit clients. We specialize in small to mid-size organizations because we understand your challenges. Please contact us for more information.