Follow The Directions
Yes, reading and following the directions carefully will eliminate a lot of heartache. In addition, to this golden rule, I’ve compiled nine other recommendations that will increase your grant funding success. These suggestions are based on my own experience and on surveys conducted by the Grant Professionals Association.
1. Be grant ready. This means have all necessary documents, program narratives, and current financial documents in one, easily accessible electronic file. Are your program descriptions current with up-to-date outcomes?
2. Target your funders. Know who funds your type of mission. If your nonprofit is an animal shelter, don’t apply to a funder who only supports the arts.
3. Take the time to build relationships with the program officers or other staff at your local foundations, including corporate foundations.
4. Research new foundations. Don’t assume a foundation will fund your organization year after year. Be ready with new prospects.
5. Consider expanding existing programs for more impact. This is not your decision alone, but if your funding has decreased, this should be considered.
6. Expand your grants. This means asking for support for more than one program or asking for restricted and unrestricted funding in the same proposal.
7. Submit at least five grant applications. According to the 2022 State of Grantseeking Key Findings Report:
a. Applying for at least three grants increased the frequency of winning an award.
b. 25% of organizations that submitted only one application won no awards.
c. 91% of organizations that submitted three – five applications reported winning at least one award.
d. 96% organizations that submitted six – ten applications reported winning at least one award.
8. Plan your applications around your current workload. Unplanned opportunities may arise but make sure they’re worth the time and effort. In other words, don’t chase the money.
9. Review your current strategy. Are you successful? Could you increase the number of grant awards? What do you need to change to increase your successes? Be sure to analyze your grant work along the way to see if you need to course correct.
Understanding the grant process takes times and expertise. We offer a variety of grant services. Let us know how we can help.
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.