Grants can be a very important part of your integrated fundraising strategy. Whether you are just getting started or looking to build your grant system, take a look at some of my previous articles on Why Demonstrating Grant Sustainability is Important and What Comes First: The Grant or the Budget for more tips.
Show Your Worth
Have you gotten everything in order to show your worth as a nonprofit deserving of a funder’s support? Do you have recommended polices and procedures in place? Do you have detailed narratives written on your programs and accomplishments? Can you show how you are making an impact? Make sure you can stand out in a crowded field of other nonprofit organizations.
Be a Good investment
Much like a business must demonstrate that they are a good investment for a bank, nonprofits must show they are able to utilize a funder’s resources effectively.
Two areas funders pay close attention:
Is your leadership consistent or have you had considerable turn over? If you have new leadership, have they reached out to your major donors and local foundations? Do you have updated financials created by an outside financial expert with nonprofit experience? Have you calculated your overhead rate from your last 990? Click HERE for an article on how to calculate this.
Finally, much like the world on online dating apps, not every potential funder is a swipe right. Make sure you match your organization’s work with the funder’s focus. Don’t chase funding and try to create a new program for potential grants. I always recommend starting out with 12 – 15 good, well-researched foundations for organizations beginning their grant work. While a list of 100 seems great, don’t try the “Spray and Pray” approach where you apply for every funder in sight. Be selective and be strategic.
Michelle Crim, CFRE
Dynamic Development Strategies can help. We offer fundraising coaching, grant writing, and nonprofit training for our clients. We specialize in smaller nonprofits because we understand your challenges. Please contact us for more information.