Brad and I meet with nonprofit leaders from across the country every day – can you guess one of the questions we get asked frequently?
Anything related to GRANTS! 🌟
Grants strategy can help your nonprofit drive social progress, ignite innovation, and be the change you wish to see. And these statistics prove it! 👇
✨ There are over 86,000 grant-making entities in the United States, ready to support organizations like yours in making a difference.
✨ Every year, hundreds of billions of dollars in grant funds are awarded to nonprofits by corporations, foundations, and governments
That’s a LOT of fundraising opportunity for your nonprofit!
Applying for grants can provide your organization with the financial resources needed to scale your programs and amplify your community impact – if you approach it strategically!
Follow these 3 tips to take your Grants Strategy to the next level.
1. Focus on Relationships
Fundraising is about ✨ RELATIONSHIPS ✨
You hear us say this all the time! From cultivating individual donors to identifying potential corporate partners – people are much more likely to donate to your nonprofit when you’ve spent time getting to know each other.
Here’s a little secret… 🤫 The same is true when applying for grants!
Before you apply for a grant, get to know the funder and their priorities.
A great first step is to set up a call to talk with the funder, review your organization and its capabilities, and have a good feeling that your application will get a serious “look.” Many times, funders offer scheduled technical assistance calls or webinars to go over the grant solicitation – attend those to get a better idea of the grant’s scope and ask any questions you might have!
2. Apply to the Right Grants
According to Charity Science, a foundation grant may take between 15-20 hours to complete, while typical federal grants might take over 100 hours to complete. 😱
That’s a LOT of time!
To make sure the grant you’re applying for is worth the time and effort, ask yourself these questions:
✅ Does this grant align with your organization’s vision, mission, and values?
✅ Is there a serious, urgent need in your community for this project?
✅ Does your organization have relevant and current experience serving the target population identified by the grant?
✅ What expected outcomes are the funder seeking? Does your current program have the capability of achieving those outcomes?
✅ Does your nonprofit have staffing in place to perform the necessary services?
✅ Do you have a financial tracking or cost management system that can segregate and allocate costs by grant?
✅ What are the payment terms? If the grant pays through reimbursement, does your nonprofit have sufficient funds (working capital) to cover ongoing costs between payments?
3. Balance Your Fundraising
Grant rich, organization poor.
Have you heard this phrase before?
While grants can provide crucial support, it’s important to ensure they align with your financial and programmatic needs.
Most grants are designed to cover direct program costs along with usually 10% for general operating (indirect) expenses. You might be saying, “But wait, my general operating costs are more than 10% – where does the rest of the money come from?”
It’s time to focus on securing the remaining funds needed to keep your organization strong and sustainable! 💪 Diversify your funding sources, invest in fundraising efforts, and cultivate relationships with donors who understand the importance of supporting operational sustainability. Let’s ensure your organization thrives beyond just program costs. 🌟
Remember, with fundraising and grants – balance is key! 🔑
Do you have questions about grants strategy? We’d love to help! Set up a complimentary call so we can discuss it further.