Author: Harriett Carter
Less than a month now until nearly 150 of Australia’s finest sportspeople head to Rio to test their strength, pace and endurance at the Rio Olympics and Paralympics.
Just how do they do it? All those early starts, restricted diets, endless training……personally, the pre-dawn alarms alone would be enough to put me off. Some will be first timers, but for others, like champion swimmer Cate Campbell or rower Kim Brennan, this is their third Olympic call-up. THIRD! That’s got to be at least 12 years of incredibly hard slog in an incredibly competitive environment.
So how do they achieve this success? Consistency. They show up. Day in, day out, and consistently work their hearts out, hoping against hope for selection.
Hang on, hard slog in a competitive environment – sound familiar? Surely that also paints a picture of us as fundraisers, right? Particularly when it comes to grants management. So how important is consistency in our day to day work patterns?
Short answer – very. Here’s a quick consistency health-check for your grants program:
1. Consistency in your Funder Relationships.
When was the last time you checked in with your grant funder, to give them an update on project progress? If the answer’s more than 6 months, then it’s time to pick up that phone. Remember, your funder is your investor – they’re as keen to achieve good outcomes as you are.
2. Consistency of Messages.
Take a look at your last few grants submissions – are your organisational responses consistent? Do they match the information that’s on your website and in your Strategic Plan, or does it just depend on who wrote it up that day?
Having clear, consistent messaging in your grants responses (and, in fact, right across your organisation) is so important. Think about developing a Key Messages document if your fundraising team doesn’t already have one.
3. Consistency with Project Partners
If you’re working on a funded project with a number of partners, think about how you share your information and keep all parties up to date. If your team, as the lead agency, reports back to the funder, make sure everyone gets a copy of that report so they’re up to speed. This not only keeps your partners happy, but also gives the funder confidence that you’re working as a well-oiled machine.
So, remember, consistency is key and groundwork is key to consistency. Stick at it, persevere (and go the Aussies!).