Building grants and major donors into the Board agenda

Recently, I had the privilege of presenting to a charitable foundation’s Board during their strategy planning day.

The focus of my presentation included providing the Board with an overview of the Grants and Funding landscape, and the role Board members can play in proactively engaging with major donors, trusts and foundations and ancillary funds aligned to their charitable organisation.

Understanding the landscape is always a helpful place to set the scene. In the ever-changing world of raising funds, grant-makers are a significant avenue for securing stable, long-term support to fulfil charitable organisations’ missions.

Through this presentation, I aimed to demonstrate the importance of Board Members understanding these philanthropic entities, recognising their transformative potential as valued funding partners.

Educating Boards on Trusts and Foundations

Key insights shared during the presentation emphasised:

  • The growth of structured giving vehicles and how they play a critical role in Australia’s philanthropy
  • The consistent expectations from all funders
  • Metrics speak volumes: demonstrating quantifiable impact assures funders that their investments yield real change
  • Seeking funds from Trusts and Foundations requires strategic planning and exceptional relationship building
  • Showing best-practices demonstrated by successful for-purpose organisations.

This presentation wasn’t limited to theory. I discussed actionable recommendations for Board Members to begin implementing right away including the following points:

  • The heart of fundraising lies in trusted relationships. Board Members can be incredible connectors by leveraging their existing relationships and introducing the charitable organisation to potential partners including those that are trustees and Private Ancillary Fund Directors
  • Including a standing agenda item in your Board or Committee meetings that reviews your current Trusts and Foundations strategies, helping to identify who on your Board can lead meetings
  • Taking the lead in personally inviting prospective funders to your organisation’s special events, functions or tours.

Regularly, I have the opportunity to represent Strategic Grants, both directly engaging with a diverse range of for-purpose organisations and leading workshops. Witnessing the enthusiasm and renewed vigour of engaged staff and Boards for their respective causes is undoubtedly one of the most rewarding aspects of my role.

Not sure where to start with grants?

If your organisation’s Board is on the cusp of an upcoming meeting and you’re eager to see Board members armed with the knowledge to actively contribute to your charitable organisation’s fundraising success, I encourage you to reach out to see how we can help.

If you are not sure on where to begin with finding suitable grant-makers and other funders for your cause, you can read more here about our Grants Expertise Management System – GEMS. No matter which sector or State(s) you work in, GEMS includes:

  • Public and Private Ancillary Funds
  • Trusts and Foundations
  • Health and medical research funders including peer-reviewed
  • Corporate Foundations
  • Local, State and Federal government grants and tenders
  • International funders that give to Australian-based organisations

Remember, each member of your Board has been hand-picked for their experience, expertise, and the valuable connections they’ve made throughout their careers. Armed with understanding of the grants landscape and willingness to contribute, your Board has the potential to take your grants program to new heights!

Interested in talking to us about how Strategic Grants can empower your Board to boost your grant-seeking? Drop us a line and let’s chat!

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