Grant strategies to build nonprofit capacity
Collins & Co 2018 Conference: Empowerment through Knowledge - Top tips on grant-seeking, donor engagement and writing
- Published: Friday, 23 March 2018 16:05
To these doubting Thom(ases)/(sinas), I say simply: don’t just take our word for it, listen directly to what a funder has to say. So, it was pure nectar to my grant-seeking soul to hear Natalie Egleton, CEO at the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR), speak at the sixth annual Collins & Co Conference in Melbourne last week. As Natalie pointed out, they’ve seen a lot of applications at FRRR and know what stands out. I love the honesty with which she spoke: ‘Grants may seem the easiest [among the fundraising mix] but they are hard work and bring responsibilities”
• Be clear and specific early in the application about what you are seeking funding for, especially if you are requesting a contribution towards a larger project.
• Who are the project partners and what are the efficiency gains?
• Be specific about the beneficiaries – both primary and secondary. Avoid blanket phrases such as ‘the whole community benefits’.
• What are the key stages of the project and what is the time frame? Grant writing is like writing a business case
• Retrospective funding is a no-no as, legally, that would be reimbursement not a grant.
• Evaluation – how will you determine what success looks like? Be realistic about what will be done and by whom and that you have the capability. “Measurement is about you – not the funder – how will you use the information to learn and grow?”
• Get to know them
• Stay in touch with newsletters, updates and social media
• Be honest and transparent. For example, if the project changes and their money is not spent as planned, tell them.
• Make them feel special and involve them. Listen to them – don’t just talk about your organisation.
• Seek their opinion.
• The most important word in fundraising is Thank You.
• Get to the point ASAP
• Keep it simple and uncluttered
• Use plain English
• Short words are better than long ones
• Make your sentences shorter and vary the lengths of your sentences
• Allocate time and space – writing takes time
• If you can, sleep on it and re-read the next day before sending.
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