Grant strategies to build nonprofit capacity

ClintNZ Author: Clint Dunstan

Last week I was invited to participate in one of our NZ nonprofit partners’ bi-annual planning session as a consultant to their fundraising team. This regional division is part of a larger National organisation working from multiple offices across NZ and delivering services across the country. We commonly see this kind of structure and the grant-seeking issues that frequently go with it when there’s no clear strategy or central coordination point!

It’s vital to the success of your grants program to ensure a coordinated approach to grant-seeking – for all nonprofits, but especially those which are federated.

Communication and Coordination

Avoiding accidentally submitting multiple applications to the same funder is essential in putting your best foot forward (unless the funder accepts multiple applications). We’ve heard from frustrated funders who have received multiple applications from the same organisation – each division of whom were unaware that the other had applied! In some cases, this disqualifies the organisation from receiving any funding! You want to ensure your funders have the utmost trust in your governance processes, and this is a dead giveaway that internal communications and fundraising strategy has gone awry!

Relationships are crucial between Funders and nonprofit organisations of any size – to correctly steward Funder relationships, one point of contact should be established and responsible for managing the correspondence to ensure your funder is appropriately contacted according to their expectations, not bombarded with enquiries and duplicate communications from the same organisation. ClintsBlog ImportanceOfCoordinationImage1

Recognise your unique challenges and get help!

Our nonprofit partner was quick to recognise and address the challenge their divisional structure has to grant-seeking, and addressed it by bringing Strategic Grants in to facilitate problem solving and a new strategy.

By the end of my planning session with our nonprofit partner, a strategic plan to coordinate the funding application process was finalised; with one point of contact (one person) in the organisation to manage their Grants Calendar, oversee administration of their GEM Portal and coordinate the application process of each office across NZ. An excellent outcome for an organisation that have proven to be forward thinking and committed to growing their grants program. An awesome experience to be a part of!

In our Grants Program Review Workshops, we help organisations recognise their unique grant-seeking challenges, whether they relate to their structure, their mission, internal workings, or external pressures; and together - come up with the best plan to address them. If you’d like a chat with one of our Grant Strategists about your organisation’s grant-seeking, get in touch!




Bianca BNE  Author: Bianca Williams

F&P’s 2019 Generosity Forum was held last Friday – a jam packed day of speakers and panellists from Australia’s leading donors, funders and industry experts attended – for those who couldn’t make it, here are some insights into what happened throughout the day.

Representatives from Funders such as Equity Trustees, Sydney Community Foundation and Newman Family Foundation spoke of how and why they engage with selected NFP partners to deliver services to the community – highlighting the need for both Funder and charity partner to align in their mission.

The Forum started with an inspiring discussion with Philanthropist Bill Moss AO and his daughter Natalie Cooney; founders of the FSHD Global Research Fund. Bill Moss lives with Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) and shared his personal struggle with the disease that shaped his families’ philanthropy and mindset on charitable giving. 

John B Fairfax AO and his son Nick Fairfax talked around the importance of trust in grant-making. Giving through the Jibb Foundation and John B Foundation, the father and son duo spoke about the role that philanthropy has played in bringing two generations of family together. “We look for good people, we can trust - that’s essential” stated John B Fairfax.

Rosemary Conn, CEO of Schools Plus, facilitated a session on the Pioneers in Philanthropy initiative – a partnership between Australian business leaders and philanthropists to support disadvantaged schools, and the teachers who work in them to deliver educational opportunities to students regardless of their socio-economic background. Taking part in the session were Philanthropists, Rosie Williams and John Grill AO, who discussed their involvement with the initiative. “Measurable outcomes are a key part of the donation process. How do we know that we’re making a difference?” Rosie Williams stated.

“The best KPI is visiting a school and actually seeing the difference your donation is making” ,John Grill AO talked about the importance of KPI's and engaging with Funders, “I find it extremely satisfying to be part of the process from the beginning. This allows me to see where the money is going and learn what works for the different schools & communities”.

The former Executive Director of The Atlantic Philanthropies, Dr Dave Kennedy, shared his insights on how Chuck Feeney revolutionised Australian philanthropy by giving away $549 million (Australian Dollars) in grants between 1998 and 2016. Dr Kennedy was responsible for managing the grant making process to grow Australia’s biomedical research, higher education, social equity and leadership capabilities; he achieved this by applying Chuck Feeney’s ‘Giving While Living’ philosophy which to date, has influenced some of Australia’s, and the world’s funders.

The Strategic Grants team frequently report on Industry Events throughout the year, if you can’t attend, be sure to check in with our blog posts to read up on the highlights and key take-aways from each event. Blogs are posted regularly, so keep your finger on the pulse, and check out our extensive collection of informative blogs

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