For many nonprofits, grants are the life-line of their fund development plans. That’s why it is critical that Development Directors, Executive Directors and Board members are all on the same page with the “asks” and expectations.
In order to do this, it is important to ask yourself the following questions:
1) Are our own “ducks in a row?”
- Review your case statement – and if you don’t have one, develop one. It is your organization’s personal and compelling rationale for the community needs you are addressing and the unique approach you will utilize to impact real change.
- Be articulate with how your organization fills a “niche” in the community that is unduplicated by other service providers – or clearly define the fact that your programs are more easily implemented and more comprehensive than others that are available.
- Be specific about how you will measure progress and evaluate your success. Funders are looking for tangible, long-term impact.
- Don’t slack in your research! When cash flow is tight, it’s easy to just “scattershoot” and hope that something hits the mark. But mission creep only makes it more difficult in the long run when you have to measure and report outcomes that only vaguely resemble the tenets of your mission.
- Be sure that you know the funder’s deadlines and reporting schedule. It should match your capacity and ability to meet and support their priorities.
- Seek out possible organizational relationships or associations with the funder’s Board of Directors or other decision makers. Often, this step can identify whether there is true alignment between you and can help to create a more valuable and intentional collaboration.
There are also many great resources available to help you find grants. One resource that can be very helpful is Online Directory of Grantmakers. This is one of the many perks of CNM membership. Geared specifically toward the North Texas region, you will find an overview of grantmaker activity in Collin, Dallas, Denton, Hood, Johnson, Parker Tarrant and Wise counties. This great resource can be accessed from your office or home computer any time and at your convenience! For more information about the Online Directory, contact Linda McMillan at McMillan@cnmconnect.org or click here to visit our website.
Contact Jan Allen at Allen@cnmconnect.org