Mission Driven Not Funding Driven: Let’s put the horse before the cart
I’ve sometimes been asked “What sorts of projects are funders wanting to fund?”, with a view to my answer informing the types of services or programs the organisation will seek to deliver once the expected funding is received.
This is most definitely a case of putting the cart before the horse! Funders are looking for projects that make sense. They want to know that the project fits with your mission and is addressing an identified community need.
Your mission, supported by a well-developed strategic plan, must be the driver or indeed the “horse” to your grant-seeking “cart”.
Successful grant-seeking relies on:
Research that identifies and documents the need for funding in an area that aligns with your mission
Collaboration with other services providers to avoid replication; identifying service priorities and create strong referral pathways for the sustainability of the project
Robust operational or project plans that both implement your strategic plan and clearly define the project you would like funded.
Let’s put the horse before the cart!
Clear project plans can demonstrate how the identified need will be met using evidence based research; use rigorous methods for measuring project outcomes and impact; and contain properly costed budgets.
Taking these steps will mean you are well placed to present strong and successful applications to funders and provide the best outcomes for the people it is your mission to serve.