As a Client Manager and Grants Strategist at Strategic Grants, I am privileged to help support many dedicated professionals working in for-purpose organisations.

Regardless of whether an organisation delivers services to better our health, hospitals, the environment, support disability or disadvantaged beneficiaries, the roles I meet with regularly have all had, or currently, experience what we call ‘pain points’ in grant-seeking.  

These pain points are, in fact, common challenges and can be felt by many different roles in organisations including CEOs, fundraising teams, business development, program leads and program evaluators.

Without addressing your grant-seeking pain points, your organisation’s ability to increase revenue from grants can be negatively affected, reducing your organisation’s capacity to have a diversified fundraising strategy.

So, what are the common challenges?

Well, there are a lot! Below is a list of what we hear most from clients:

Capacity and human resourcing challenges

  • Staff are wearing many hats and getting to the point where they cannot focus on things properly, leading to overwhelmed and under-resourced staff
  • Recruiting for roles to support a grants program is taking much longer than expected
  • New staff member has limited grants and or sector experience

Internal processes and system challenges

  • Often, it is as simple as not knowing where to start with grant-seeking! 
  • Organisations have no strategic processes in place for running a grants program
  • Staff are reactive, applying for grants at the last minute and/or applying for grants that are not in line with the organisation’s strategic objectives
  • Sometimes, organisations discover grants that were never acquitted, funders not acknowledged, and impact not reported. There is the uncertainty of ‘where to go from here’
  • There is a lack of grants history — nothing is saved in their CRM — nor is there a central way of tracking when reports are due

 Program planning and evaluation challenges

  • Unsure of where funding priorities lie, or who to speak to from their programs/operations teams on what funding is needed where
  • They have no idea where to start with measurement and evaluation so outcomes and impact reports can be shared with donors and funding partners 
  • Project evaluation is not built into project design, so organisations find it difficult to know what the outcomes really are, which affects forward program planning

Prospect research challenges

  • Not enough time to research relevant funding opportunities
  • Not sure what funding opportunities to prioritise
  • Applying to the same funders each year
  • Do not know where or how to find new sources of funders for capital campaigns / significant one-off projects

Communication challenges

  • Lack of confidence or skills with pitching their needs to funders
  • Do not know what to include in an application/funder report and how to write effectively
  • Do not know what to say when calling a funder

If any of these points sound familiar…

You are not alone! Thankfully, we have a team of experts at Strategic Grants that can help to address your grant-seeking pain points and get you back on track to fulfilling your organisation’s mission!

A great place to start is downloading our free Best Practice Tracker. This tool, designed by our team of evaluation and grants experts, will help identify where you are doing well in your approach to grant- seeking and areas to work on to optimise results. If your score is below 24 – get in touch to see how we can help.

Our Grants Expertise Management System (GEMS) can address your prospect research challenges, track your applications and communication with funders to enable you to deliver a best-practice grant-seeking program.

We have a wealth of practical tips on our blog, covering many of the above pain points.

Some of our favourites (and most popular!):

And finally, our online training library covers topics from beginner grant-seeking to project planning to evaluation and social impact.

The Strategic Grants team is here to help turn your challenges into successes. Reach out to find out how we can help.