Working closely with hundreds of for-purpose / non-profit organisations, Strategic Grants often assists in navigating the complexities of securing Trusts and Foundations (T&F) funding. 

A recent surge in enquiries has prompted me to reflect on this. Today, I share what I believe are the fundamentals for running a T&F program. 

1. Research 

The first step in any successful T&F program is thorough research. This involves identifying potential funding sources that align with the organisation’s mission and projects.  

Our solution to your T&F research needs is to arm your organisation with the Grants Expertise Management System (GEMS) to help you identify the right funding opportunities. 

2. Relationship building

Building strong relationships with Trusts and Foundations is crucial. This involves regular communication, attending networking events, and engaging with funders in ways that are meaningful and suitable. Trusts and Foundations are more likely to support organisations they know and trust, so building and maintaining these relationships is key.  

3. Proposal development  

Writing compelling grant applications and funder proposals is another essential for securing funding from Trusts and Foundations. Each proposal should clearly articulate the impact the funding will have.  

4. Grant management 

Once funding is secured, effective grant management is essential. This involves having strong internal processes such as tracking project budgets, meeting reporting requirements, internal progress meetings and ensuring compliance with the funder’s guidelines.  

And if you are a GEMS subscriber, the built-in Application Tracker is the perfect tool to manage grant deadlines, funding history and reporting dates. 

5. Stewardship 

Acknowledging and recognising the support of Trusts and Foundations should not be overlooked. Strong stewardship practices involves keeping funders informed of the impact of their funding and kindly thanking them for their support.  

6. Evaluation 

Non-profits are spending more time evaluating their service delivery and programs. Often overlooked is evaluating the effectiveness of the actual Trusts and Foundations program, crucial for continuous improvement. Evaluating the T&F program involves assessing the impact of the funding received and using learnings to improve future grant applications and relationships.  

Our team at Strategic Grants help our clients measure the effectiveness of its Trusts and Foundations program. One way we help our clients measure the effectiveness of its T&F program is by working with them to assess performance against our Best Practice Tracker.  


Finally, it’s really important to stay informed about changes in the funding landscape and adapt strategies accordingly. This may involve identifying new funding opportunities, developing new partnerships, or changing the focus of your fundraising efforts.  

In conclusion, by focusing on these seven fundamentals, non-profits can maximise their impact and secure the funding they need to achieve their goals.  

Do you need any support in developing and resourcing these T&F fundamentals? We’d love to hear from you.  

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