Grant strategies to build nonprofit capacity

#warmfuzzy: remembering why we do what we do

JaneAuthor: Jane Symonds

So many of us are drawn into fundraising by a desire to do good, a yen to contribute something positive to our world and our community.

For some, fundraising is a calling.

But it's also a job, and like any job it can be hard to maintain that feeling of inspiration and purpose day in and day out, particularly when you're contending with mundane realities like budgets and processes and documents.

This week here at SG, our whole team has been working on assisting a range of small and larger nonprofit organisations with their submissions to the Federal Indigenous Advancement Strategy funding round. It's been flat out, and at times downright stressful, with a huge deadline looming and detailed criteria to meet.

But as we come to the end of the week, and the applications are safely arriving in the submissions inbox, there's an overwhelming feeling that every ounce of work is worth it.

It's worth it, obviously, because we can feel like we've helped put great organisations with great projects in the best possible position to receive much-needed funding. That's the no-brainer: where we can help organisations succeed, it's worth doing what we do.

But there are other highlights, too.

We've connected with new people (heck, scratch that – we've made new friends!) – people with fascinating experience, contagious spirit and a real connection to the needs and direction of their community.

We've learned a whole lot about community organisations from places right across Australia. We've heard their voices, and helped to tell their stories.

For me, personally, the best thing is that we've been able to give support that will endure beyond this funding round. Being able to give feedback to these nonprofits on their application drafts, and seeing them respond to that, learn from it, and produce exponentially stronger responses the second time around, is incredible – because we also know that this experience, knowledge and capacity will be with them the next time they seek funding, and the time after that, and...

It's a nice reminder, as we prepare for our next round of Grant-Seeker Workshops next week, that so much of what we do is about empowering fundraisers and nonprofits to be able to seek grants effectively, and that short-term support can mean long-term impact.

So, although Team SG needs double-strength coffee today, we're all full of renewed inspiration to get stuck into the next application, the next training session, the next challenge. And really – you can't ask for much more than that on a Friday!