Grant strategies to build nonprofit capacity

The days of ivory tower philanthropy are over

Charlotte-Melbourne

Author: Charlotte Francis

 

We’re always delighted when feedback from funders resonates with what we tell our clients is best practice. But there’s nothing like hearing it from the horse’s mouth. Seeing and hearing is believing! Here are some recent tips that a funder recently shared with us.

- It’s competitive out there – some grant applications are good, well presented, and meet the criteria, but don’t receive funding because there is not enough money to go around.

- Getting funded sometimes boils down to being in the right place at the right time.phone

- Developing relationships with funders and calling them before you start writing up an application is a key part of the process.

- The days of ivory tower philanthropists are gone – funders like to work in partnership with organisations so that both partners succeed. It’s a two-way process. Funders are approachable and like to learn from the charities they fund. For example, funders are currently learning about the challenges many organisations are encountering as they implement the NDIS.

- Funders like to see you have other funders on board – likewise they may compare notes with other funders about your organisation or projects and work closely with them to co-fund projects.

- Look at a funder’s website and see what they have funded in the past. But be aware that guidelines and priorities may change over time.

- The more sustainable a project is, the better.

- There is a trend towards supporting more multi-year projects meaning fewer but larger projects are getting funded. Funders recognise that it takes time to set up a project – from recruiting and hiring staff to running the project and evaluating it.

- Stand-out projects are those that align with a trust’s guidelines and demonstrate the leadership capacity of the organisation, its position in the sector, solid partnerships and the capacity to sustain and grow the program.

- Make sure your budget is realistic and achievable.

Last but not least, PERSEVERE