Grant strategies to build nonprofit capacity
Author: Jo Garner
12 months ago, I realised a personal goal of becoming a grant-maker, through my role as one of six founding members of Queensland's first Giving Circle, Women & Change.
In my role with Strategic Grants, we have consulted to various funders over the years, and have worked with many more in the delivery of our Grant-Seeker Workshops.
Through those relationships we have collated so much feedback on the challenges (and rewards) they face as grant-makers: from receiving phone calls from prospective applicants who have not yet read the guidelines, to the worst-case scenario – receiving applications that are ineligible.
Having just been through our first Women & Change grants assessment process, I have to say that (in addition to being terribly excited to award our inaugural grant of $52,000 on 5 November) there have been frustrations that I am now experiencing first-hand.
So, wearing my grant-maker hat, and to add to what we have learnt over the years in helping charities develop and sustain successful grant-seeking programs, here are the very basic but golden rules to follow when you are next applying for a grant:
- Read the guidelines.
- Don't ignore the guidelines. They are developed to ensure that the philanthropists' intent is met in grants that are awarded, so adhere to them. This includes:
- abiding by the word limits
- confirming your eligibility (for example, does your annual revenue need to be under a certain figure to be eligible to apply?)
- ensuring that all attachments are provided as requested
- providing answers to the questions asked
- checking spelling and grammar
- Don't forget: trusts, foundations, collective giving groups and other funders are established with the purpose of making grants. They want to give money to support worthy causes that align with their own missions. Encourage the growth of philanthropy by exciting philanthropists.
To learn more about best-practice grant-seeking, check out our Training page for our range of learning opportunities, including half-day workshops where you can learn all the essentials from one of our Grants Specialists and one of our funder friends.
Author: Harriett Carter
Your killer grant application is coming along nicely, you've finally nailed the difference between outputs, outcomes and impact, and you're on the home stretch – oh so close...
When you pour your heart and soul into a grant application (and sometimes some blood, sweat and tears), you run the risk of getting too familiar with the content.
Stop. Perspective time.
Hand that draft over to someone else – preferably someone who knows very little about your project.
Their fresh eyes will easily spot whether you've clearly answered the questions, and whether you've fully explained the need.
If the reader can't give you a 25-words-or-less nutshell summary of your request, it's time to revisit your words and dig out those buried points!
Having time to get someone to review your application is just one more reason to be working well in advance of grant deadlines.
Recent blog posts
- Q & A with one of our GEM Local subscribers - Pound Paws Inc.
- Positive (largely) funder news update from Jo Garner – let’s keep working together
- Viruses – Biological and Technological
- Grant-seeking in uncertain times
- Communications Beyond Clever Words – Using evidence to convince your supporters
- The ins and outs of outcomes and outputs – getting it right in your grant applications
- Retaining organisational knowledge is crucial to a successful grants program
- Strategic Grants Research Blog Series - Part 3
- The Musts for 2020 Grants Success!