Grantwriting is More than Just Asking for Money

Grantwriting involves a lot more than simply filling out an application asking for money. The infrastructure and operations of your organization play a big role in determining which types of grants and how much funding you qualify to receive, so it’s important to make sure every part of your organization is working together as you enter your next grant application process. In Season 3, Episode 5, I spoke with Danielle Tong from The Kind Elephant about how to effectively measure and communicate your outcomes to grant makers. I also asked Rachel Stanley from the Latin American Association to tell me how she works with the other departments in her organization to write better grants.


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☑️ When applying for a grant, demonstrate effectiveness and efficiency.

Grantors are not only looking at your mission, but also for data which shows that your mission is impactful. Make sure you are able to really quantify your success in fulfilling your mission. Whenever you feel you’re lacking in metrics, find literature to accompany your grant applications.

☑️ Plan out your metrics BEFORE you start looking for grants.

Front-loading your measurement methods will help you when you go to hire a grantwriter or write your own grant. If you know HOW you are going to measure your success, the measurement itself becomes a lot easier.

☑️ Take the time to know the ins and outs of your entire organization.

More than likely, your organization has multiple people handling various bits and pieces of your operations. Leaders need to take a magnifying glass to every area of the nonprofit to help pinpoint any efficiency issues your organization may have.

☑️ Keep open communication with your program and finance teams at all times.

It is extremely important to be organized and clear about the expectations of every department in terms of grantwriting. (Listen to the full episode for examples of how each department is involved in the grant process.) Also be clear about the goals and requirements associated with each grant you write. If others in your nonprofit know what the grant could provide for them, they will be more motivated to get involved in the process.

☑️ Expect to be in regular contact with your grantwriter.

Many times, people expect to hire a grantwriter and have them handle the grant in its entirety. This is simply unrealistic--your grantwriter will need a lot of information on the front end, as well as regular reports throughout the year. Expect this to be a two-way relationship.

And if you need more help...

☑️ Email me and tell me what's going on at your nonprofit.

What are your current goals? What issues are you facing? Give me some background information, and we'll go from there! I never charge for an initial consultation, and I'll be honest if I can't help you. I'll also be happy to connect you with the other resources in my network who may be able to provide better advice or services for your situation.

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