22 Feb Relationships Matter – Part 2
Part 2- Connecting with Grantmakers & Funders
The winning formula to building nonprofit revenue is 75% donations, 15% sponsors and 10% grants. With that said, how important is it to connect with Grantmakers & Funders? Don’t we just have to submit the grant application and then wait for the reviewers to see what a great job we are doing and send us the check? I remind you that there are more than five-thousand agencies in this county alone and every agency is competing for those grant dollars. Can you imagine a foundation receiving five-hundred grant applications and trying to pick out the best of the best? What is going to make your application stand out?
Let’s start with BEFORE you submit the grant application. Your grant writer usually checks the Funder website and makes sure that your agency programs align with the Funder mission and goals. Now there can be two scenarios: (a) the Funder states that they are INVITATION ONLY! Now don’t give up here, but instead research the Grant Manager, find out their email and phone number, and get on the phone and call them or email them a great description of your agency programs and how they align with the foundation’s mission and goals. Sign up for the foundation’s newsletter and send them your agency’s newsletter. Build a relationship so that one day the Funder does invite your agency to apply; (b) the Funder states the grant application period is open, gives the submission date, a grant application to fill out and a list of documents that are required. You only have to call if you have a technical question.
Now the grant application is SUBMITTED on time with all the required documentation. You think you are done? No! this is the time to have your agency CEO, Director or Program Chair, call the Funder and connect and let the Funder know your agency has submitted an application and talk a little bit about yourself, your role, the Board members and all the great things your agency and its programs are doing for those in need in the community.
Finally, AFTER you win the grant award, hip hip hurray the letter, email or contract has arrived. You won the money needed to improve your organizational capacity or cover program expenses. Of course, you sign the award contract and then wait for the check. Now that the money is in the bank, what is the next step? Build on your relationship with the Grantmaker/Funder and call them and thank them, send an email or personal thank you letter or card expressing your gratitude for your agency being chosen to receive a grant award. Be sure to recognize the Funder on your website, acknowledge them with a special recognition plaque and/or any other type of recognition allowed as stated in the grant award contract.
For more good information see here: 6 Tips for Building Grantmaker Relationships | CharityHowTo
Relationships Matter Part 3 Coming Soon (please sign up to receive my newsletters to be notified)