If someone offered you a pile of money would you accept it? I know, I know. You’re probably wondering: “What’s the catch?”
When I talk to people about grant writing, I often hear “it’s free money, right?” Not exactly. While it’s true that grant funds do not generally have to be repaid, that doesn’t mean that getting a grant is free from any costs or effort. Grant success requires readiness. Are you and your organization ready for grants?
Before you even think about putting pen to paper, or more aptly fingers to keyboard, there are things you and your organization can do to increase your readiness for grants. Like most things your grant readiness starts from within. “Know thyself!”
No, I’m not talking about a self-reflective journey or weekend retreat that involves deep soul-searching and meditation – though those things may help too. But getting ready for grants does involve an honest look inside your organization – knowing who the organization is, what it stands for, what it hopes to achieve, and how it might accomplish what it sets out to do – these are the questions that must be answered before you can cash in on the “free” money.
Sounds more like a strategic plan you say? Well, it’s true, strategy must be at the heart of your grant writing efforts. Best practices tell us that nonprofits should adopt a fundraising plan that ensure diverse streams of funding to meet budgeted objectives. A robust and intentional grant search is an integral part of ensuring your organization sustains a diverse funding portfolio.
Grantseekers, whether they be from nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, government agencies, religious organizations, or individuals, can learn how to improve their readiness to successfully propose and receive grants. Strategy together with best practices and a bit of introspection can help you to write a grant that leverages your organization’s strengths and opportunities and avoids, overcomes or mitigates your organization’s weaknesses and threats. Only when you truly “know thyself” can you be in a position to give grant funders what they want most – mission alignment! More on that when you come to the workshop.
In the Getting Ready for Grants workshop, March 18th we invite those new to grants to learn about different types of grant funding, appreciate why grant makers fund projects, know where and how to look for funding prospects, understand what to look for, how to read an Request for Proposals (RFP), and learn tips to help organize and prepare for proposals. All valuable information whether you will be writing grants, working with a team of grant writers, contracting with an outside grant writer, or overseeing internal grant writing efforts. Register here.