You spent hours upon hours researching, preparing, and writing what your team knows is the perfect grant proposal — a proposal that meets each one of the foundation’s guidelines. Why wouldn’t it accept your proposal after all your hard work? But when you read on, your heart sinks.
Fundraising and donations are key components of any nonprofit’s development plan, but those strategies alone often won’t cover everything your organization wants to accomplish. That’s where grants come in.
Whether you’re a brand new nonprofit or your development team is growing fast, the pressures of grant writing mean development staff members nearly always feel the pinch of their deadlines.
By establishing best practices for proposal writing, you’ll not only improve the success rate of your grant proposals, but you’ll also establish teamwork norms that positively impact your entire staff. Think better prospecting, healthier relationships with donors and board members, and open communication between program and development staff. (Sounds nice, right?)
Nonprofits are often forced into a “grantseekers dilemma.” For example, sometimes an organization applies for a grant that requires a certain kind of capacity, knowing they don’t have it, but hoping that with funding they can obtain it. It’s a lose-lose, for both funder and grantseeker, and reveals the critical importance of capacity building grants for effective nonprofits.
Committed grantmakers are always looking to update, revise, and perfect their practices. Ask any grantmaker what they think about the state of their work (or any grantee for that matter), and they’ll probably give you a laundry list of ways they think the grantmaking process could be improved to ultimately make advancements in the issues they care about most.