Kara Redoutey, MBA
What are the barriers to successful grant writing?
Grants can be extremely difficult to find, difficult to write, and difficult to administer. You must read the fine print and ensure that your nonprofit meets all of the requirements of the grant. To even start a grant application, you must have a compelling case that meets the objectives the grant maker is trying to address. You must have a program or service that makes sense for your community. You don’t want to apply for funds to address a project from which your community may not benefit. Grants require a lot of administrative oversight with the submission of status reports, financial reports, and auditing to ensure grant objectives are being met. And after all of that, keep in mind that there are hundreds of other nonprofit organizations out there competing for the same funding!
What is the case for focusing on grant writing anyway?
Grant writing is integral to a comprehensive development program. There are thousands and thousands of grant opportunities available to nonprofits. If you thoroughly perform grant research, you can find grant makers who have the same or similar objectives as your nonprofit organization. When you do that, you are much more likely to be funded and you cut down on some of the competition. Grants provide another source of funding for projects and services that your community desperately needs that might not otherwise be available to your nonprofit organization. This funding may be exactly what your organization needs to complete or launch a project that makes vast improvements and changes lives within your community. Grants are vital to the organization’s overall fundraising plan because you are able to obtain funding from outside of your community and not just rely solely on your community’s support. There are people all over the nation who want to help others and make it their mission to provide communities with the support they need to make a difference. You just have to be committed to finding it and making the compelling case for the funding.
How can you help?
- Make sure the person writing grants for your organization knows all of the needs. A grant opportunity may become available that could make all the difference for your program or service line.
- When an opportunity does become available, provide support and feedback to the grant writer so the grant proposal is the best it can be upon submission. The grant writer may not know the program or service as well as you, so your input is vital to the grant’s success.
- Upon receiving grant funding, attend scheduled meetings to ensure your program is meeting all grant objectives and provide any data or outcomes to the grant writer for status/financial reports.
Have you ever applied for a grant? Share an approach that has worked well for you.