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As a Nonprofit Leader - What You Need To Know About Grants.

Do you view the landscape of grants as a minefield? Territory that has to be navigated with caution? You are not alone! There is a significant amount to learn. The good thing is - it's doable.

Here are a few challenges and suggested solutions experienced by leaders of nonprofits. If you are running a charity or community interest enterprise, you will also find this helpful.

Common Challenges for Leaders of Nonprofits When Considering Grant Applications.

  • Communicating within your team. All the staff within your organisation, ideally, need to be involved. That means clarity when communicating and also ensuring that you have the buy-in of each member of your team. This may be a challenge for some leaders.

  • Time. Grant applications take an extensive amount of time. It's important to strategise and plan carefully. This point is within the backdrop of your existing busy schedules.

  • Locating grant opportunities. Where do you find grants that match your vision and mission? Again, this requires careful consideration and time.

  • Expertise - grant writing requires a skillful and systematic approach. You may have existing skill set(s) within your team. If not, this can be a challenge. Hence the need for an independent grant writer.

  • Building relationships with funders/grantors. As part of your strategy, it is important to build and sustain healthy and professional relationships with donors. Again, time is of the essence and being intentional, yet authentic is all part of the process.

  • Competitiveness. You will not be the only nonprofit applying for a grant at any given point in time. That means that the application itself should be written to a high standard and as much as possible, flawless, complying with the stringent requirements of the donor.

Suggested Solutions When Considering Grant Applications.

Solutions will require your calendar, skillful planning is key.

  1. As a nonprofit leader ask yourself powerful questions. For example - 'Do we qualify for funding?'; 'Are we adequately staffed to make the application(s)?'; 'Should we consider hiring a grant writer?'

  2. Prepare yourself for the process. Planning is key, as is adequate research, so that you are not caught unawares. A team approach is likely to yield more success.

  3. Assume nothing when communicating with your team. Over communication is better than a low-level of communication. Transparency is essential and documenting your procedure is pivotal.

  4. Take the time to conduct research to identify potential grant opportunities. This is not something to be rushed, particularly if you have not done this before.

  5. Liaise with your funder/potential donor. Benefits of developing cordial relationships includes:

    • Understanding their mission and vision;

    • Gaining an ally within the organisation, who may be able to guide you (for example), in terms of the best way(s) to determine whether your organisation is the right fit for the grant;

    • Obtaining success stories from other beneficiaries.

For further information about grants, arrange a complimentary 15-minute discovery call with me:

Patricia Mezu LL.M., M.Ed. Director, Content With Words

Impacting the life of the girl-child through grant writing and early years consulting.

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