As a nonprofit, you might be worrying about how you are going to apply for grants and secure the funding you need. However, if you’re only relying on grants to fund your organization, your business model probably needs to be redrawn. Only 20 percent of nonprofit funding comes from foundation or corporation grants. Is that less than you thought? Here’s why: Most nonprofit funding comes from donations from individuals who want to support their local organizations. So, choose a select number of grants that suit your organization and follow these tips below to increase your chances of getting funded.
Grant Writing Is an Art
A grant writer is an experienced professional who knows how to craft a letter to a foundation or corporation in a way that will improve your chances of getting funded. It comes down to organizing your letter in a way that best represents your nonprofit, data on your organization and the reason you are a good candidate to receive this funding. Investing in an experienced grant writer or paying for one of your employees to take a grant writing course is well worth the extra money.
Convey Devotion to the Foundation or Organization
One of the staples of good grant writing practices is tailoring each letter to the prospective funding source. That means don’t create a generic template to send to dozens of foundations and corporations; rather, make sure that you are appealing to each one individually. That also means you must read their qualifications carefully and make sure that you meet all of them. Don’t just apply anyway if there is even one criterion you don’t meet.
Be Prepared to Hear “No”
When you begin the process of applying for grants, be prepared to end the journey empty-handed at first. This doesn’t mean that you will never get funded; far from it, but foundations and organizations are more comfortable funding nonprofits they are familiar with. So just because it’s a no the first time around doesn’t mean it will be the next time. Look to build a rapport and a relationship with these funding sources and give them a reason to want to fund you.
Use these preliminary steps to jump-start your process for securing grants.