9 Things Funders Want From Fundraisers in Grant Applications
“As we all know, there are fewer funds to give out because of the economy, and there are greater needs,” said Karen Kennelly, president and owner of K-Squared Consulting. “That makes it that much more challenging to write a grant, ask for funds and be able to get those funds. So what is it that the funders want?”
During her presentation, "Financial Management: Preparing for Grant Proposals", at Blackbaud’s 2010 Conference for Nonprofits held Oct. 20-22 in Washington, D.C., Kennelly shared things funders are looking for from fundraisers in grant proposal applications.
“A lot of what funders want hasn’t changed over the years, but there are a few things that have changed,” she said. “There are a lot of corporate funders, corporate foundations that are becoming much more strategically aligned with the organization than they have been in the past. Whereas they may have had some broader goals in giving in their foundation areas, several have gone back to partnering more with the corporation and looking at what the organization’s objectives and goals are.”
Kennelly also noted that many corporations want to make a greater impact and get more involved. Here are some of the key things funders have told Kennelly they’re looking for from fundraisers:
Research. “As you’re thinking about doing a grant application,” Kennelly said, “research, research, research. Know who your funder is.”
Build a relationship with the funder. “You’re much better off if you go into a grant application having known somebody there, having at least contacted them than if you went in with a cold proposal,” she said. “Most funders have so many applications that they’re looking at, it’s better if they know who you are and you’ve already built a relationship.
“A lot of the large funders I know, you can get into them with a small grant and build your way into a large grant.”