Why Coordination Is a Crucial Component of Your Funding Strategy
Organizations require consistent, diverse funding streams to keep vital programming alive. However, many organizations lack comprehensive strategic plans that integrate philanthropic giving and grant seeking as an active component of resource development.
Grants and philanthropy are often housed in separate offices, disconnecting fundraising vision from execution. What does this mean for your organization? The lack of coordination leads viable funding opportunities to slip through the cracks.
The development team might not know what funding investments the grant department is striving to, or has, secured with federal and foundational donors. Conversely, the grants team might not know what new relationships exist from individual giving or corporate sponsorship initiatives that could be utilized for prospecting new grant makers.
Many organizations have the common goal of positively impacting the communities they serve, yet developing a centralized grant funding strategy and communicating return on investment to potential funders can be a complex endeavor. As funders and individuals place an increasing emphasis on outcomes to validate donation decisions and ensure their contributions have made a positive impact on the organization, the need for a coordinated funding strategy is increasingly apparent. However, this need must be balanced with a grant strategy that is flexible and evolving to account for changing social and legislative priorities.
“Strong grant efforts beget philanthropy, and vice versa. Individual donors are becoming increasingly savvy, looking for institutional giving as a sign of ‘moving the needle’ on a cause,” says Josh Jacobson, managing director of NextStage Consulting. “Grantmakers are similarly looking at the percentage of individual giving as an indicator of vitality and sustainability. These two offices should work together on messaging and strategy, finding opportunities to positively impact both efforts.”
The relationship between grant development and other fundraising strategies is crucial. Organizations need to consider the following when making a comprehensive strategic plan that integrates grant seeking with programmatic outcomes.
What is a grant?
Grant proposals are business plans that provide the justification for funds needed for projects. Commonly funding program growth, grants often provide a portion of the funds needed for a project. To ensure that the project or program will be successful and sustainable after the life of the grant, this funding pursuit needs to be a coordinated effort between both your operations department and philanthropy efforts.