Why Coordination Is a Crucial Component of Your Funding Strategy
Grants rarely provide unrestricted funds; instead, grants typically fund specific projects or initiatives. In addition to the time invested during the proposal production process, the organization must have the capacity, structure and resources to administer the funds and carry out the project. Organizations must be very careful in the selection and pursuit of grant opportunities, and a systematic, coordinated, strategic approach is needed when approaching these worthwhile and beneficial opportunities.
How are grants related to funding strategy?
“Grant seeking is an imperative component of any balanced fundraising strategy,” says Susan Perri, grants consultant at Hanover Research. “Grants are a competitive yet viable option that enables agencies to diversify their funding streams and maximize their missions, whether for dedicated programs or general operational support.
"The relationship between grant seeker and grant maker is an excellent opportunity for the strategic collaboration and innovation known as disruptive philanthropy," she adds. "Both sides are uniquely poised to understand the needs and challenges in their service areas, and to collectively develop meaningful metrics to gauge impact.”
We have witnessed the shift away from segmented funding strategy in our clients’ approach to grant seeking. When facilitating grant development, this means emphasizing the importance of grants as not just a means for funding dollars, but as the vehicle for outcomes-based program validation and a tool for developing long-term sustainability.
How can your organization 'move the needle' to fund your goals?
“Working together, philanthropy via grants supports service organizations in testing ideas and approaches to affect change towards a shared vision,” Perri says. “Ideally, this funding relationship is long-term, cooperative and mutually supportive in terms of truly ‘moving the needle’ on their specific cause.”
Does your office administration have the appropriate infrastructure in place to seize grant funding while advancing your philanthropic strategy? Do you adequately differentiate between a “grant” and a “gift” to maximize funder and donor relations? Putting this infrastructure in place now will help to ensure the sustainability and success of your future efforts.