Have you ever been told to apply for a grant with a deadline coming the following week? You’ve probably had a colleague get excited about an opportunity like this only to find out, the rest of the team is not on board with the grant-building process. And why would they be? They already have too much work on their plates.
While there is nothing wrong with going after opportunities that present themselves, there is definitely a better way to chase down grants.
The Funding Strategy
A solid funding strategy eliminates the mystery of how to successfully fund a project or program. It is a straightforward memorandum that details the planning required to position an organization for success. It also lists the best grants to pursue and when. While not all funding strategies look the same, my funding strategies include the following:
- Project planning toolkit that lays out the scope and funding goals of the organization
- List of 15-20 best fitting grants for an organization with a 20% or more chance of winning.
- A stakeholder’s analysis that outlines a map of partners and potential partners and how they will engage to maximize funding
So why does it matter anyway?
Deadlines and Other Details
The funding strategy eliminates the guesswork in applying. It prepares your team for the deadlines and details far in advance which ensures that you have ample time to organize and prepare your winning grant application.
Establishing the Right Partnerships at the Right Time
Good partnerships take time. That is why It is important to be thinking about the organizations and institutions you hope to collaborate with far in advance. This gives you time to build a vision together, plan out activities, and prepare the proper documents signed i.e. letters of commitment, MoUs, etc.
With a properly laid out funding strategy, you have important dates and details in front of you. You can plan out which grants to focus on first and also, as you have the details in front of you at a 30,000 ft view, you are able better plan out how to apply for grants back to back. This can entail organizing the documents you put together for the first grant application in a way that makes it easy to tailor, revise and resubmit for the next grant.
Implementing Funding Strategies in the Game Plan
The last and probably most important reason to do a funding strategy is that it forces you and your team to think bigger, broader, and more intentionally about how you approach grants in your business. You will find that it forces you to look at important aspects of your business and plan in an entirely different way.
Grants that are intentionally pursued by committed teams are the grants that are more often awarded. As the funding strategy integrates with the components of your operation, you can see future funding opportunities and ways that you can adjust your business plan to ensure you are more aligned for funding.
While you cannot guarantee funding, you can definitely stack the odds in your favor with a solid grant funding strategy.
If you are interested in developing a funding strategy for your business, fill out this form and we can get started!