According to a physics, work equals force times distance. What? In other words, work is generated by the amount of energy you use toward a particular effort. So what does all this have to do with your business or organization getting grant funds? Generally, it takes the same amount of effort to apply for a small grant than it does a large one, so why not go for the big money? Getting larger grant funds just takes a new focus and a deliberate plan of action. This blog post will give you a few tips on moving from operating solely on several smaller grant funds to diversifying your funding portfolio to larger grants.
Build Your Credibility
In business you’ve heard that people do business with whom they know, like, and trust. Building your credibility leads to trust for potential funders. Your organizational accomplishments, showed by consistently meeting or better, exceeding your goals, instantly builds your credibility.
Play With the Big Dogs
If you want to get bigger money you will need to be in the company of those who have the bigger pots of money to give. Find ways to get in front of as many leaders who issue major funds to increase opportunities to tell your agency story and learn what common goals you and the funder have. Learning what funders value and even what their hot buttons are will help you as you prepare to apply for their funds. A word of caution here is to be sure to have your ‘elevator pitch’ polished and ready to be stated in a way that piques the potential funders interest for a continued conversation.
Build Your Organizational Capacity
Now is the time to increase both your human and financial capital. Larger grants, meaning grants larger than $50,000 will require that your organization be able to show that you have the capacity to carry out the stated goals and objectives, as well as, possess and maintain the necessary resources to sustain the work and or services being provided. You will need to make sure you have both the staff capacity in not only numbers, but in knowledge and expertise. Leverage your board and volunteers who support your agency as well. Additionally, you will need to have the necessary financial wherewithal to operate the program or project. Some funders will require that your agency match a portion of the funds issued, or that you use your agency funds up front and request a reimbursement once services are completed.
Getting to know and actively participating in political issues that relate to your charitable work is another way to not only make greater impact for change or improvement but a way to let funders with deep pockets know you are sold out to your cause. Meet with your local and state elected offices. Write in or appear at council or senate hearings, attend or lead national committees and initiatives. Become familiar with your local political issues. Doing so will help you become more knowledgeable about what kind of proposals are more likely to get funded and get to know political influencers.
Get Your House in Order
When a special guest is coming to your home for dinner, you pull out your best dinnerware, clean the house and put your impressive collections out for your guest to see. If you want to get larger grants, you will need to examine your organization from top to bottom. Consider hiring a consultant, attending a compliance workshop or even meeting with the funder prior to applying to better understand what you need to get in order.
There are five more tips that we share on our webinar, Learn How I Won 10 Million in Grant Funds.
If you’d like to learn about the other five ways to increase your agency’s funds, register for our free webinar here