Barbara Floersch, director of The Grantsmanship Center in Los Angeles, Calif., offered advice to nonprofits that are trying to win grant funding. She said that organizations need to follow eight steps to give themselves the best shot at winning those dollars:
- Identify foundation and corporate grant-makers with interests and giving patterns that fit your organization. Don’t wait for government competitions to open. Figure out which grant programs are a good fit then track them.
- Identify funding needs most likely to draw grant support. Innovation, equipment upgrades, program start-ups, efficiency investments, and the like. Consider these in the light of the opportunities you’ve identified.
- Hammer out a proposal submission calendar for the year.
- Find existing organizational relationships with the foundation and corporate funders you’ve targeted, or build those relationships.
- Get copies of last year’s government application guidelines. Next, speak with program officers about expectations for the upcoming competition.
- Establish a team for each proposal you’ll submit. Pull each team together, assign leaders, and set up work plans.
- Work the plans. Don’t wait until the last couple of weeks. Lay-out the program design, and pull together the data, collaborations, letters of commitment, and other pieces you’ll need well ahead of the deadline. Take the time to do it right.
- Monitor the work and keep it on track. Make sure you know what’s happening.