Thursday, November 29, 2012

5 Grant Opportunity Questions To Ask

Nonprofits are constantly searching for new grant opportunities around the web, whether they are private or public sources. While the temptation is strong to pursue a grant without asking any questions, that is an approach that could lead to big problems.

In his book "How to Win Grants," Alan Silver wrote that before applying for a grant, nonprofit managers should answer "yes" to the following five questions:

  • Are you eligible? First of all, your agency should clearly meet the funder's legal status requirements. If your agency is not eligible for direct funding, you might be able to partner with an appropriate organization and subcontract a significant portion of the project.
  • Is the grant aligned with your agency mission and goals? Once you’re sure your organization is eligible for funding, consider how closely the grant matches your purpose and plans.
  • What are your chances? You’ll want to be well positioned to win based on your agency’s qualifications, the problem or need you've defined, and the project you've designed.
  • Is it worth the trouble? Consider the amount of work you will need to win the grant. If it’s too much effort for your organization, you should consider other opportunities.
  • What happens when the grant ends? Funders want to know your game plan for sustaining the project when the grant funding ends. If the grant pays for new equipment, can you support the ongoing maintenance expenses?

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