Keep the Momentum Going: Getting the Most Out of Your Grant Application

Overview: Grant Graphic

One of our favorite times of the year is giving out grants to organizations in Fayette County. Each year, in two cycles, organizations are chosen to receive a grant. These grants help organizations fund critical programs and initiatives that directly support Fayette County. You can see the organizations that received grants in our previous cycles by clicking here.    

What Funding Sources are Right for Your Organization?   

Receiving a grant from the Fayette Community Foundation is an accomplishment. These funds help organizations do great work. However, for some organizations, one grant is not enough to sustain critically needed programs and services. If you have recently received a grant, we want to help you keep the momentum going.   

Instead of stopping at one grant, your organization can pursue a wide variety of other grants. It is crucial to recognize where you should be focusing your energy.   

Types of Funding an Organization Can Pursue:  

  1. Large Scale Fundraising Campaigns  
  2. Individual Donations  
  3. Grant Funding  

Within each of these types, there is a different strategy for maximizing those funding sources.   

Is a Fundraising Campaign the Right Funding Source for Your Organization?  

Large-scale fundraising, often called Capital Campaigns, is not the primary funding source for every nonprofit. It requires donor cultivation and event planning to raise funds. Organizations that focus mainly on fundraising of this type need to have the resources to be successful. Donor cultivation takes time and effort to build relationships with individuals in the community.   

Are Individual Donations the Right Funding Source for Your Organization?  

Similar to large-scale fundraising, individual donations require a strong relationship with your donors. However, with an individual donation strategy, nonprofits need to either have a relationship with many donors with fewer resources or a few donors with many resources.    

For more information on the different types of fundraising and strategies, click here.    

For this article, we will want to focus on grants and how to best leverage the variety of grants available.   

Types of Grants Available:   
  1. Governments  
  2. Public charities  
  3. Community foundations  
  4. Family foundations  
  5. Private foundations  

Government Grant Funding:  

Many organizations seek funding from our Federal Government. Did you know our State has many grants available too? The US Government has a searchable online database of government grants to help you find what you need.   

Online Sources for Finding Government Grants:  

Public Charities and Foundations Funding:  

Did you know some organizations seek partners like your nonprofit to fulfill their mission? Yes, it is true! Many of those requests are posted on Candid’s Philanthropy News Digest site. However, like with government grants, there is a lot of funding available through public charities and foundations.  

Online Resources to Find Foundation Grants: 

Make Your Grants Work for You   

As an organization that funds grants, we have seen many grant applications. There are some things that organizations Team: Grant Graphiccan do to ensure that their grant applications are well received.   First, when writing a grant application, make sure to specify where the funds will go. Specificity is the key here; this is not the time to be vague.   

The second and most crucial step is research. Researching the foundations or agencies that are the best fit for your organization increases your chance of being accepted for the grant. In-depth research on the organization distributing the funds and knowledge of the scope of the grant will make a dramatic difference.   

Plan Ahead: Grants Graphic

Third, it is of the utmost importance that your team has the time and ability to put together a well-written grant application. Your organization’s application needs to be able to compete with the other applicants. Organizations will vary in what they will request, even short grant applications need to be thoughtful. Having the capacity to create a professional grant application will help you compete with other organizations applying for limited funding.    

Grants take time. It does not just take time to apply, but it also takes time to receive grant funds. Fundraising through donors can be a much quicker process. The process of grant applications can take months. Here are three actions that you can take to improve your grant planning strategy. Goal: Grant Graphic

  1. Plan Ahead: Make sure to do your research and ensure you have enough time to create a competitive application.   
  2. Know What Your Team Can Do: Understand the capabilities and limitations of your grant application team.   
  3. Have Reasonable Goals: Organizations can sometimes set unrealistic goals about the amount of change a grant will bring.

For more information about how you can improve your grant application process, click here. If you have questions or need more information about Fayette Community Foundation’s grants, email us info@givetofcf.com or give us a call at 765.827.9966.