Does your organization have a new project in mind? Before you start to look for relevant grant funding, be sure to complete some grant-related due diligence. Knowing the answers to the following questions will make your grant applications more competitive.
- Is there a need? What evidence do you have that the need exists?
Foundations and grant makers want to fund projects that will have lasting impacts, so potential new projects should fulfill an identified need within the community or your target audience. Back up this need with data-based evidence.
- What's the potential impact?
Once you start your new project, what results do you expect? How did you come to those calculations? Before you search for grant funding or apply for any funding opportunities, think through what the impact will be and how you know your organization will be effective. These are important selling points to include in any grant proposal.
- Are there similar service providers in the area?
Before beginning a new project, complete some research to see if there are any other like-minded organizations providing similar services. It can be hard to get grant funding to provide duplicate services to a community, so if there is another organization working in a similar area, combining resources, including money and time, might be the best way to address the need.
- Are you qualified?
Foundations and grant makers want to fund effective, efficient organizations. The most competitive organizations in the grant market are those that are qualified to provide their proposed services; this means that they have prior, applicable experience. If your organization is new, you may be able to “borrow” the necessary experience by having a good, committed Board of Directors and qualified staff and volunteers.
- Do you have the capacity to serve?
Does your organization have the time necessary to devote to the new project? How will you fund the parts of the project that lie outside of a grant's parameters? Will you need more staff or volunteers? If you don’t have any of these necessary items, draw up a plan that describes how you will secure them.
An organization that is “grant ready” is one that is ready to apply and receive grant funding. You can download our free Grant Readiness checklist HERE.
Need assistance finding funding opportunities? The Grant Helpers performs grant funding research. Contact a Grant Helper for more details.