Describing a funding organization in general that’s a good fit for funding is easy enough: it’s a foundation that funds your proposed activities, in the amount you need, when you need it. The time-consuming part is sifting through all of the foundations—their funding criteria and their funding history—to find the ones that are the best match for your organization. There are tens of thousands of foundations, so it can feel like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
A recent Gallup poll showed a meager 14% of Americans approve of the US Congress. Though personally you may not be happy with your political leaders’ policy making, contacting staff at your elected representative’s offices can help with grant funding. Politicians—local, state, and national—can be instrumental in supporting your grant seeking efforts. Furthermore, they can connect you with key decision makers, advise you of upcoming funding opportunities, and help facilitate your grant application.
When I first started grant writing I took the “ready, fire, aim” approach to grant prospecting. Tasked with finding grant funding, I simply started researching funders and shooting out letters of inquiry (LOIs) hoping one would be a silver bullet and hit the right target. I soon learned grant seeking is extremely competitive and involves far more than “write an application, win an award, and receive money.” You have to be prepared. You need a map.