However, while there is no perfect formula to grant seeking success, there are some key best practices to follow that will help you create your own personalized equation for success in grant seeking. I believe that you need to follow the 3 R’s of grant seeking in order to maintain a balance and proactive grant seeking approach.
1 – Research
Thoroughly research the current guidelines, past guidelines, current grantees, average grant size, geographic range for actual awards (not just stated geographic region on a database profile).
Looking for more information on our approach to research? Check out this piece about how to conduct Effective Research for a Proactive Grant Seeking Strategy.
2 – Relationships
Treat your grant funders as your organization does its individual donors. Work to have develop a relationship, or at least contact and have a dialogue, with *all* potential new or ongoing grant funders *prior* to submitting an application. These relationship developing efforts and contacts can be via in-person meetings, phone, or email. While not always possible based on grantor capacity, you need to *try* rather than assuming that there is no capacity and skipping this step.
Looking for more information on our approach to grant funder relationships? Check out this piece about how to Increase Grant Revenue: Focusing on Improving Funder Relationship.
3 – wRiting
Putting together a concise and compelling application that tells a consistent story across all application elements is critical to being competitive in a grant review process.
Looking for more information on our approach to writing competitive grant proposals? Check out this piece from #FundChat about Seven Qualities of Excellent Grant Proposals.
Why this order? Why all the time? Trying to shortcut any one of the steps will lead to an unbalanced approach where you are not giving enough attention to key aspects of your strategy. If you start by always following the 3 R’s of Grant Seeking, the personalized details of how you manage your proactive grant seeking strategy will fall in to place and help create strong funding partnerships and relationships for your organization.
About The Author
Diane H. Leonard, GPC, President of DH Leonard Consulting & Grant Writing Services, LLC (www.dhleonardconsulting.com) is an experienced and highly respected grant professional who provides grant development counsel to nonprofit organizations of varying size and scope. Diane founded DH Leonard Consulting & Grant Writing Services, LLC in 2006 and has secured millions of dollars in competitive grant funds for clients from the federal, state and local governments, and private foundations.