Special thanks to Heather Stombaugh, for today’s post from her upcoming book, In the Trenches: Grantsmanship. Heather is HUB Philanthropic Solutions’ Grants Consultant
Let’s begin with a few questions. How well do you know yourself? What are your organization’s needs? Can you identify trends in grant making?
Do your priorities match the priorities of prospective funders?
- Areas of concern
- Types of support
- Similar projects
- Ongoing relationships
What are some tips to organize funder data? As you are prospecting, consider how aligned you are with prospective funders to sort, filter, and organize the grant prospect database you are developing. Use these tools to help you evaluate your alignment with prospective funders and create a list of prospective funders.
- Grant prospecting questionnaire
- Organization summary sheet
- Grant prospect worksheet
- Grant prospect database
Be strategic and don’t take shortcuts when looking for best fit funders. The time you invest in thoughtful research will yield far greater returns than the time you might waste using a shotgun, hit or miss style approach. It is not uncommon for grant makers to change their priorities, so be diligent in keeping your prospecting database up to date. Grant makers only fund a small fraction of the requests they receive. Don’t waste your time or a grant maker’s time by submitting a request if you’re not a good fit. Repeatedly requesting grants from a funder that isn’t a good fit could leave a bad impression and hurt your chances for getting support in the future.