Grants are not an immediate, easy solution (startup grants are not a reality)
Grants are a long game, and the best grant programs build around a strategy. We would never expect an investor to invest in a startup business with no business plan or track record, right? So, why do we expect foundations to invest in startup nonprofits that have yet to demonstrate impact? Just as an investor is looking for a return on investment, a foundation is looking to see a return on the impact of its investment; and that takes time and data. Foundations do not want to be your first or only funder. They wish to see diversified support and a track record of success.
Use Good, Better, and Best Grant Goals for Your Budget
Katie shares an example of a nonprofit that had received a grant each year for several years in a row, only to have the foundation notify them they would no longer be receiving funding. The gift had become so structured that the nonprofit planned for it in their annual budget. In response, Teresa cautions to use good, better, and best goals in budgeting and forecasting. A range of goals that reflect different grant support levels helps nonprofits budget realistically and respond well to unforeseen circumstances.
Listen to the full episode for all of Teresa’s grant writing tips and check out episode 76 of the Grant Writing Simplified Podcast for her favorite tip!