The Elephant in the Room: Grant Writing as Fundraising

The Elephant in the Room: Grant Writing as Fundraising

May 30th, 2019

  • WGW
  • May 30th, 2019

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There are many blogs, books, and conferences devoted to nonprofit fundraising. Topics, such as direct mail best practices, making “the ask,” and getting your board on-board, have been dissected again and again.  Yet, how honest are the conversations around fundraising coupled with grant writing?  Compared with the personal, relationship-based nature of appealing to individual donors and meeting face-to-face with local businesses for financial support, fundraisers can feel overwhelmed when also expected to research and write grants on top of their other responsibilities. When everything’s a trade-off, should your fundraiser spend their time grant writing? Or is their energy better spent cultivating relationships and stewarding donors? Here are a few considerations when debating the best use of your fundraising team’s time.

Grant writing is unique and requires a special skill set. Grant writing is vastly different from other types of fundraising and other types of writing.  The process is often solitary, reflective, and inward-focused. A strong grant application should be clear and concise, making sure to answer questions directly, with little-to-no niceties.  Simple, detail-driven, transactional grant writing is oftentimes in stark contrast to the friendly nature of a fundraiser who interacts with donors.

Grant writing is a process, with a system and deadlines. Maybe not the first or second time you apply for a grant, but once you’ve applied for enough grants, a good grant writer develops a system.  How is your system working for you?  Do you have a system? Large foundations have entire teams to monitor grant deadlines and reporting.  Smaller organizations with limited resources may find it difficult to systematize grant writing while balancing other fundraising activities.

When successful, the real work starts. When the grant is awarded, you and your organization must administer, track, and report on the grant funding.  There is typically more demanded on an organization when funding comes as a grant, so fundraisers must have the system in place to concentrate on the reporting.

Making the case for outsourcing your grant writing. Contracting your grant writing to an outside team frees staff to focus on what matters most: your mission and your donors.  Professional grant writers will write more objectively about your program and have the tracking systems in place to handle researching new grant opportunities and reporting once grants are obtained. What are you waiting for?

Williams Grant Writing (WGW) has the team, time, skills, and systems in place to act as your grant writing partner. WGW can help you research funding opportunities, review draft applications, apply for the grant funding, and help you stay on top of reporting and deadlines. WGW has a proven track record of connecting nonprofits to funding. Contact us today to see how we can help.

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