Nonprofits exist to serve causes larger than themselves, unfortunately, they are typically underfunded and with many grassroots organizations operating on shoestring budgets. That's why grants are such an important component of a nonprofit’s fundraising strategy. Grants often provide much-needed financial support to further the nonprofit's mission, including supporting programs and operations. For many nonprofits, grants are the vital lifeline that allows them to provide services and keep their doors open.
Grants come in many types, sizes, and through a variety of funding sources, they can be written with a variety of focuses, though the most common is for programs or projects. Additional grant opportunities include capacity building, capital expenses, and general operating support. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize grants can be difficult to obtain. According to Instrumntl, only 10% of first-time grant applications are awarded funding. Typically, the higher the grant award the fiercer the competition is for funding. That is why it is critical to research funding opportunities, implement a robust evaluation process, and focus energies on foundations that closely align with the organization’s mission.
A few key reasons why grants play an important role in nonprofits are:
Nonprofit organizations are at the forefront of efforts around the world when it comes to strengthening communities and improving the lives of vulnerable populations. Grant funding helps nonprofits expand their impact across a broad array of service areas including food and housing insecurity, youth development, healthcare, diversity, education, animal welfare, older adult service, veteran services, workforce development and more.
Research is at the heart of most successful grant programs.
Funders are typically looking to identify outstanding organizations working to tackle pressing challenges in their communities. A robust assessment process often evaluates nonprofits on a variety of factors such as the demographics of the audience served, the organization’s financial history and stability, leadership capabilities, program outcomes and impact, and sustainability plan.
Diversifying Revenue Sources
A diversified revenue stream is a crucial component of a nonprofit's fundraising plan. It prevents organizations from becoming overly dependent on any one source of funding, providing stability and sustainability. Grants are also a powerful way to diversify income. They are available through a variety of sources including corporations, foundations, municipalities, and federal agencies. Tapping into the power of grant funding can be an incredibly effective way for nonprofits to grow and thrive.
If your nonprofit is interested in applying for grants, we encourage you to reach out to us for more information on how we can help you access the funding you need to help your organization thrive.