You’re reviewing a local grant application for your nonprofit. You find the questions reasonably straightforward until you read: “How will you fund this program after the grant?”
You slide your hands off the keyboard and think, “How can I answer this? This is the perfect grant funder. Their goals match ours. We definitely need the money for this project.”
You have several ways you might develop a plan for after-the-grant. Consider creating your response around one of the following concepts. You will find using them increases the success of your applications.
Here is a collection of ideas about why you would write this response.
Here are several situations when this answer will work:
This response is probably the most common answer grant readers read. When your grant is funded, the grant donor will expect you to follow through on this promise. If your organization fails here, your reputation and future requests to this and other funders may suffer.
Most people give a vague answer here. If you select this answer, be specific. The more details you provide with this answer, the better your odds of convincing the donor you mean what you say.
Here’s another option to consider and an opportunity to set clear future expectations.
Develop a plan upfront for what will be done after the grant, even if a grant donor does not request it. If you can’t figure one out, choose a less ambitious start or forgo the grant. Identify another way to implement your activities. In any case, plan to follow through on any activities described in your application.
Creating a reliable answer to the inevitable funding question can help your organization obtain grant funding. “I rarely see a very effective answer,” shares Wendy Hopkins of the Sarasota Community Foundation.
“The standard answer is, of course, increased fundraising. Rarely – do I see a bona fide plan,” shares Marilyn Howard of the Manatee Community Foundation.
These grant donors are not alone; grant donors report that they receive weak answers to this question. Your reliable solution will help you stand out from other applicants. Also, your planning will help ensure that your nonprofit organization has a plan for after the grant.
In any case, investing effort in this question can bring your organization closer to fulfilling its mission with those you seek to serve by obtaining the funding you seek.
Need more help developing your grant applications? Karen is available for a mini-consult to help your group find those essential words. Click here to contact her to learn more.
And, check out Karen’s Nonprofit CEO Library, a collection of resources for nonprofit CEOs and executive directors to answer your questions about nonprofit leadership issues.
For other sources of nonprofit income to augment your grant opportunities, read this article, Can Your Organization Obtain More Income?