You offer or decided to offer a grant program as part of your corporate philanthropy. Here are some “to-dos” to effectively communicate your goals to potential applicants.
1. Publish a list of your expectations. Lists help applicants to screen themselves out (i.e., groups you would never fund) and identify fatal flaws (i.e., asking for the wrong project) before preparing a proposal.
2. State a range of gifts, such as, “Most funded projects range from $500 to $5,000.” (Expect most applications to be at the upper range.)
3. Establish a firm deadline. Reviewing multiple proposals allows you to compare requests to determine your best value.
4. To increase the quality of requests, designate someone to field emails to pre-judge request concepts. This person responds by indicating which ideas, if any, strike your interest.
5. To avoid slogging through stacks of information, limit the number of pages that applicants submit. Request just enough information to understand who, what, why, where, and when.
6. Encourage applicants to use links to provide back-up information such as board lists and annual budgets.
Good grant tactics save time, grow your social capital, and obtain the great return on your investment. When it comes to corporate philanthropy, what tactics do you use that create wins?
Before founding her firm, Karen Eber Davis developed the Sarasota County Community Development Block Grant Program. Under her leadership, this infant program received the National Association of Counties National Affordable Housing Award for the Down Payment Assistance Program. To date, the program helped over 1,800 families realize their dreams of homeownership. She also worked with the City of Ft. Lauderdale and the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, where she developed the division’s first audit program. In an earlier position at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Tampa, she organized senior, youth, and children groups plus family activities. Her youth staffing work with the Florida Synod of the Lutheran Church in America supported youth ministries in 120 congregations in Florida.
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