Questions for Before You Seek the Grant

Do you have a program idea you hesitate to pursue at your non-profit organization because you are stumped on how to fund the program AFTER a grant starts it in your nonprofit? Here is an exercise of discovery, you can use at your site. To discover new possibilities, gather a group of up to seven stakeholders. Select questions from following list to encourage participants to move beyond the “raise more money” answer you already anticipated. Ask participants to silently answer each question on three sticky notes or index cards. When completed, ask them to label each answer in priority order, from one to three, with one the highest. Anonymously collect the cards for future analysis or post them to strategize sustainability plan with the group.

Possible Questions

  1. What are three ways to obtain income for this program? Or, what are three unusual ways to obtain income for this program? Follow-up: What three steps can we take now to ensure the most important of these funding sources?
  2. Once it’s underway, what will be the three greatest assets of this program? Follow-up: What are three ways to use these assets to produce income for the organization?
  3. What three program results do you expect that will justify continuing your effort? Follow-up: What data do you need to collect to prove these results?
  4. What three outside entities will gain the most from this program? Follow-up: What are three ways to motivate these entities to provide funds or in-kind resources for this program?
  5. Even if you prefer to offer free services, what can recipients offer in exchange for this service?
  6. If grant funds were not available for this program, what three actions can you take now to begin? Follow-up: What are three ways to get resources to complete these actions now?
  7. Pretend you are a for-profit, in what three ways would you obtain income for this program?
  8. What are three natural ways to design this program so it concludes when the grant funds end?

For more answers, check out this Nonprofit  CEO Library.

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