Be The Tortoise Not The Hare With Grant Funding
The story of The Tortoise and The Hare by Aesop teaches the moral of being patient, taking slow and steady actions will get a person to the destination they are aiming for. In the story, the Hare is very confident that he can beat the Tortoise because he is fast and has always won in the past against anyone he has gone up against. He sees the Tortoise as weak and not achieving very much. What he does not see is her ability to continue despite obstacles.
Have you ever thought about how this story applies to getting grant funding?
Many nonprofit organizations and their leaders are under the mistaken impression that grant funding will be the hare. A fast solution to revenue and operations woe that are being experienced or to all start-up costs upon nonprofit corporation launch. However, this is not the case as funders look at many factors including the health and age of the nonprofit business operation for funding. Another mistake many organizations make that are hare like is to not have a grant funding plan, build in the majority of revenue coming from grants for their operations, and utilizing the "spaghetti approach" to grant fundraising by slinging grant applications to anyone and everyone regardless of fit between the organization and the funder.
The better approach is to be like the tortoise. A nonprofit organization needs to develop a systematic plan to bringing in business revenue through grants to fund their programs and operations. This requires the identification of grant funders whose mission is also compatible with the nonprofit mission that is seeking funding. Once those funders are identified, the grant possibilities can be scheduled out across a grant application calendar and programs and amounts of funding can be decided. The nonprofit organization budget projections can be updated as well to account for what the organization thinks it will bring in from grant revenue. This slow and steady course will enable the organization to either begin or to keep grant funding to carry out their mission.
Originally published on September 21, 2019 on LinkedIn by Jocelyn A. Van Coney