Have you noticed the theme of the GrantMasters posts yet?
If you’ve been following along with the other posts in the GrantMasters series, you’re probably starting to see a general theme emerge: that there is so much more that goes into getting a grant than just writing a proposal. Behind the scenes you really have to have all your ducks in a row in order to get larger, more competitive awards.
Cultivate a more holistic view of your organization
In keeping with that theme, I want to encourage you to stop viewing your organization as a one with multiple departments that operate separately or even side by side. Rather, I want you to start viewing the organization as a cohesive whole, where all of its facets must operate in tandem in order for everyone to be most effective.
As a result, this post is not necessarily meant to give out lots of new information. Instead, I want to summarize and bring together some of the concepts I rolled out in those prior posts. And bonus . . . I’m going to give you an infographic you can save to help you remember and stick to these principles.
So, to summarize:
Here is a quick rundown of all the moving parts and how they contribute to the whole/what they should be achieving:
#1: Great Staff & Board:
- Tight management with thorough policies, procedures, and checks & balances
- Systems for managing record-keeping, finances, and employees
- General organization
- Philosophy of being strong stewards of the funds and the organization as a whole; not owners
#2: Great Fundraising:
- A variety of development campaigns offered annually with thorough planning and support from both board and staff
- At least one fundraising event to support other development endeavors and further engage the community
- A focus on relationship building with both donors and grantmakers
#3: Great Programs:
- Well thought-out and structured programs that are innovative and based on best practices where applicable
- Programs managed by dedicated, organized staff who do what you’ve told the program’s funders you would do with the money
- Strong evaluation methods to present data and results to funders as well as the community
- Programs must serve an identifiable need
- Programs undertaken by your organization should directly serve the mission. No mission creep!
#4: Great Communities:
- Frequent communication and engagement with your community through a variety of channels:
- Media articles
- Public forums
- Direct one-on-one communication where and when possible
- Implementation of programs and/or changes to programs to fit the needs expressed by the community
- Engagement in community organizations that connect you with others who can help your organization as well as those you intend to serve (examples would include Rotary, Kiwanis, Chamber of Commerce, etc.)
#5: Great Vision:
- Create realistic goals that stretch the organization and are based on a thought-out and planned-out vision for the future
- Revisit and tweak this vision often with board and staff
- The vision should always, always serve your mission and should always be in the best interests of your community and patrons
These 5 principles should tie into everything your organization does. If you allow them to guide your decisions your organization will work together more cohesively and you will eventually find yourself in a better position to receive grant awards, donations, and community buy-in.
And as promised, your infographic:
Want more? Drop your name and email in the form below to get notified when new blog posts come out.