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  • Writer's pictureKathryn Greener

Common Struggles Facing Grant-Eager Organizations

Updated: Jul 8, 2021

Sooner or later, nonprofits realize that grants are a thing. They’re out there. Their town just got one to build new senior housing. The coffee shop down the street just got one for COVID-19 relief. Heck, their next-door neighbor just got a grant to plant habitats to attract bumblebees to their backyard (which is awesome, by the way).

Surely, your nonprofit addressing complex regional issues is worthy of grant funding.

Let's just appreciate this little guy for a second.

“Where do we begin?”

And so, here begins the most common struggle I hear: “Where do we start?” A few Google searches will take you to sketchy websites or plagiarized blogs. Or grant databases requiring a bazillion dollar monthly subscription fee.

The where-to-begin is nuanced, though. Nonprofit folks I talk with have what seems like a strong-fit grant opportunity in their lap, but they don’t know how to begin applying. “What’s an LOI?” “Do we need a Logic Model? “It’s only due next week, we have plenty of time.”

Others have what seems like the perfect application on paper, but they don’t know what they don’t know. They don’t realize the relational cred that drives the fundraising sector, the significant time commitment that managing a grant will take, or, say, the red flags of a bureaucratic funder they’re innocently eager to befriend.

“We keep getting denied.”

I talk about grants rejection further in this blog post. But real quick: when I talk with folks eager to expand their grants programs, many times it’s because they’re sick and tired of getting denied. Why bother spending 15 hours applying for a grant when it will just get rejected again?

And to make matters worse, grant rejects often don’t know why they’re denied. Nonprofit ghosting is an unfortunate reality in philanthropy. We want to put our efforts toward opportunities where there’s a certainty, return on investment, stability. And at the very least, people not being jerks, please and thank you.

Here’s a few other common concerns I hear from organizations pursuing grants:

  • We just need some grants.

  • We don’t have the application materials this grant is requiring.

  • We are doing great work as a nonprofit but just don’t have it written down.

  • We don’t have the time to prepare a proposal.

  • Seems like there aren’t any grants in our region.

  • Approaching funders feels daunting.

  • The last grant writer we worked with screwed us over.

Is this you? You’re not alone.

Imagine voicing these struggles to someone who “gets” you. Imagine having time-saving solutions where you’re no longer wondering whether there’s any grants out there that fit your organization. Imagine having a list of legitimate grant prospects to keep you busy for the year. Imagine having organizational language you’re actually proud of.

When you talk with me, I’ll be listening for your “stuck” points. Then, we’ll get rolling. I’ll work with you on common-sense approaches to your org’s grant success. Why? Because you’re the expert. You’re the one solving addressing issues in your community. You owe it to yourself to stop wasting time and take subversive steps toward organizational success.

Maybe you’re thinking, “That’s nice, but it sounds too good to be true, and we probably can’t afford it.” Unlike other grants consultants, I don’t bill by the hour. I don’t flaunt a click-bait grants success rate. And I never, ever promise grant prospects being funded (which, I suppose, my saying that could actually drive people away…!).

One of my recent clients said,

“Katie followed through with her commitment and built my trust by doing so. Anyone interested in hiring her would get high praise and a strong recommendation from me!”

Shoot me a message, and let’s talk.

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