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Funding and SustainabilityGrant Funding

Preparing Your 2024 Grant Strategy: Foundation Funding

By October 26, 2023No Comments

Many nonprofits seek foundation funding to support the mission of their organization. However, there are several myths surrounding foundation funding that can lead grant seekers to feel discouraged and frustrated. Let’s debunk some of these myths and provide some insight on how to navigate the foundation funding process.

Myth 1 – Funders are always clear about what they want to fund, and they are in control. While foundations do have the money, they are not always clear about what they want to fund. They are one entity with relatively little accountability. The IRS requires foundations to allocate a portion of their funds annually. However, they are not required to justify that their funding decisions are aligned with their missions. It is important to note that most foundations are obligated to award grants only to nonprofit organizations.

Myth 2 – When applying for a grant, it’s best to conceal weaknesses. This is not true. Honesty is always the best policy. Funders are aware that organizations have challenges and areas that need improvement. While it’s important to focus on your organization’s strengths, it’s equally important to emphasize its reliability. Foundation officers stress the importance of demonstrating that your organization is reliable and capable of following through on its commitments. Ultimately, your aim is to assure funders that your organization can withstand potential financial challenges and continue serving its mission.

Myth 3 – Funders don’t read grant reports. This is another common misconception. Program officers typically review grant reports and create a comprehensive summary to be presented to the foundation’s board of directors. Therefore, it’s crucial to put your best foot forward when drafting grant reports. Grant reports can affect future funding opportunities and your organization’s overall success. A grant report is your opportunity to shine…share with the funder how their funding made a difference in the lives of those you serve.

Myth 4 Always embellish and stretch, especially in the budget. This is not recommended. While funders may not know the exact costs to implement and operate a program, they have a general idea. Funders would prefer that you request the necessary funds, but don’t stretch the budget or the program’s reach. It’s important to build trust by being truthful about your budget and program needs. This will increase your chances of success and potential for repeat funding.

Take time now to develop your grant funding strategy for 2024. Doing so will equip your organization for funding success.

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