What Do You Do When You Have a Big Mission and No Money?

While all nonprofit organizations need to secure funding, there are key differences between small, struggling organizations and large, well-funded organizations other than the obvious difference in size. If your organization is struggling to find money, below are suggestions you can implement to up your grant game. 

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Creating a Grant Strategy for 2018

Creating a grant strategy involves identifying the funders you want to pursue, and, to the degree possible, specific opportunities of interest from each funding source. Developing a grant strategy also requires insight into your organization. You need to know your organization's long- and short-term goals, its capabilities and resources, and its tolerance for risk. To create a realistic strategy, you also need to be familiar with the general funding environment.

 
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Preparing for a Government Funding Opportunity

Foundation grants often have known release dates and established program areas, which mean there are few surprises: You can find out when the foundation accepts proposals, and you can usually read up on the program areas and past grantees on the foundation's website. You may even be able to access the grant application well in advance of the time applications are due if the foundation uses a standard application format.

Government grant opportunities are different. For many government funding opportunities, the agency that will release the funding announcement doesn't have direct control over all the variables including how much money a grant will award and even when the opportunity announcement will be published.

 
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What Bloggers Can Teach Grant Writers about Writing, Competition, and Finding Success

Many bloggers write about how to connect with online readers. It turns out that many of the bloggers' views on what it takes to be a successful blogger apply equally well to grant writing.Below are four common messages from the blogging world about how to find success and build an audience. Included in the list are suggestions of how each approach can be applied to grant writing.

 
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How to Write a Grant Proposal

If you are new to grant writing, your first question is likely to be: How Do I Write a Grant Proposal?At its core, writing a grant proposal comes down to five steps. Each of the five steps is described briefly below. If you are interested in reading more, you'll find links to earlier posts that describe the steps in detail.

 
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Should You Be Relying on Grant Funding?

Grant funding is part of the funding mix for most nonprofits. For some organizations, grants make up the bulk of their funding. However, few organizations can rely solely on grant funding. In part this is because grant funding is unpredictable. Both the number of grants received, and the awarded amounts, can vary considerably from year to year. In addition to the unpredictability of grants, there are other drawbacks. Five are outlined below. Before you embark on the pursuit of grant funding, you'll want to prepare for each of these challenges.

 
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14 Resources for Sample Grant Proposals

If you've never written a proposal before or even if you have, it can be valuable to look at sample proposals, particularly examples of funded proposals. The resource list below consists primarily of links to proposals funded by U.S. government agencies. There are a few foundation sources, including a book released by the Foundation Center that includes more than 30 sample proposals (all successfully funded). Listed below you'll also find links to proposal outlines and grant writing guidance.

 
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Creating a Proposal Team: Identifying Who You'll Need

Once you've identified an opportunity to respond to and started to assemble your materials, you'll need to recruit a team to work on the proposal. If you've been anticipating an opportunity's release, you may already have your team in place. If this is the case, you can go directly to assembling your proposal binders and scheduling the initial proposal planning meeting.

 
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Questions to Ask before Completing a Competitor Analysis

There are several arguments for conducting a competitor analysis, some more persuasive than others. However, the main (if unspoken) benefit of completing one is to give an organization a sense of control. Having a competitor analysis in hand fosters the belief that everything that can be done to create a winning proposal is being done. The value of the security and confidence this belief creates should not be discounted. The key is to remain aware of the limitations of the competitor analysis process and not lose sight of other activities that could have a greater impact.

 
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Overview of the Go/No-Go Meeting Process

A go/no-go meeting should be conducted for each funding opportunity of potential interest. The meeting ensures that there has been a thoughtful, deliberative process to determine whether to respond to an opportunity. The go/no-go decision process can break down for a number of reasons. A few common ones are:

 
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