Funder Relations

I’m not the type of person who sends out holiday cards. I want to be that type of person. I feel like I should be that type of person. After all, I love receiving them; the photos of our friends and family and their “year-in-review” recaps always bring a smile to my face. And I grew up with a mom who is great at sending holiday cards. I have vivid memories of her pulling out the notebook filled with addresses, often with amendments and notes penned neatly beside certain names. She’d carefully address and stuff envelopes with a card and letter detailing our family’s updates and accomplishments. By giving my brother and me some editorial power over our own paragraphs (so we could keep our very cool reputations intact) and soliciting our help with the envelope stuffing, she was giving us a primer in relationship maintenance.

As grant professionals, many of us know that our workload tends to ease up a bit during the last month or two of the year. Yes, yes, the holidays are here as well, but this is no ordinary year (e.g., pandemic, racial tensions, etc.). What has felt to some people like a decade’s-long timespan (i.e. 2020), is FINALLY coming to an end. (Ok, ok. ‘Some people’ is me. I am ‘some people.’) But if you’re like me, you’re determined to remain cautiously optimistic about the upcoming year; having faith that things will ultimately be ok in the end. So, this is an ideal time to seize the moment and maximize your efficiency by preparing for the year to come. While there are many things a grant professional should do to be ready for an upcoming year, we’ll talk briefly about a few of the key ones. Determining if a funder is right for your program If you happen to be in the dating “scene” in this highly digital age, it can be hard to determine from just an online profile whether you and a potential mate are going to be compatible. Or perhaps a friend or acquaintance has someone they want you to meet and claims they’d be perfect for you. As a grant writer, you might find yourself in a similar situation when you’ve found a funder online who seems to be a perfect match for the services at your nonprofit organization.

  Successful Grant Reporting What about when you’re left without a format!? Grant writers tend to be rule followers. We crave structure and details. We’re all about formats, deadlines, and word counts (well sometimes). But what should you do when a funder wants a report but doesn’t provide...