Why is Grant Research So Important?
Grant research is an important- but often overlooked- first step to prepare for a successful grant proposal. In our experience, most nonprofit founders and Executive Directors will chase after wherever the money is going. But in reality, that method is time consuming, cost consuming, and in the end, not even very effective. However, when you put the work in ahead of time to be intentional about the kind of grant your organization decides to go after, you streamline your process and free up your time to submit the best grant possible.
You need funding to grow
Securing funding is essential for any organization. Grants are one of the best ways to bring in new money and realize new projects. Winning funds through the power of grant research will go a long way. Do you need a piece of new equipment for your science lab? Then you know you need to search for a capital grant or equipment purchase grant. Are you planning to launch a charity project in a 3rd world country? Then look for a grant maker who funds international initiatives. To further your chances of success your grant finds should align with your own nonprofit’s priorities. For example, if you are nonprofit focused on foster kids, why spend time applying to a grant maker whose main funding in the past has been awarded to environmental causes? Charitable and foundational gifts total roughly $77 billion per year in the US. Additionally, 96% of all nonprofits who consistently submit grants in a given year will win at least one of the grants that they’ve applied for.
Don't be knocking on the wrong door
Doing grant writing without proper grant research is like running a marathon after spending a year doing nothing but eating potato chips in front of your television. Do you have a chance to win? Yes, but only through a miracle. Grant research is the preparation time you need to plan out your strategy so that when you hit the ground running, you’ll be ready for whatever comes your way. Without grant research, you could be applying for funds at places where you have absolutely no chance of winning. You must know the history of fund winners of any grant if you want to be successful. This will help you decide if your organization is a good fit for any grant and you should pursue it or not. Knowing which grants you should apply for and which ones you should skip is half the job done.
Power up your grant writing
The other half of the job is grant writing. You must bring out your A-game when it comes to grant writing. The best grant writer is someone who has both a powerfully analytical mind, a penchant for creating budgets, and is an amazing storyteller. Most importantly, a good grant writer should be able to streamline your grant research process as they put that analytical mind to work. They should be able to analyze a grant maker’s historical records to determine the best strategy going forward for your organization. Every grant maker is different, and every grant proposal has its own strategy.
Know your funder
Knowing exactly what the funders are looking for and meeting that need is one of the most assured ways that you can win a grant. Apart from the available tools online, the funder's website should be your key source of information for the grant you're interested in applying for. It's important to know exactly what the funder is looking for, what is necessary to apply, and the deadlines.