Grantmakers are suffering in this economy, too. Many report cutbacks in their assets, and consequently, their budgets. Others report reductions in staffing and spending, which impacts how they make decisions about which programs to fund.
What Are Grantmakers Looking For?
Focus on results – Nonprofits must be able to demonstrate effectiveness through evaluation. With limited resources, funders want to know their dollars are making an impact and will focus more on proposals that include outcome measures.
Take steps to address the downturn – Nonprofits that are making adjustments in this new economic reality will be viewed more favorably by funders. Grantors are more willing to meet you halfway if you’ve already begun to address your shortfalls. Perhaps you can partner with another agency in your area? Cut back to 4 days/week? Use college volunteers to help with administrative tasks, rather than hiring a temp? Reduce your energy costs? Use conference calling or Skype rather than office-based meetings?
Communication. Now is the time to step up communication with your donors. They can’t help you unless they understand what you need. Educate them about community priorities and how they can help you leverage stimulus dollars. Think out of the box–perhaps applying for funding to invest your sustainability rather than a direct service.