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Being new to the world of nonprofits, I have learned so much in the short amount of time working for RevComm Consulting. One of my main focuses, when supporting the team, is grant research. I find leads in all kinds of different ways, whether it is from Grantstation, Guidestar, by referral, and even when I am out around town. I make sure the grantor has a funding area in which our clients provide programs. Next, I make sure the grantor aligns with our client’s mission and funding focus. Finally, I make sure the amount of funding will work for our client.
I am still learning, and I have made mistakes when researching for funding opportunities. The biggest mistake is not taking the time to really read the guidelines and/or instruction. Sometimes, I write leads down so that I can go back and pull the applications for a later time. In doing so, I have made the mistake of thinking our client lines up perfectly with a grantor, to later finding out that they do not match up with either the funding area or the funding focus. I have also made the mistake of thinking a grantor funds for project/programs, general operating, or capital, to then find out when pulling the application that they only do sponsorships or fundraisers.
Another mistake is not reading the restrictions. Sometimes, I overlook the restrictions at my first glance. However, I try to look for them every chance I get. This will help to pinpoint exactly what they will not fund. Whether that be that your organization is newer than 3 years old or even sometimes if you are a national organization. The biggest mistake is not taking the time to really read the grantor’s website and research the funding focus to make sure your organization aligns.
Every grantor is different and has different missions, so it is always smart to really research each and every one to make sure you are a great fit for them as well as if they are a great fit for your organization.