Leverage: The Name of the Game for 2021
Grant Management Tips from Cynthia M. Adams, Founder and CEO GrantStation
Are you scrambling to get a request in to one of the many COVID-19 funding opportunities coming across your desk? Perhaps the proposal you are currently working on is for up to $75,000 to go towards costs incurred due to the pandemic. This award will not cover all of your costs, not by a long shot, but it will certainly help. But before you fill out one more form, take a minute to ask yourself: If I do receive this $75,000 how can I use it to leverage additional money so I can truly cover the costs incurred, and move my organization forward?
Let me share a story with you.
Way back when (as in the late 70s) I was working as the fundraiser for a small environmental organization in Alaska. One of our supporters walked into our office and offered me a $5,000 check. In the 70s that was a very nice donation. I hadn’t been a fundraiser for long, and I certainly had never had any training, but I instinctively knew that I might be able to leverage this unexpected gift. Our organization was renting the house we were in, but it was up for sale. If we could raise $30,000 for the down payment we could buy it. I asked the donor if I could use his $5,000 to help me raise the additional $25,000 we needed to buy this place. He agreed. I then spent the day doing research and pulled together a plan to secure the money needed. By the end of the week I had the $30K in hand, and by the end of the month we closed the deal.
How can you make this approach work for you? Let’s take this tentative $75,000 COVID-19 grant. Before you apply, consider how you would use the grant to leverage additional support to keep your organization operating at maximum productivity.
Let’s say you’re a food bank located in Alabama. I would suggest you begin by doing a search on GrantStation that includes these criteria:
- Types of Support: Matching
- Areas of Interest: Hunger/Food Banks
- Geographic Scope: Alabama
This search should provide you with funders who would consider matching a $75,000 grant. You might come up with one potential funder, or a combination of several, but using that initial COVID-19 grant to leverage additional funding is key. The gist of your request would simply be that your food bank had to make significant facility and services adjustment due to the pandemic, and you need $150,000 to cover those incurred costs as well as create and implement a plan for going forward post-pandemic.
The smart move when applying for and receiving grants via COVID-19 funding opportunities is to turn each potential award, whether it is $1,000 or $100,000, into the additional support necessary to keep your organization financially healthy. Use these stopgap funding opportunities to leverage the money you will need as we move into the post-COVID-19 era.
We can help you identify those grantmakers that are interesting in matching your COVID-19 awards. Our U.S., Canadian, and International searchable databases provide up-to-date profiles on a numerous grantmakers including foundations, corporate giving programs, faith-based grantmakers, association grant programs, giving circles, and more. In addition, we offer tutorials, worksheets, and interactive tools to help you manage your grants program and write stellar grant requests.
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