If you’re part of a grant-giving organization, or you are merely a business or individual who has the funds available to give to charities, you probably have a process that you use to determine which organizations are most suited to your donations. If you have a grant that you have advertised that isn’t getting many applicants, you might begin to wonder why you organizations aren’t lining up at the opportunity to have these funds. Many times, there is a disjoint in perspectives of the grantor and any potential grantees.
When you’re giving out grant money, it’s important to make sure that you aren’t placing any unnecessary red tape in the way of potential grantees. It’s important to remember that a 20-page proposal will cost organizations money to have that produced for them. Although, if you are giving out, say, $50,000 you might want to have more restrictions and proof that the donation will be spent wisely. If you are only giving out a relatively small amount, it might not make sense for the organization to hire a grant proposal writer for such a small amount. They might rationalize that all of the money that they could earn through the grant would be eaten up in the fee to the grant writer.
To avoid getting in your own way of achieving your philanthropic goals, make the proposal appropriate to the amount that will be given. If you are giving out only a few thousand dollars, it might mean that it is more appropriate to require a short two-three page letter that details what the organization does and how the funds would be spent.
You should also take a look at your own internal practices to make sure that you are aligning your internal processes to your own goals and the organizations that you serve. Although you might be interested in finding the best ways to give your money and ensure that it gets into the hands of people who will use it to great effect, it’s easy to have a lack of focus and mismanage your efforts. When you take a closer look at your own practices in conjunction with the practices and goals of your prospective grantees, you will have a better idea of how to best serve them.
If you have found that you are not getting as many applicants to your grants as you would like, take heart in the knowledge that even a few shifts in perspective and an approach more appropriate to your target grantees will bring you closer to your philanthropic goals.