Why keep #grant-seeking as a priority during COVID-19 when there are so many urgent needs? Take a breath, take a minute, and remember – your mission depends on it. I don’t have to tell you that the world seems to be spinning out of control. Many #nonprofits are facing unprecedented challenges such as:
- Scrambling to focus on basic safety for staff and clients
- Struggling to provide hallmark services
- Watching reserve funds diminish at a rapid rate
This is not the first challenge the nonprofit sector has faced and it will not be the last. Here’s how to keep grant-seeking a priority.
1. Connect with Funders and Give them Guidance
It is up to you to help funders know what your organization needs to serve your community. If you excel at authentic human connection, this is your moment to connect with funders and give them guidance. This is the time to be your community’s best advocate.
Remember that funders legitimately want to help. They know that grantees have more and different needs than ever before. Do not be afraid to pick up the phone and call a funder. While you are advocating for your community’s needs, remember, funders have their own set of challenges such as:
- navigation of work-from-home realities and socially distanced workspaces
- virtual meetings and technology challenges
- logistics related to distributing money quickly
- shrinking endowments
Try to be understanding of their challenges – I think we all can agree that we need more of that right now. Let it start with you.
2. Creative Impact Awareness
Don’t be afraid to be creative. I have seen this happening already and it is amazing! Show funders how you are tackling your community’s crisis. The following are all creative ways to help supporters see the impact your nonprofit has on the needs of your community:
- Social media posts
- online events
- virtual tours
3. Discuss Changes
Finally, talk to funders about changes you may need to make to programs and grant reporting. Discuss changes or new ways in which you are serving clients before you write your #grant report.
- If the outcomes and deadlines of your grant no longer make sense, help funders understand the reasons why and how you plan to adapt.
- Respectfully ask funders for what you need. You will not know if you do not ask. If they decline (which they might) at least you know you tried and where they stand, and you can figure out how to move on.
Please don’t stop seeking grants and interacting with funders. Strong nonprofits know that grant-seeking is a cycle of action. Suspension of the cycle now can mean losing ground that is difficult to regain later. Keep #grant-seeking as a high priority during COVID-19 and keep moving your mission forward!
What is your organization doing to prioritize grant-seeking during COVID-19? If you need expert advice about how to navigate this unprecedented time contact us.
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