Successful grant writing should always begin with thorough research. The research that you do will undoubtedly be time consuming for you, but take heart. This will be time well spent and most certainly should not be overlooked.

Ultimately, your goal is to match your charity’s programs, activities, and goals with targeted grantmakers. Each Foundation—whether a governmental agency or a Family Foundation—has their own unique criteria that determines their approach to making grants. So, the first step in your search for grants for your nonprofit is thorough, extensive grant research.

The great news is that we have provided you with the tools that will greatly assist you in conducting your research. Grant Advance provides a current database of every Foundation in Canada. Further to this, you are given specific information for each one of these Foundations to gain a reasonable understanding of the mandate, culture, and behaviour of the Foundation you are applying to.  Writing a grant is time consuming, too, so the more heavy lifting you do on your research in the beginning, the more time you will save later on by not sending applications to Funders that don’t align with your work.

Those Foundations that have a website are clearly marked for you and a simple click of your mouse transports you directly to their web page. Be sure to review it thoroughly and follow all the instructions provided by them. Following instructions is one way that indicates to the Foundation that your organization is responsible and will be good stewards of their money. If they have an online application and you send your request via an alternative means, you will have little chance of success.

For Foundations that do not have a website indicated (and, yes, these are the majority), you are provided with detailed information on the Foundation Profile Page. Viewing each Profile Page is necessary for you to make an informed decision, as it pertains to whether they may be a good Funder for your campaign and even further the details that would be relevant to your ask amount.

We previously discussed how important establishing  a relationship is with the Foundation from a previous blog. It would be difficult to establish a relationship with the Foundation if we don’t know the first thing about who they are or the great work they support.

Think back to a time when you ran into someone that you were previously introduced to and they didn’t remember your name. It’s rather awkward isn’t it? I’m pretty certain most Foundations would feel that same way if you haven’t taken the time to do your research. Bottom line, if you haven’t done your research, you haven’t maximized your chances for success.

We provide you with all of the tools you require to find the door, but it’s your job to put your foot in!

By Kathie Murphy CPHR