Hi! I’m Kate Martin, the Grants Manager at Dr. Phillips Charities! Welcome to the first blog entry of “The Juicy Details”! We’ve started this blog with you in mind – and by you, I mean grant writers, nonprofit organizations seeking grant funding, or anyone who is curious about grant writing.
We’ll talk about good grant writing, share resources, and of course talk about what Dr. Phillips Charities wants to see when we receive Letters of Intent and Grant Proposals. Want to know the Juicy Details? Read below!
Yoga, Wheel Alignments, and Grants!
I’m not sure what it says about me (other than I can’t stop thinking about Grants!), but when I think of the right fit, the natural alignment between an organization’s grant proposal and the right source of funding, it reminds me of Yoga and getting my car’s wheels aligned.
You have a program’s story in mind and your organization is excited to get going and get funding! Sometimes we just want to shout it from the rooftops and tell everyone we meet about it. But the highest and best use of our time is to tell the right person… or in this case the right funder.
Let’s get to the Juicy Details about how yoga and alignments can lead us to a natural fit.
Yoga helps us find a more Pain Free Grant Process. One of the main goals of yoga is alignment of body so that you can attain pain free movement and flexibility. To do this you do strengthening and stretching exercises that help align body, mind, and spirit. Kind of like finding the right funder for your grant proposal.
Stick with me. Organizational Goals are the organization’s mind, its mission the spirit, and its programs the body – the thing that makes the spirit soar and the mind peaceful yet active. Aligning all of these means staying true to your mission, goals and program purposes. You can only do that with the right funder.
If you are pushing too hard to make your grant fit a funder’s initiatives, you are wasting time and effort that can be stretched and moved into a better position with a funder who not only who is more likely to award you the grant, but also more likely to have similar goals in similar ways in the community. You are more likely to enjoy your time working with someone who isn’t pushing your organization into a different direction, even possibly mission drift and failing to achieve your goals for the community, because it doesn’t fit its own position.
“Wheel Alignments” help. How do you select the right funder? Just like you need to know what tells you it’s time for your car’s next wheel alignment, a little “alignment” analysis for your grant goes a long way. It’s only when something is wrong with my car or when I drive someone else’s car that I realize driving my car is second nature. So only when my car starts pulling to one side of the road, or my tires are wearing on one side, or my steering wheel can no longer find center on its own do I realize it’s time for an alignment!
My organization is like my car, and when I picture working with different funders, I imagine how the process will go… it might make me drift to where I don’t really want to be, or my center purpose of the program is not where center really belongs. To determine this though grant writers should analyze who a potential grant funder is by reviewing grant guidelines, the grant proposal (or Letter of Intent) questions asked, and FAQs or any other information provided on their websites. Make a check list of what the grant makers goals are (what they’re looking to support or accomplish), and determine how many your organization, its mission, and the program associated with the proposal line up. Even flush out some details about your program that meet these support areas and guidelines can help.
Are you aligned? If so, you can be more confident that you and the potential funder are driving in the same direction without veering off course or wearing each other thin.
Next time… join us for the Juicy Details around “Gathering Grant Goodies” just in time for Halloween.