Extremely Small Nonprofits
Learn why small nonprofits often have a tougher time seeking grant funding.
At The Write Source, we work with established nonprofits with at least five years of consistent income or revenue of $500,000 or more and a positive cash flow. This means that your organization must have a healthy budget, established programs, a strategic plan, and be ‘grant ready’ before we can help you be successful in obtaining grants for your programs and projects.
- The organization must have a mature budget originating from a variety of annual revenue sources. This includes a mix of fundraising activities, fees for service, interest income, and/or contracts with different levels of government. Grants from foundations and corporations will be approximately 20% to 30% of your annual operating budget. If your organization relies too heavily on grants, no matter how worthy the program or how well-written the proposal, funders will shy away from investing in your organization. That is why they ask for your annual operating budget, audited financial statements, and will review your most recently filed IRS Form 990. Your finances speak volumes to funders.
- The organization must have a track record of effective programming. Funders are venture philanthropists who want to invest in your organization and its capability to deliver programs and projects that satisfy their mission. They will investigate your organization thoroughly, read every word of your proposal, and potentially make site visits before they decide if and when they will provide your organization support through a grant. Having a reputation for planning and implementing programs that meet or exceed projected outcomes will help you succeed in obtaining grants for your future programs or projects.
- The organization must have a strategic plan. Every organization must have a strategic plan in place that is approved by its board of directors before beginning the grant-seeking process. This plan identifies strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the organization. It also acts as a roadmap to help your organization reach its short-term and long-term goals. We will use your strategic plan to provide evidence that the program or project you propose to a funder is in keeping with your future vision of your organization.
- The organization must be ‘grant ready.’ When you inquire about our services, we also interview you to understand if your organization is ready to seek grants. Just because you saw a request for a proposal or discovered a foundation or corporate funder with similar interests doesn’t mean that it is the best fit for your program or project. While we do not guarantee the outcome of any of our efforts, we want to make sure that we provide you with the best possible proposal to submit to a grantmaker with the highest likelihood of funding your program or project.
The proposed program or project in need of grant funding must work to satisfy the mission of the organization. When a nonprofit strays from its mission without direction provided by its strategic plan, the chances of securing a grant for a new initiative will be extremely difficult to almost non-existent. We will encourage nonprofits to form collaborative relationships with other organizations serving the target population to help them go beyond their current mission and meet the needs identified in the community.