All grant making organisations have their own ways of working, but almost all of them approach the grant making decision process in a relatively similar way. All funding organisations want to know certain pieces of information such as how your organisations values align with theirs, your track record and the impact that your proposed project will make on the community. This short guide will provide you with an insight into how grant makers reach decisions and how you can position your next grant proposal for success.
The very first thing a grant making organisation will consider upon receiving your application is that both the purpose of your organisation and your project matches their current interests. Grantmakers like to work with organisations who they share a similar passion with and who they are confident are working in pursuit of the same goals, whether that is gender equality or rural development.
The second thing a funder will evaluate is whether your project fits within their current priorities in terms of beneficiaries, location, impact, delivery method and more. If your organisation has applied to a specific fund or call for proposal there are likely to be strict eligibility criteria on the types of organisation and project that can apply.
One of the next things a funding organisation may investogate is the current status and reputation of your organisation within the community that you work. They will be able to find information about your organisation from newspapers and websites as well as contacting organisations you have worked with in the past to see what they have to say about your NGO. Funders are likely to be particularly interested in the experiences of other grantmaking organisations who you have previously worked with.
At this point, if they are happy with everything they have discovered so far, most grant makers will start to interogate your project proposal itself. One of the most crucial things any project proposal needs to do is to clearly demonstrate a need for support.
The next mission critical aspect of your project proposal that will be closely scrutinised by a grant maker is exactly how you propose to address the problem you have highlighted.
One of the most important aspects of your proposal will be how you will sustain your project after the funding period ends. Do you have a well developed exit strategy? The last thing a funder wants to see is a successful project end prematurely because the funding has ran out and no alternative sources have been found.
These factors are some of the most senior considerations of a grantmaker. Each organisation will also consider a series of other factors that differ from one to another depending on how much value they place on each.
Be sure to read all guidelines carefully as well as looking into the values and ethos of your chosen funder before applying. Knowing exactly what it is a funder is looking for is perhaps the most important piece of research you will undertake. Give them what they want and you will stand a great chance of receiving funding.