Is your nonprofit utilizing grants to your advantage? If not, you could be missing out on many opportunities grants can provide. With grants contributing to a large portion of a nonprofit’s budget (approximately 10% of all funding, in fact!), now is the time to consider the importance of grants, understand your eligibility, and utilize your funds to support your organization.
At Varsity, we’re here to help grow your organization. With over 25 years of experience providing custom IT solutions and support to nonprofit organizations, we can help utilize the right technology to increase your mission impact. Technology is becoming a strategic investment for many successful nonprofits, however, many nonprofits don’t have the resources or budgets to allocate toward new technology. That’s where grants can help!
The first step in assessing your grant options is to determine your eligibility. This process is extremely important. As the U.S. government notes, “if you are not legally eligible for a specific funding opportunity, you would waste a lot of time and money completing the application process when you cannot actually receive the grant.” You can utilize a variety of sites to check your grant eligibility, including the U.S. government’s website or Grant Watch.
Grants can come from the government, charities, community organizations, private foundations, and/or individual donors. Jitasa Group, an accounting solution for nonprofits, recommends figuring out which grant option makes the most sense for your organization: “For instance, if you need to fund your organization’s operating expenses, you should consider a government grant. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a potentially smaller grant for a very specific project, you could search for a family or community foundation to build a relationship with.”
Once you have determined your grant eligibility and created a list of potential grant options, it’s time to apply! Grant writing plays a huge role in this part of the application process. While there are many tips for writing successful grant proposals, here are a few that stand out:
Tell Your Story: Every nonprofit has a unique story. What’s yours? Detail your mission, the communities you serve, and why you do what you do.
Specify Your Needs: Explain your nonprofit’s need for funding. The more specific, the better!
Develop Personal Donor Relationships: If possible, see if you can speak directly with a grant manager. Modern Nonprofit offers this great tip: “The more personal you can be with potential funders, the more likely you are to receive the grant. After each conversation you have, send a thank you note.”
As our world becomes increasingly interconnected, it’s no surprise that technology is becoming a strategic way to connect with others, improve operational efficiency, and increase your mission impact. Grantors see the value in technology, too — but they want to see exactly how their investments bring value.
Technology is one of the best ways to report on grant success. Forbes notes: “As grants become more competitive and grantors become more focused on concrete outcomes, nonprofits that understand how to gather and deliver hard data, engage with grantors more productively, and prove that they’re using investments to enact real change will have an edge.”
Connect With Varsity
If you’re interested in discussing how your nonprofit can implement the right mission-driven technology, reach out to Varsity. We offer a variety of valuable IT services tailored to nonprofits, including donor and membership management software applications, network security and support, data back-up and recovery, cloud infrastructure, and more. Our trusted team of IT providers will partner with you to find the most effective technology solutions within your grant budget.