How to Create a Funding Plan for Your Organization
1 of 9 in Series: The Essentials of Finding and Applying for a Grant
Laying out a funding development plan is the first step to becoming proactive in grant seeking and grant writing. Both non-profit and for-profits organizations can benefit from a good plan for getting funding. Here are the parts of an all-purpose funding development plan:
Mission statement: A mission statement tells funders your purpose or vision for being a structured nonprofit or for-profit organization. The mission statement should include the name of your organization, its structural status (nonprofit or for-profit), the year it was formed, and its purpose (reason for organization).
Make this statement clear and impactful, reflecting your vision. If you already have a mission statement, maybe it creates more confusion than clarity. Take a long look at your existing mission statement and ask yourself whether you need to rewrite that statement.
Assessment of funding needs: What programs and services do you want to offer? Where is the funding coming from — internal or external sources? Ask and answer questions about your organization's financial strengths, as well as its financial weaknesses. Also, consider what funding opportunities are available to your organization and what threats to funding your organization faces.
Funding goals: How much money do you need to raise from external funding sources for each program or service?
Your goals should be global and futuristic; they should describe where you want to be when the grant money runs out.
Funding objectives: What benchmarks do you want to set to assure that you reach these funding goals?
Your goals can’t stand alone. You’ll never accomplish anything if your goals aren’t supported by objectives. Objectives act as benchmarks or reference points; they’re measurable steps that must be taken in order to achieve your goals. And every goal must have at least one objective.
Action plan: What are the annual tasks, over three to five years, that must be completed in order to make your funding development plan a reality?
In the action plan part of your organization’s funding development plan, you need to sort your funding needs into categories of for each program or service that needs external funding or grant monies.
Monitoring and evaluation of funding objectives: How can your organization track and prove that the project’s measurable objectives were met and at what levels? What are your evaluation tools?
You need to determine how your organization will track and evaluate your funding plan’s objectives. In this part of the funding development plan, make sure to mention who'll conduct the monitoring and evaluation activities and who'll see or review the evaluation findings or reports.
After you write your funding development plan, stick to it. Before writing any grant requests, first make sure that the grant fits into your plan. Be organized, stay focused, and follow your funding plan’s road map to success and stability.