How to Include an Additional Funding Plan in a Nonprofit Grant Application
When writing grant applications, your nonprofit should follow the age-old concept of not putting all your eggs in one basket. Between many foundations’ reluctance to pay for 100 percent of a project’s costs and their preference for offering short-term project support, you want to know how you can cover the balance of the costs in the present and all the costs when initial project support runs out.
Foundations reviewing grant proposals want to know the same information. What resources, other than the grant that the foundation is considering, are available to the project? And how can the agency sustain the project in the future?
Willingness to cover the full cost of a project varies from foundation to foundation and agency to agency. Some like to own a project and have their names strongly associated with it; therefore, they may be willing to cover full costs.
Some like to be one of several supporters so that the nonprofit isn’t entirely dependent on them. That way, the project can go on even if they can’t continue to support it in a future year.
An additional funding plan should be clear and reasonable. Because a nonprofit can’t assume it will receive every grant for which it applies, a foundation understands if a nonprofit has applied for more grants funding than the full cost of the program.
If a nonprofit lists another foundation as a possible source of income for a project, it doesn’t necessarily have to have received that grant, but the prospect should be plausible. The size of the grant should be appropriate to others awarded by the agency, and the focus of the foundation should be aligned with the project request.
Foundation staff members talk with colleagues at other foundations. Never lie about having submitted a proposal or having received a grant from another foundation. That lie can undermine your request (and future requests, too)!
Guidelines for future funding are similar to those for additional funding. The plan should be reasonable and well considered. Generally, foundations hope to see agencies growing less dependent on grants over time and are happy to see proposals projecting future increases in earned revenues or individual contributions.
Here are some possible sources for future funding:
A government contract to sustain a valuable service after it has been developed and tested
The sale of publications, recordings, or services based on the project
A membership drive
A major donor campaign
Some proposals don’t need to address these concerns. They seek support for projects that begin and end in short periods of time. For example, a proposal may support the publication of a study of an agency’s work and after the agency edits, designs, and posts the report on its website, future funding isn’t needed.
For others, future funding is very important. For example, you wouldn’t want to start a recreation center for low-income youths and have to close it after a few years. The lack of program continuity can have a negative effect on the clients.