Grant Writing: Focus on the Lasting Impact of the Funder’s Investment
There are many ways to improve your grant writing. Think about the lasting impact of the funder’s investment. Use words and phrases such as external, internal, local fundraising, creating future funding partners, inviting more external funding sources to the organization’s table of partners, seeking to identify more investors in our stakeholders, and continuing grant-funded activities after the funding is gone.
These words and phrases don’t just point to something; they rocket off the page and say, “We’re planning for the future of this organization and asking for your help, and we have a plan for keeping this program alive after we spend your money.”
All types of funders want assurances that when you finish spending their money, the show or program will go on. No funder wants the efforts supported by its investment to suddenly shut down at the end of the funding period.
In your program design and evaluation section, you must write a paragraph to address the funder’s concerns about continuity, which arise during the funding request review stage. In fact, most grant applications include a question or a section on the sustainability of the project, where you must outline your plan for maintaining the project after grant funding ends. If this information isn’t explicitly requested, be sure to include it anyway.
This paragraph from the Project Live grant request lays out the organization’s financial plan for its project’s future:
The City of Hopeful has been successful in securing grants and contracts to support Project Live. In 2016, Project Live was awarded $3 million from the US Department of Housing and Urban Renewal for a transitional housing facility and supportive services. This grant will cover five years of construction and operating support. This grant application seeks funding for three years of entrepreneurial training which will immensely benefit the clients served by Project Live.
On completion of this anticipated grant award, the City of Hopeful will have formed a Grants Advisory Committee and identified ongoing funding support for all aspects of Project Live, including the proposed entrepreneurial program. In addition, several local philanthropists have requested one-on-one presentations from City Council members. One of our sustainability goals includes starting an endowment fund to perpetuate Project Live for this community.