Will Getting Grant Money Stem Income Desperation?

In my last post I mentioned the subject of ‘Grants.’

Missionaries think about Grants in two major situation:   When they’re desperate, and when the face-to-face donor meetings get tough, and they get worn out doing them.

Here are my thoughts about ‘Grants.’

Over my years of leading missionary teams, I often heard a staff member say, “I’d like to try and get a grant.”

I usually wasn’t  enamored with that idea for them, because getting grants is a lot of work with often no Return On Investment (ROI).  Why?

Here are my reasons:

  1. You must know how to write them effectively.
  2. You must research to know which Foundations to pitch them to.  The Foundation mission must match up with your mission.
  3. You should have a relationship with someone in the Foundation who knows you, or at least is aware of your Organization.
  4. You need a specific project and amount that fits the Foundation’s goals.
  5. You need to meet calendar deadlines with submissions.
  6. You must realize you’re one small fish in a big pond — thousands of other organizations are requesting funds.  Relationships help here.
  7. You must be prepared to accomplish a lot of paperwork and submit to accountability IF you get the grant.

And to put the nail in the coffin of Grant writing, here’s the statistic from Network for Good: “75% of non-profit funding comes from individuals! It cost twice as much in fundraising dollars to find a new donor than it does to keep an existing one.

I’m not totally against Grant Writing for missionary PROJECT support.  But I don’t know of any Foundation that provides grants for ongoing support.  Maybe you know one?

So go for it if you’ve got a great project.  But remember — Trying to acquire a grant is a lot of time, hope, and energy expended on your part to gain the funds.

It might be wiser to use your time to enlist new individual donors and work to build relationships with present donors (retention).  Remember the 75%!


www.FundTheMinistry.com  (tools for fundraising)
www.facebook.com/FundTheMinistry  (weekly blurps on fundraising)

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