<![CDATA[GRANT WRITING & DEVELOPMENT SERVICES - Grant & NPO News]]>Thu, 21 Mar 2024 02:34:51 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Maximizing Impact: A Case Study in Strategic Planning for Nonprofit Growth]]>Thu, 14 Mar 2024 19:30:00 GMThttp://grantwritingservices.org/grant--npo-news/maximizing-impact-a-case-study-in-strategic-planning-for-nonprofit-growth
In the dynamic landscape of nonprofit management, strategic planning plays a pivotal role in guiding organizations towards sustainable growth and maximum impact. To illustrate the transformative power of strategic planning, let's explore a fictional case study featuring a nonprofit organization, "Community Connections," and their journey to strategic planning mastery.

Background: Community Connections is a grassroots nonprofit dedicated to empowering underserved youth through mentorship and educational programs. Despite their passion and dedication to their mission, the organization found itself struggling to scale its programs effectively and reach a broader audience. Recognizing the need for a strategic approach to organizational growth, the leadership team at Community Connections embarked on a journey to enhance their strategic planning capabilities.
The Challenge: Like many nonprofits, Community Connections faced the challenge of balancing short-term programmatic goals with long-term strategic objectives. Without a clear roadmap for growth, they found themselves operating in a reactive manner, unable to capitalize on emerging opportunities or anticipate potential challenges. To overcome these obstacles, they sought to develop a comprehensive strategic plan that would align their resources, programs, and goals towards achieving their mission.

The Solution: Determined to chart a course for sustainable growth, the leadership team at Community Connections enrolled in the Strategic Planning course offered by GWS Academy. Recognizing the need for a structured approach to strategic planning, they immersed themselves in the self-paced modules covering topics such as mission alignment, goal setting, stakeholder engagement, and implementation strategies.

Case Study: Armed with newfound knowledge and skills from the GWS Academy course, the leadership team at Community Connections embarked on a strategic planning process guided by best practices and proven methodologies. They began by conducting a thorough assessment of their organization's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, laying the foundation for informed decision-making.
Drawing on the strategic planning frameworks learned in the course, they engaged stakeholders from across the organization, including staff, board members, volunteers, and program participants, in a collaborative planning process. Together, they defined clear goals and objectives aligned with Community Connections' mission and vision, ensuring buy-in and ownership at every level of the organization.
With a strategic plan in place, Community Connections was able to prioritize their initiatives, allocate resources effectively, and measure progress towards their goals. They implemented regular monitoring and evaluation processes to track their performance, identify areas for improvement, and adapt their strategies in response to changing circumstances.

The Results: The impact of Community Connections' strategic planning efforts was profound. Equipped with a clear roadmap for growth and sustainability, the organization saw improvements across key performance indicators, including program reach, participant satisfaction, and stakeholder engagement. By aligning their resources and efforts towards a common vision, they were able to maximize their impact and achieve their mission more effectively than ever before.

Moreover, the strategic planning process fostered a culture of collaboration, innovation, and continuous improvement within the organization, empowering staff and volunteers to contribute their ideas and expertise towards achieving shared goals. As a result, Community Connections was able to adapt and thrive in an ever-changing landscape, positioning themselves as a leader in their field.

Conclusion: The fictional case study of Community Connections highlights the transformative power of strategic planning in driving nonprofit growth and impact. By partnering with GWS Academy, the organization was able to develop a comprehensive strategic plan that aligned their resources, programs, and goals towards achieving their mission.

If you find yourself facing similar challenges in charting a course for your nonprofit's future, consider enrolling in the Strategic Planning course offered by GWS Academy. With expert-led modules, interactive exercises, and real-world case studies, our course equips nonprofit leaders with the knowledge and skills needed to develop and implement a strategic plan for success.

Learn more about our Strategic Planning course here.
Join us at GWS Academy and unlock the full potential of your nonprofit organization through strategic planning today!
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<![CDATA[Unlocking Funding Success: A Case Study in Grant Writing Mastery]]>Wed, 13 Mar 2024 19:00:00 GMThttp://grantwritingservices.org/grant--npo-news/unlocking-funding-success-a-case-study-in-grant-writing-mastery
In the competitive landscape of nonprofit funding, mastering the art of grant writing can be the key to unlocking vital resources and accelerating organizational growth. To illustrate the transformative power of effective grant writing, let's delve into a fictional case study featuring a nonprofit organization, "Hope Haven Foundation," and their journey to funding success.
Background: Hope Haven Foundation is a grassroots nonprofit dedicated to providing comprehensive support services for individuals experiencing homelessness in their community. Despite their impactful programs and dedicated team, securing sustainable funding has been a persistent challenge for the organization. With limited resources and growing demand for their services, the leadership team at Hope Haven recognized the need to enhance their grant writing capabilities to secure the funding necessary to achieve their mission.
The Challenge: Facing stiff competition for limited grant dollars, Hope Haven struggled to articulate their unique value proposition to potential funders effectively. Their grant proposals often lacked clarity, failed to demonstrate measurable outcomes, and fell short of conveying the organization's impact in a compelling manner. As a result, they missed out on critical funding opportunities, hindering their ability to expand their programs and reach more individuals in need.
The Solution: Determined to overcome these challenges, Hope Haven's Executive Director, Sarah, enrolled in the Grant Writing course offered by GWS Academy. Recognizing the need for a comprehensive approach to grant writing, Sarah immersed herself in the self-paced modules covering topics such as crafting compelling proposals, budgeting for success, strategic planning, effective grant research, and building strong relationships with funders.
Case Study: Armed with newfound knowledge and skills from the GWS Academy course, Sarah and her team embarked on a strategic approach to grant writing. They began by conducting thorough research to identify potential funding opportunities aligned with their organization's mission and programs. Leveraging the strategies learned in the course, they developed a targeted prospecting plan, prioritizing funders whose priorities and values closely matched those of Hope Haven.
With a clear understanding of their target audience, Sarah and her team focused on crafting compelling grant proposals that highlighted the organization's unique approach to addressing homelessness and outlined concrete plans for achieving measurable outcomes. Drawing on the budgeting techniques learned in the course, they developed detailed project budgets that aligned with grant guidelines and effectively communicated the financial sustainability of their programs.
Moreover, Sarah applied the strategic planning frameworks from the course to align their grant writing efforts with the organization's long-term goals and objectives. By developing a comprehensive strategic plan that integrated grant funding as a key component of their sustainability strategy, Hope Haven was able to present a clear roadmap for achieving their mission and maximizing the impact of their programs.
The Results: The transformation was remarkable. Equipped with the knowledge and skills gained from the GWS Academy course, Hope Haven saw a significant increase in their success rate with grant applications. Their proposals were now consistently recognized for their clarity, impact, and strategic approach, leading to a higher rate of funding awards.
Over time, this influx of grant funding allowed Hope Haven to expand their programs, reach more individuals experiencing homelessness, and deepen their impact in the community. With each successful grant award, they were able to invest in critical resources, hire additional staff, and enhance their services, further solidifying their position as a leading organization in the fight against homelessness.
Conclusion: The fictional case study of Hope Haven Foundation serves as a powerful testament to the transformative impact of mastering the art of grant writing. Through their partnership with GWS Academy, Sarah and her team were able to unlock new funding opportunities, accelerate their organizational growth, and make a meaningful difference in the lives of those they serve.
If you find yourself facing similar challenges in securing funding for your nonprofit organization, consider taking the first step towards funding success by enrolling in the Grant Writing course offered by GWS Academy. With expert-led modules, interactive exercises, and real-world case studies, our course equips nonprofit leaders with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate the complexities of grant writing with confidence.
Learn more about our Grant Writing course here.
Join us at GWS Academy and embark on your journey towards funding success today!
GWS Academy
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<![CDATA[Building Strong Relationships with Funders]]>Tue, 12 Mar 2024 19:00:00 GMThttp://grantwritingservices.org/grant--npo-news/building-strong-relationships-with-funders
In the world of grant writing, building strong relationships with potential funders can make all the difference. Beyond submitting a compelling proposal, nonprofit leaders must cultivate connections with funders based on trust, transparency, and mutual respect.
At GWS Academy, we recognize the importance of relationship-building in the grant writing process. That's why our self-paced course includes modules dedicated to building strong relationships with funders. From crafting personalized communication strategies to stewarding donor relationships over time, our course provides you with the tools and techniques needed to cultivate meaningful connections with potential funders.
By enrolling in our course, you'll learn how to:
  • Develop a tailored stewardship plan for engaging with potential funders
  • Cultivate relationships with funders based on shared values and interests
  • Navigate the nuances of donor communication and engagement with confidence
Don't underestimate the power of relationships in securing grant funding for your nonprofit. Join us at GWS Academy and master the art of building strong connections with funders.
Learn more about our Grant Writing course here.
Stay tuned for more insights on enhancing your grant writing skills!
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<![CDATA[Effective Grant Research Strategies]]>Mon, 11 Mar 2024 19:00:00 GMThttp://grantwritingservices.org/grant--npo-news/effective-grant-research-strategies
Before you can secure grant funding for your nonprofit, you need to identify viable funding opportunities. However, with thousands of potential funders out there, the process of grant research can feel overwhelming.
At GWS Academy, we understand the importance of effective grant research in the grant writing process. That's why our self-paced course includes modules dedicated to mastering grant research strategies. From leveraging online databases to building relationships with potential funders, our course provides you with the tools and techniques needed to identify the right funding opportunities for your organization.
By enrolling in our course, you'll learn how to:
  • Conduct targeted grant research to align with your organization's mission and goals
  • Develop a comprehensive understanding of potential funders' priorities and preferences
  • Create a customized grant prospecting strategy to maximize your chances of success
Don't let grant research be a barrier to funding for your nonprofit. Join us at GWS Academy and master the art of effective grant research.
Learn more about our Grant Writing course here.
Stay tuned for more insights on enhancing your grant writing skills!
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<![CDATA[Strategic Planning for Grant Success]]>Sun, 10 Mar 2024 19:00:00 GMThttp://grantwritingservices.org/grant--npo-news/strategic-planning-for-grant-success
Behind every successful grant proposal lies a well-thought-out strategic plan. Nonprofit leaders must not only articulate their organization's mission and impact but also demonstrate a clear path forward for achieving their goals.
At GWS Academy, we understand the pivotal role strategic planning plays in grant writing. That's why our comprehensive course includes modules dedicated to strategic planning for grant success. From conducting a SWOT analysis to developing SMART goals and action plans, our course equips you with the tools and frameworks needed to articulate a compelling vision for your organization's future.
By enrolling in our course, you'll learn how to:
  • Align your organization's strategic goals with funding opportunities
  • Develop a roadmap for achieving long-term sustainability and impact
  • Communicate your strategic vision effectively to potential funders
Don't leave the success of your grant proposals to chance. Join us at GWS Academy and master the art of strategic planning for grant success.
Learn more about our Grant Writing course here.
Stay tuned for more insights on enhancing your grant writing skills!
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<![CDATA[Budgeting for Grant Success]]>Sat, 09 Mar 2024 20:00:00 GMThttp://grantwritingservices.org/grant--npo-news/budgeting-for-grant-success
Securing grant funding is about more than just writing a compelling proposal—it's also about demonstrating financial stewardship and accountability. Nonprofit leaders must effectively budget for both current operations and future initiatives to attract potential funders.
At GWS Academy, we recognize the importance of financial acumen in grant writing. That's why our self-paced course includes modules specifically focused on budgeting for grant success. From developing realistic project budgets to aligning financial projections with your organization's strategic goals, our course provides you with the tools and insights needed to navigate the financial aspects of grant writing with confidence.
By enrolling in our course, you'll learn how to:
  • Create detailed project budgets that align with grant guidelines
  • Justify budget allocations and expenses to potential funders
  • Develop long-term financial strategies to sustain your organization's mission
Don't let financial barriers stand in the way of your nonprofit's success. Join us at GWS Academy and master the art of budgeting for grant success.
Learn more about our Grant Writing course here.
Stay tuned for more tips and strategies to enhance your grant writing skills!
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<![CDATA[Mastering Grant Writing: Your Path to Nonprofit Success]]>Fri, 08 Mar 2024 19:50:37 GMThttp://grantwritingservices.org/grant--npo-news/mastering-grant-writing-your-path-to-nonprofit-success
Crafting Compelling Grant Proposals
In the realm of nonprofit management, securing funding is often the linchpin to success. However, navigating the complex world of grant writing can be daunting. Crafting compelling grant proposals requires finesse, strategy, and a deep understanding of both your organization's needs and the expectations of potential funders.
At GWS Academy, we understand the challenges nonprofits face when it comes to securing vital funding. That's why we've developed a comprehensive, self-paced course specifically designed to empower nonprofit leaders in the art of grant writing. Through expert-led modules, interactive exercises, and real-world examples, our course equips you with the skills and knowledge needed to effectively communicate your organization's mission and impact to potential funders.
With our course, you'll learn how to:
  • Identify viable funding opportunities
  • Develop a persuasive case for support
  • Craft clear and concise grant proposals
  • Navigate the grant application process with confidence
Don't let the fear of grant writing hold your organization back from achieving its full potential. Join us at GWS Academy and take the first step towards securing the funding your nonprofit deserves.
Learn more about our Grant Writing course here.
Stay tuned for more insightful posts covering different aspects of grant writing and nonprofit management!
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<![CDATA[Communication With Board Fosters Fundraising]]>Sat, 17 Jul 2021 00:59:33 GMThttp://grantwritingservices.org/grant--npo-news/communication-with-board-fosters-fundraising1339386

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The NonProfit Times | News | April 20, 2021 | Photo by fauxels from Pexels

COVID-19 and the shutdown have put the role of nonprofit boards in sharp focus. It’s a good time to reexamine your understandings and expectations of your organization’s board. What is it that boards actually do? A good way to think about it is to remember the “required and elective” scheme.
Boards are required to see to it that the nonprofit follows all applicable federal and state laws, including registration, taxation and other business matters. They are expected to approve a budget, hire and compensate the chief executive and see to it that the nonprofit pursues the mission for which it was created. 
That’s about it in terms of the “required.” It’s the electives that often cause confusion and misuse a board’s time and energy. Your board might be called on (or volunteer) to do these things, depending on your by-laws and on the nature of your work and what it takes to carry out programs.
Board members might be asked to use their connections to introduce the nonprofit to potential donors. You might ask board members to attend events and be a part of the organization’s “workforce” for the moment. You might expect individual board members to make personal financial contributions to the organization.
“The key to making any of these work is being clear about expectations,” said Thomas Boyd, chief editorial consultant to The Grantsmanship Center in Los Angeles, Calif., “being specific about your requests and being supportive in ways that help board members do what you’ve asked of them.” 
Bad feelings fester when a board member is left in the dark and then covertly criticized because that person “doesn’t do what we need them to do.” The COVID-19 crisis has made it even more important to make the effort to communicate — spell out the ways and means your board can help strengthen the organization.
© Copyright 2021 The Grantsmanship Center

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<![CDATA[Recalibrating How You Think About Grants]]>Sat, 17 Jul 2021 00:47:23 GMThttp://grantwritingservices.org/grant--npo-news/recalibrating-how-you-think-about-grants

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Barbara Floersh | News | April 27, 2021 | Photo by Ron Lach from Pexels

In fundraising, individual donations are considered the holy grail and grants are fool’s gold. Grants don’t get a lot of respect even though they’re integral to most nonprofit budgets. You’ve heard the complaints or made them yourself: Grants have a short life span. They come and go. You can’t spend the money flexibly. The red tape and reporting requirements are extreme. The time lapse between request and award decision is excessive.
The role of grant funding in the nonprofit sector far outpaces the rate of individual giving. The National Philanthropic Trust’s general philanthropy data in 2019 showed that corporate grants totaled $21.09 billion and foundation grants totaled $75.69 billion. USAspending.gov reports that federal grants totaled almost $765 billion that year, and that doesn’t count billions of dollars in government grants made by state, county, and municipal funds amassed from taxes, fines, license fees, and the like. 
All told, grant funding in 2019 easily surpassed $862 billion – more than double the $309.66 billion donated by private citizens as reported in the National Philanthropic Trust’s general philanthropy data which is curated from a variety of recent reports on charitable giving in the U.S.
Government grant dollars are now and have long been essential to society’s pursuit of the common good, offering essential support for the safety net services provided by America’s nonprofits. The National Council on Nonprofits reported that in 2019 the sector earned more than 80 percent of its revenue through fees for services and government contracts and grants, with only 14 percent of revenue coming from philanthropic donations — from individuals (10.2%), foundations (2.9%), and corporations (0.9%). 
Despite their role in nonprofit budgets, grants and the staff members responsible for securing them are largely undervalued. Major nonprofit publications allot sparse real estate to trends, changes, opinions, and news related to grants. The myriad issues related to proposal development are poorly represented in the curricula of colleges and universities providing degrees or certificates in nonprofit management or philanthropy. 
Although around 70% of those responding to the Grant Professionals Association’s 2020 Salary and Benefit Survey held a graduate or professional degree, their average salary was $71,500, compared to $85,000 for a fundraising professional as reported in the 2020 Compensation and Benefits Report of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Most grant professionals are not involved in strategic planning or goal-setting, and many are simply instructed to bring in more grants with little instruction or support.
Grants are social investments, and to wring all the impact we can out of those investments we need to recalibrate our thinking. Grant funding is more appropriate for some purposes than others. When organizations turn to grants to cover every funding need, the motivation behind a proposal is dollars rather than purpose, and the change-making power of grants work is lost. But when pursued strategically and woven logically into a nonprofit’s overall funding framework, grants can play a vital role that moves missions forward and increases organizational capacity. 
With thought and effort, you can change grants from catch-as-catch-can income into an intentional supplement to other revenue streams. Start by pulling together your grant professional(s) or grant consultant(s), fundraising staff, financial staff, and administrators to explore the best, most impactful role grant funding can play in pursuing the priorities laid out in your organization’s strategic plan. Here are some question to explore:
  • What community needs require the development of new programs or services? Start-up programming is an appropriate role for grant funding. Working together, your team can determine initial funding requirements and lay out a long-term plan for maintaining impact once the grant ends.
  • What laws or systems are impeding the progress or well-being of those you serve? Grant funding is a great resource for pursuing systems change. Once you’ve achieved the intended outcomes, community partners or volunteers may be able to help you monitor implementation.
  • What internal organizational systems are hampering top-notch efficiency or effectiveness? Is an inadequate data system deep-sixing effective evaluation? Could a robust volunteer management system increase reach and impact without substantially increasing funding needs? Does the organization need a new strategic plan? Because capacity-building projects yield results far into the future, they are excellent candidates for grant funding. 
  • Would private or corporate foundations with which you have strong relationships be willing to provide a shot of general support to keep the bones of your organization strong while you continue to build individual giving income and secure adequate indirect support from each of your grant funders?
  • What community needs align directly with both your organization’s mission and ongoing federal or state grant funding programs? While these sorts of grant programs are still vulnerable to national- and state-level changes, many have been operating for years and can support critical, much needed services in your community.  
  • Is there a community need so urgent that failing to address it would amount to organizational neglect? In this situation, grants can provide lifeline support while you work with community partners to figure out long-term, sustainable funding approaches. 
When we stop thinking of grants as cash to be grabbed and start thinking of them as investments, building blocks, supplements, fire-starters, and sometimes as short-term lifelines, things will change. We’ll see grants work integrated into organizational planning. We’ll see grants professionals at decision-making tables. We’ll see annual proposal development calendars that reflect organizational priorities and staff capacity.
The role of individual giving, membership drives, events and the like will always be critical to nonprofits. That income along with well-targeted and strategic grant funding will build and sustain the community-level safety net services provided by America’s nonprofits.
There’s much to be accomplished, and we can only do the work by leveraging the full power of each available resource. Approaching grants intentionally and elevating the quality of grants work within our organizations are critical steps in realizing the immense change-making power of grants as tools for social change.
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Barbara Floersch is a long-time contributor to The NonProfit Times, and until recently a Grantsmanship Center trainer and the center’s chief of training and curriculum. Her latest book, You Have A Hammer: Building Grant Proposals for Social Change, was released earlier this year and can be found at www. Barbarafloersch.com

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<![CDATA[Having A Conversation Before Application Submission]]>Sat, 17 Jul 2021 00:32:54 GMThttp://grantwritingservices.org/grant--npo-news/having-a-conversation-before-application-submission

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The NonProfit Times | News | May 4, 2021 | Photo by RF._.studio from Pexels

You’ve identified a foundation that seems like an appropriate prospect for your proposal. Your organization’s work aligns with the funder’s mission. You’re in an eligible location; the program you want to get funded is the right scope for the grants they seem to give. All you have to do is write the proposal and send it off, right?
You might be skipping an important first step. It’s worth the time and effort to try for a preliminary discussion with a foundation’s program officer before you submit your request. “There’s a lot to be learned in such a conversation,” said Thomas Boyd, chief editorial consultant for The Grantsmanship Center in Los Angeles, Calif., “and it offers a great opportunity to alert the foundation that a proposal’s on the way.”
What to do before you call — homework and more homework. What is the foundation’s current focus? What can you learn from a review of their federal Form 990? Do you have a clearly-defined program you want to present? Do you understand the funder’s protocols and procedures?
When you make the call, a good rule of thumb is to ask questions and resist the temptation to “sell” the program. You’ll want to find out about timing of the review and decision. You’ll want to arrange a site visit if possible (and appropriate). This is the time to ask for clarification about anything in the guidelines that might seem ambiguous. 
Be prepared for questions you aren’t prepared to answer. It’s probably good news if a program officer or other foundation executive wants to dig deeper and find out more about your organization and its programs. It’s perfectly OK to say “I’ll get those details and get back to you.” Just be sure you follow up. 
Anyone who’s familiar with foundation research will acknowledge that a lot of prospective funders say “We’re too busy, don’t call us, just submit the form” or something similar. What do you do if a foundation seems unavailable for a pre-application conversation? If your work seems in clear alignment with the funder’s purposes and if you see the foundation as a high-value prospect, you might try contacting a grantee to see if you can get an introduction. 
You might ask your board members to look closer at possible links or connections. If you’ve been funded by another foundation you might ask your contact there for help reaching out to the potential new partner.
The time you spend trying to have a conversation before submitting a request is an investment in the potential longer-term relationship with the funder. © Copyright 2021 The Grantsmanship Center

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