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Tips for Nonprofits to Maximize Private Grant Opportunities


Securing grant funding is a strategic process that requires planning and preparation, according to Laura Bode, Director of Community Engagement at A New Leaf. During the Bank’s recent ShopTalk event focused on strategic funding for nonprofit organizations, Laura shared her tips for maximizing private grant opportunities:

  1. Personal Introductions are Key. When working with corporations or foundations, it’s best to get introduced, if possible. Look to your board members, volunteers, other community members you have a relationship with and ask them to make an introduction to a corporation or foundation you are interested in partnering with.
  2. Do Your Research. Find out what their needs are in a partnership opportunity. Find out how your goals align and what they can achieve. Be prepared to present those opportunities when meeting with them.
  3. Build a Relationship. After introductions are made, work to build a relationship with the company or foundation by inviting them to events you’re holding or for a tour of your facilities. Add them to your newsletter list and send them other communications you feel they would be interested in receiving to learn more about what you do.
  4. Tell Your Story. Use the grant application to tell your story, says Laura. Make your application stand out by writing from the heart. Use their words to make a connection between what they are seeking and what you are providing. Be clear about the impact their funding will provide to the community. Include plans for how their company or foundation will be recognized for providing the funding.
  5. Ask for Feedback. Get the grant reviewed by your contact before submitting it. “Ask them to see if it aligns with their philanthropic goals,” suggests Laura. “They probably aren’t going to tell you specific things to change, but they may give you some general guidance to include more of this, or emphasize that.” If your grant is not funded, try to find out why. It will help you when completing grant applications in the future.
  6. Say Thank You in a BIG way. Laura suggests you establish a process for recognizing and thanking your grantor to make sure no one is missed. Companies big and small want people to know what they are doing in the community. That’s your job, says Laura. Here are ways to say thanks:
    • Create a check presentation event
    • Use Social Media to talk about the funding
    • Include a story on your website and in your newsletter
    • Put out a press release regarding the funding
    • Provide a follow-up report on how the money was used
    • Write an impact story on the success of the program that used the funding

Supporting the Nonprofit Community

Republic Bank of Arizona is dedicated to supporting the nonprofit community. Our Not-for-Profit Banking Program offers discounts and special rates on several of our services to help you earn more while spending less. Let us know how we can help you.