Fundraising Guide (English) June 2014 - Page 17

CHAPTER 4: WHAT TO DO BEFORE YOU APPLY FOR A GRANT Doing advance work will make it easier to develop a sound funding strategy, identify the right sources, and make writing proposals clearer and easier. If you don’t take the time to prepare, you may not raise the money you need for the right things or waste a lot of effort applying to the wrong funders. Lack of a fundraising strategy can also lead to disjointed programs (because you applied for a series of grants for unrelated projects that don’t add up to a coherent whole) and more work (because each of those grants has its own complicated monitoring and reporting requirements). you will too. Often foundations have developed very specific criteria about what kinds of groups they give grants to, and yours may not be a good match. See Appendix 3A for some ideas of websites and resources to research funding opportunities. Appendix 3B lists more than 30 grantmakers who accept inquiries from small groups and fund at the community level internationally – these funders are a great place to start. Small grants from such funders can help you establish a track record of successful grant management that can open up opportunities in future years for larger grants and contracts from other funders like international NGOs, aid agencies, large corporations, and foundations. You want your funding to fuel your work, but not to drive the direction of your work away from your main mission. Before you start to write proposals, it’s important to know what you want to achieve and to have prepared the basic information you need to apply successfully. ARE YOU ELIGIBLE TO APPLY? Once you have identified a prospective funder, go to their website to review their funding guidelines. If you have limited access to the Internet, you can ask the foundation to send you the guidelines via email or mail. KNOW THE RULES Some countries have laws about how organizations can raise money, both domestically and internationally. For example, in recent years both Russia and Ethiopia have enacted regulations that restrict the ways in which civil society organizations are permitted to accept money from foreign institutions, for example, limiting the percentage of their budgets that can come from non-local sources and requiring the organization to register as a foreign agent. Learn what regulations are in place in your country and local community so you know what is permitted and what is not. Review the guidelines carefully. Your initial research may show that you are not eligible to apply or don’t meet the funder’s requirements. If this is the case, then you can cross the foundation off your prospect list. Don’t waste your time on a foundation that is not interested in your work or for which you do not qualify for funding: there are thousands of foundations and institutions around the world that give grants – you can find a better match. First, check basic eligibility criteria:  Does the foundation give grants to organizations? Some funders give scholarships/fellowships to individuals only. Others are operating foundations t