If an organization needs a grant writer but can’t afford to hire one, what can they do? This perennial question recently arose when a member asked how to help a prospective client with no grant writing budget to hire her.
Members of the GPLH community responded with a number of suggestions useful to many in this position:
- Organization leadership can ask a major donor (or donors) for a gift for this specific purpose.
- Unrestricted funds, like those from an event or fundraiser (online or otherwise) could be applied to this purpose.
- Many local community foundations and/or government agencies offer capacity building grants that can be used to fund grant writers or general fund raising.
- County and state legislators can be asked for capacity building funds – “member grants” in the case of state legislators.
- Look for funders who give capacity building grants, especially family foundations.
- Unrestricted funds from earned income could be a resource.
- Ask board members to pay for the first year (or other period of time) of grant writing services, as a pilot to bring in more revenue in which a consultant would be self-sustaining. Ultimately, this is an investment in long-term sustainability.
- It is recommended that at least $10,000 be raised initially, with the understanding that grants can take anywhere between 3 months and one year to be awarded.