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  • Rebecca Conway

Crafting an Effective Grant Strategy

Updated: May 14

Creating a successful grant strategy goes beyond merely writing grants. Grant applications require time, effort, and a strategic plan to ensure success. A solid grant strategy not only increases the likelihood of securing funding but also fosters relationships with funders that can lead to long-term support. In this blog, we outline five critical steps to create a robust grant strategy.

Step 1: Keep Your Current Funders and Grant Deadlines Updated

Grant application deadlines can change, so it's crucial to stay informed. Regularly visit foundation websites to verify timelines. If there are no deadlines listed, review your award letter and call your grants program officer. If you still aren’t sure when your grant is due, ZIM recommends that you submit your application a week before you submitted it in the previous year.

Step 2: Review Grant Award Letters for Reporting Requirements

Missing reporting requirements is a big deal! In fact, it can jeopardize future grant opportunities. The funder wants to know how you spent their funds and what outcomes you achieved. Often, they need to report back to their trustees regarding the impact of their dollars. Be sure to notify the funder as soon as you can if any issues come up that would prevent you from sending the report on time.

Step 3: Engage Previous Funders for New Grant Opportunities

In fundraising, it's often easier to renew a relationship with past funders than to acquire new ones. Use your grant management software to compile a list of lapsed funders and reach out to them. Determine if you're eligible to reapply and if your organization's current goals align with their priorities. Re-establishing these connections can significantly benefit your grant strategy.

Step 4: Explore New Funding Opportunities & Identify Gaps

Did your organization add new programs this year? Do you have a funder who is requiring you to take a year off? Understanding where you have funding gaps and exploring new grant opportunities is key to a comprehensive grant strategy. Reach out to the ZIM team today to learn more about our grant research services and how to find funding opportunities that fit your organization’s needs.

Step 5: Build Relationships with Your Grants’ Program Officers

Grant Program Officers are your allies in the grant process. Whether you’ve received funding from an organization for 10 years or if you’re a new potential grantee, call the foundation’s Program Officer. It’s their job to help guide organizations through the entire grant process. They also want to know your successes – send them newsletters, invite them to events, and make sure they are on your communication list. Treat them as major donors…. because they are!

By following these five steps, you'll develop a strong grant strategy that increases your chances of securing grant funding and sustaining your organization's mission. Remember, grant strategy is about building relationships, maintaining consistency, and staying informed.

Still Need Comprehensive Grant Guidance? Zim is Here to Help!

Zim offers personalized grant research and grant writing services designed to empower nonprofits.


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