Thursday, March 12, 2009

It Can Be Done

Resources are scarce. Jobs are scarce. Good news is scarce. By now, we have heard it all. While these scarcities are a reality, there are still resources available. At a conference I attended recently for child care providers, there was a session about new funding opportunities. When the speaker announced there would only be five new funding opportunities in the coming months, half of the room walked out. I thought, great, my competition is cut in half. Understanding the competition for these resources is vital to getting the resources.

The reason the people walked out of the room wasn't apathy, it was hopelessness. The challenge of getting funding seems insurmountable, but the truth is, organizations WILL get funding. It can be your organization. There are three keys to getting funding in today's market:

1. Be the Most Qualified Service Provider: In your grant proposals, tell how your organization is the best, biggest, most qualified agency. Set your organization apart by highlighting past accomplishments and future goals. Nothing about your application should read, "Business as usual."

2. Serve the Most with the Least: Many proposals today read like bidding wars where the one who does the most with the least wins. Knowing this, make certain you keep your administrative overhead low and your units of service high. Look at your proposal with a critical eye and ask how you can increase the amount of direct service you are delivering. Here, quantity counts!

3. Collaborate: Funders want to spread the wealth. Build collaborations into your proposal so funders have the opportunity to take credit for funding more agencies with less money.

If you don't pursue funding, others will. By being proactive and tenacious, you can be funded!

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