Why your nonprofit is awesome!

Hi everyone,

I was talking to one of the Executive Directors I am working with in my workshop this month and telling her how impressed I was with all the work her organization has done. She said she was having a hard time getting grants because she did not feel like her organization’s deliverables read as well on paper. When I looked at it though, all I could see were successes. They have a board with a fundraising focus, they’ve met their strategic plan goals for years, they’re collaborating with other organizations and have a robust amount of donors- to me these were all positive signs.

It’s easy when you’re focused on planning for the year ahead (or 5 years or 10 years) to feel like you’re coming up short of the mark. Some organizations might feel like they’re doing more in the same amount of time, maybe even with similar staffing, but to get grant funding, remember to keep in mind the positive work you’re doing.

Something I’ve been doing for my clients is creating a “why your nonprofit is awesome” list. I take 30 minutes and just look at all the accomplishments I can see on paper from their different financial statements, website, curriculum materials, board anecdotes, etc. Once I’ve done this, it’s often easy to write a grant proposal because you can truly see how sound and stable your organization is. The feeling of not being enough turns into the realistic feeling of reflection on your past accomplishments. All nonprofits can find funding that aligns with their vision, your donors just want to know how your vision and their legacy intersect, and how they can best help. Take the time to write the list, and let me know your thoughts as you do.

— Janet

Janet Gonzales