The Afterschool Alliance is pleased to present the third installment of "An insider's guide to funding afterschool," a new blog series from the development team at the Afterschool Alliance, featuring strategies to successfully fund and sustain out-of-school time programs. Check out the first and second installments.
As Grants Manager at the Afterschool Alliance, my role is to research, explore and help cultivate funding opportunities, and prepare and submit grant proposals to a wide array of potential funders.
One of the challenges your development team likely faces is: “How do we most efficiently maximize our fundraising efforts with limited time and human resources?” One key step is setting time aside to conduct thorough prospect research.
Because of the sometimes complicated nature of putting together a quality and persuasive grant proposal, it is important to target potential funders with the greatest chance of success. Taking the necessary time to find out whether the donor is a good fit will result in a higher chance of success once you have submitted your proposal.
Instead of spending time crafting grants cold, it is far more effective to spend that time researching those donors that:
After you’ve narrowed your prospect list by the criteria above, don’t forget to:
You can find valuable research resources at:
The following digests can also keep you up to date with what is happening in the world of philanthropy, and can highlight donors that might be very strong potential funders for you:
Prospect research takes time, just as preparing a grant proposal takes time. Setting time aside, however, on the front end to identify the strongest possible targets will maximize your human resources so that your development team has the best chance of success in acquiring the necessary funding for your afterschool or summer leaning program.
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