Okay, if you have been following me for a while, you may get the impression that I compare starting and sustaining a nonprofit to being in a relationship (and sometimes not a very good one). Well, the truth is that just as with any relationship, the “love” has to cultivated (smile). “Love” as it pertains to what I am saying in this post refers to “the development of your organization”. Nonprofits are started all over the place. But the truth is that most people grow tired of their new nonprofit pretty quickly. This is likely because the “money did not come” as easily as they thought that it would. So, you have the determination letter and you hit the ground running (so you think) trying to find money to support your cause… and it does not work. If this sounds like you, chances are that you are going about it the wrong way. I am often surprised at how many new and under-developed nonprofits think that they will be awarded a million dollar grant day one after receiving their nonprofit status. Truth is that this is certainly NOT going to happen.
Best practice is to start with your funding plan (after the other necessary ducks or in a row), and based on your plan, financially develop your organization using the most appropriate approach.
Most new nonprofits assume that grants are the only way to go. Nevertheless, the key to becoming fully funded (particularly at start-up) is to diversify your funding efforts. To learn more about what I mean by diversifying your funding efforts, and to gain access to some of the most popular grant search engines and nonprofit funding agencies, check out my book “Show Me The Money: The quick reference guide to funding your nonprofit”, available in Kindle and hardcopy format.