Establishing fulfilling grant relationships with your grantor is a major step towards the success of your grant program. This is only possible when the relationship starts with trust. Grantors often question whether you will spend the money properly. Will you do what you wrote in your proposal? Will your organization sustain the program? Do you have good internal controls? You see grantors are not just looking for but demanding accountability, transparency, and sustainability.
So, how do you build relationships with your grantor that lasts a lifetime? Today’s challenge is to pick up the phone and share a success story with a grantmaker.
Here are some tips for the process:
Before you make the call
- Prepare before you make the call; write a script (or outlined your talking points) and practice.
- Have your grant folder ready; have your programmatic & financial reports ready.
- Take a walk; get the blood circulating. They will notice it through your upbeat voice.
During your call
- Be calm, speak slow. Remember the program officer is on your side. “As Benjamin Franklin said, Honesty is the best policy.”
- Structure your time, inform the program office with a rough agenda to ensure you get the most out of this call.
- Share how the grantor’s and your organization’s mission and goals align with each other.
- Use the goals written in the proposal to share how you have achieved them such as hiring new personnel and buying equipment. Share any measurable objectives that you may have achieved e.g. increase in number of students.
- Use the information from the financial office to inform the funder how you are on track with budget line items.
- If there are any challenges you are facing- it’s a great time to share with the grantor in a positive way so if down the road you have to make budget changes–the grantor won’t be surprised.
- Again, refocus on all the positives. Ask if the grantor has any questions.
- If you don’t have a strong relationship with your grantor, now is the time to ask if you could contact them quarterly and get their email so that you can forward blog posts, pictures etc.
- Thank them and their organization for their support to help you reach your potential.
Why this is important?? Well, program officers can share that information with their organization. Plus, in their weekly meetings they can share that information with their management.
After the Call
- Add it to your grant calendar to contact them quarterly and set up a reminder.
- Email your grant team to provide an update so everybody is on the same page.
We hope this will encourage you to call your grantor; there’s nothing like picking up the phone and calling your grantor, right??
Don’t forget to share your journey on the 30-Day Grant Readiness Challenge by using the hashtag #grantreadiness on your posts and updates on social media.