Grantitude is a term that’s been coined by the grant writing community. There are a few different definitions floating around out there (check out #grantchat’s definition here, or SNF Writing Services definition here) but for this blog, I’m using the following: Grant-it-ude /noun/ a way of acknowledging or appreciating a generous funding given to an organization.
“She felt a deep sense of grantitude when the Gates Foundation awarded her a $1,000,000 grant for her organization’s work in the area of health care,”
Synonyms: grateful, thankful, appreciating others who support your work.
I look at grantitidue as a way of engaging funders into your organization’s work. Receiving funding is the first step in what can be a long-standing, symbiotic relationship. It’s more than saying thank you, it’s fostering a connection with funders who are supporting your organization’s mission and vision and making them understand how their financial contribution helps your organization run and how this in turn helps improve a social condition. You’ve already made this connection with the funder, otherwise you wouldn’t have received funding; the opportunity here is acknowledging and maintaining the connection.
A couple of stories of the power of grantitude. First, there is a local company that makes small grants to area nonprofits. When you submit a request they review your application and record their decisions in a spiral notebook that is a record of everyone they’ve made a grant to, amount of the grant and the last column is a notes whether they’ve received a thank you note. If you didn’t send a thank you note, they will not make another award to your organization in the future and if you didn’t know about the spiral notebook keep track of grantitude you are left wondering why you’ve been rejected. On a more positive note, a local group I worked with one would have a student send a thank you note specifically outlining how the grant funded a program he/she participated in and how this program changed his/her life. The grantee organization also followed up with the foundation by sending annual reports, invitations to special events and included the granting organization on any press releases announcing new funding streams. The granting organization felt a connection, was informed and knowledgeable about the organization. The group has received annual awards from a foundation and created and sustained a meaningful relationship. The grantee organization has been highlighted in the foundation’s annual report, they’ve spoken to the foundation’s board of trustees and there is a clear deep appreciation and understanding of each other’s organizations and how to work together to support each other’s vision for social change.
Grantitude starts the minute you receive the grant and can continue on as long as you maintain a connection with your funder. Grantitude is a great opportunity to include participants and board members to show their appreciation for the funding and extending the relationship between grantor and grantee from a financial relationship to a true partnership.