Defining Grantitude

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Defining Grantitude

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Defining Grantitude

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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.

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About The Author
Amy has worked with and for nonprofits for over 20 years as a practitioner, researcher and consultant. She oversees the creative direction at Finch Network as well as business development. Amy has worked with local, regional and national organizations including the National Alliance to End Homelessness, Rural Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), the Corporation for National and Community Service and United Way of Tompkins County. She specializes in program planning, fund development and qualitative research. Notable projects include a fellowship she completed for the Corporation for National Service where she conducted an evaluation of program sustainability of AmeriCorps*VISTA projects, coordinating an allocation process that invested $1.3 million dollars annually to health and human service nonprofits in Tompkins County and leading the qualitative research portion for two evaluations conducted for City Harvest. Amy has a strong commitment to her own community and volunteers with her local Foster Care program, Plattsburgh Community Garden and in Plattsburgh City Schools. Amy holds a B.A. in American Studies and a teaching certificate from the University of Rochester and a graduate degree in Community and Rural Development from Cornell University.

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