Find More Grants By Rethinking Capital Campaigns

Atlanta traffic is a stone-cold fact. Explosive population growth, aging roads over capacity, and an insufficient public transit system united to spawn snarls of bumper-to-bumper traffic that has spilled over from traditional rush hours. Getting mad at traffic between 2 and 6:30 p.m. is like getting angry at the heat and humidity here in the summertime. Go ahead and feel all your feels, but it won’t change a thing about the temperature or your travel time.

I can’t claim native Atlantan status, but I’ve lived here since I was 15 and learned to drive here—for better or worse, depending on who you ask. But the point is, I’ve learned to navigate my schedule and the vast network of interstates, highways, and surface roads to avoid traffic as much as possible. Traffic apps are a great help, but understanding the flow of major interchanges across more than 8,000 square miles that the US Census Bureau uses to define the Atlanta area (FYI, approximately the same square miles as the state of Massachusetts) can save hours and needless frustration.

Seeking grant funding can feel like getting stuck on the downtown connector at 5 p.m. on a Friday afternoon. Everyone’s going the same way and wanting the same thing—to be somewhere else in a hurry. But taking a good, long look at your organization’s needs could result in a less-traveled way of grant seeking—packaging capacity building, equipment, remodeling, or other extensive work into a capital campaign.

Traditional capital campaigns have “silent” phases following feasibility studies, where most grant-seeking happens with foundations and other funders. Check out the latest episode of the Fundraising HayDay podcast, Capital Campaign Tips (, where I break down the five major components of a capital campaign with my co-host Amanda Day. While they used to be all about the “bricks and mortar,” many of today’s capital campaign funders have expanded their focus areas to include capacity-building efforts such as extensive training, updated computer systems, telecommunication, online security systems, diagnostic, or program-related equipment upgrades.

And don’t forget about more standard capital requests such as remodeling and refurbishing buildings to get them to code.  Many non-profits, including some of my clients, have received grants related to these areas from foundations and local governments specializing in capital campaign giving.

As a grant professional, you have a unique insight into the needs of your organization and the communities it serves, who to turn to for what information, and which project have overlapping needs that could be combined into more extensive capital campaign-style grant proposals.

Use your experience as the expert in navigating your organization’s or client’s information highways. Then you can craft more proposals to eliminate funding bottlenecks and get more good things done. Sometimes the byways beat the highways for getting where you want to be.


DH Leonard Consulting & Grant Writing Services, LLC is so excited to be season 5 sponsors for Fundraising HayDay, a podcast about grants and such. Catch up on seasons 1 – 4 and stay up to date on the new season here.

Don’t let grants stress you out, check out the helpful grant writing services our team has to offer here.

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