Prospecting for grant funders is a time-consuming task for nonprofit organizations. Yet it is essential. Many nonprofits begin by finding and building relationships with local funders, then regional, then national. If your nonprofit has a solid record of receiving, utilizing and reporting well with local and regional funders, it can be time to extend your prospecting reach. There are several reasons to look at national funders, including these four:
- Your NPO has a program that is replicable in other communities
- You need to reach beyond local/regional donor fatigue
- You are diversifying your funding sources
- Receipt of national funding gives your nonprofit credibility
One way to find prospective national funders, is geographic searching. Search for those that fund in your state. Even small family foundations often fund in states outside of which they reside. Why is this? Private and family foundations can move offices when the foundation changes hands between generations or a foundation that began in the north, is now in the south as the funders retired in a warmer climate, but they still fund back “home.” It’s very important to search for national funders by where they fund versus where they are physically located. In my state of Minnesota, over 20% of grant funding originates outside the state and this trend is growing by 2% per year.
Does one of those four reasons resonate with you? And now you wonder which national grant maker to consider? Next week, I’ll be sharing “7 Tips to Research National Foundations.”