I was a keynote speaker at the Reimagine Communities Summit powered by Capital One recently, and one of the sessions during the event was a panel discussion with three large corporate funders. Who might you ask? Some BIG funders. Capital One. Toyota. Amazon.
This felt like an unusual funder panel compared to those I am used to, where it is a panel of government funding agencies or a panel of private grantmakers from a specific geographic region.
Three large funders. Three unique approaches to supporting the communities where they operate and their employees live. However, there was one clear link between the three. When they were asked what would make an applicant’s proposal stand out, they all agreed that telling the story of past and anticipated impact is what helps them “feel” while reading the proposal and also choose to take action.
This is paramount in connecting the pre-award and post-award work of grants.
When we talk about the Grant Life Cycle, illustrated below, it is essential to remember that to start a funding cycle again, you need to report on your current funded work. It also highlights how your past impact may influence your next iteration of research on a funder, relationship building with a funder, and absolutely, your future writing to a funder.
That being said, each organization has a different staff structure related to grant writing and grant management/reporting activities. Despite staff structure, for an organization to have a sustainable grant-seeking strategy in place, the focus of grant reporting/management needs to be present as part of the conversation throughout the grant life cycle.
How does your organization keep the discussion about grant reporting/management present throughout all phases of the grant life cycle? I’d love to hear! Let us know in the comments below.
Is the Grant Life Cycle way of thinking about best practices in grant seeking new to you or your organization? Check out our Grant Writing Basics on-demand webinar today.