When I begin work with a new client on strengthening their grants program, one of the first steps is to look at past funders and explore opportunities for repeat funding. Secondly, I turn to current board members to identify their corporate contacts and see if there is a match. Once a match is identified, it is time to begin the process. And so it was with GTA client, IMD Guest House Foundation.
Round 1: Identifying the Players
- The current Board Chair is an employee of McKesson, a former funder of the Guest House. After reviewing McKesson’s website to learn about their corporate giving, I emailed the Chair to see if she would be willing to make a connection. She identified the President of McKesson Foundation in New Jersey and reached out to her by sending an initial request-for-funding document I prepared. After interest was confirmed, I was introduced to the Foundation President. – Success!
Round 2: Invitation to Apply
- Prepping IMD Guest House’s Executive Director was an important next step. Together we participated in a call with the Foundation President. During the meeting we discussed our program and funding needs, as well as McKesson’s priorities. The call ended with an invitation to submit a formal proposal. – Success!
Round 3: The Grant Application and Follow-Up
- Completing the application with the necessary attachments was next, along with emails to the Board Chair (it is important to keep your connector up to date). I submitted the application on-line, followed by an email to the Foundation President letting her know our proposal was in the system. – Success!
Round 4: Grant Announcement
- Within 45 days, we received a letter in the mail with a check for the requested amount from McKesson Foundation! Thank you emails to both the Foundation President and Board Chair, an announcement to the entire IMD Guest House Board and acknowledgement to the funder followed. – Success!
Personal connections, cultivation, follow-up, acknowledgment and a well-developed proposal can lead to successful grant funding and the beginning (or continuation) of a long-term partnership.