Should your nonprofit consider a joint grant proposal?

We all know that there is a lot of competition for grant funding among nonprofit organizations. And many funders have long appreciated collaboration and efficiency from their grant seeking applicants.

There are many benefits to creating strategic partnerships among nonprofit organizations and securing funding and maximizing resources is a major one.

What are some steps that you can take to begin this process?

1. Identify your potential partners by looking at organizations that complement your programs and services and pitch the idea to the leadership team. You will ideally want to partner with organizations that are enthusiastic about the initiative. The process of developing good and trusting partners can take time and should be an ongoing task.

2. Map out to funders the ways in which your organizations are avoiding duplication of services by collaborating with each other and the ways in which you are better able to scale your services because of the partnership.

3. Focus on what problem or need you are solving, rather than trying to fit into a potential funder’s list of priorities.

4. Decide on a team leader for the grant funding process and designate a workplan and project schedule to keep everyone on task. Communication will be key to a successful collaboration. It is also crucial that you demonstrate to the funders that one of the organizations has the capacity to take on the leadership and project management role.

5. Create a clear list of roles and responsibilities among all team members, ensuring that you are taking an equitable approach.

6. Prioritize getting your budget solidified with details on how the funding will support each organization’s efforts. When submitting a line-item budget, be sure to include a budget narrative that highlights the resources that each partner is giving and the grant funding they will be receiving.

7. Consider outsourcing tasks if necessary. Because of the additional work that is created with joint applications, it may make sense to hire an outside editor for proofing or hiring someone who can assist with the budget creation