With everything going on in our country and currently in the world, I felt the need to write to you in these unprecedented times. As we are all practicing self isolation, our local and global economy is changing daily. These changes will impact each of us for the unforeseeable future.
There is no doubt about the fact that we are in the middle of a pandemic. Covid-19 has posed some of the greatest challenges for communities across the country as they struggle to cope with closures, event and program cancellations, and operating challenges – amidst layoffs, and sentiments of panic.
I have been contacted by many individuals and businesses during this time and would like to share and offer some advice to aid in our current situation. This falls into a category I refer to as ‘urgency’. As a grant writing professional, I often encourage my clients to take advantage of urgency. Here is an example of how this can be used to secure funding.
A few years ago, as a grant review team member of the Ontario trillium Foundation, I came across a funding application for an organization which provided support in guidance to our veterans. The organization was seeking funding to repair an ageing roof, and they effectively documented the pending collapse of the roof. When me and my grant review team colleagues realized that the roof of this facility could cave-in if we did not fund this request, we unanimously agreed that we had to push this request to the top of our priority list. In the end, we did provide full funding for this project and resolved the issue. Of course, the grant was well-written and there were other factors that helped to make it effective, but urgency was the key.
I’m now calling on the non-profit and charitable sector to take advantage of the current situation, by communicating a sense of urgency for your own programs. Have your events and gatherings and convening been canceled? Are you no longer able to serve communities? Are your clients living in isolation, fear, or facing other challenges? This is an essential time to communicate these challenges to funders and supporters.
Now what if your funding options are limited, or suitable opportunities appear to be closed? Our advice is to still reach out to past, current, and perspective funders. Let them know that you’re continuing to do impactful work in your community. At this time, building a lasting relationship can be an effective fundraising strategy.
If you need assistance with framing your project or program to funders, please reach out to us and we will do everything possible to find potential sources of funding, and to prepare customized correspondence. This will be useful in helping to build relationships, while communicating urgency that has been caused by Covid-19. Remember that urgency does lead to grant writing success.
I send my best wishes of health and safety to you and your families.