Most people think that when they need funding for their non-profit or business, they should look for grants to boost them. Even though the government funds many of these organizations, and there are other funders as well. Still, to fulfill the mission of your nonprofit, it is best to have diverse revenue streams. In this way, it will help you create a stable future and raise the money you need for your cause. One of the sources can be usgrants.org, but what about when grants are not the answer. In this article, are 5 reasons why looking for grants is not the answer every time.
- When you are starting
It is a challenge to get a grant to cover up startup costs for a new non-profit. This is because most of the foundations want to see at least three years of experience first. This helps them know not only what the impact your program has but what your track record is. Because of this, a funder can give you a grant before you do anything. Plus, you require enough time to build your reputation. Plus, prove that the work you are doing is worth a grant to boost it further. Although there are few grant opportunities for startups. They are competitive and scarce. So, if you are a startup, spend time building your donor base and other fundraising stuff as you get ready for grants.
- For ongoing funding
It is best if you need ongoing funding. You do not count on grants for your operations and programs. This is because it is not guaranteed to receive a grant every other year, just because you received one from them before. So, avoid planning your income and organization’s budget expecting that the grantor will keep on funding your needs. Also, although it is rare, you may find a family foundation that will love the work you do and want to fund you. Unless the funder tells you to expect it, do not assume that you will get a grant each year.
- For urgent needs
When you need money for an urgent need, looking for grants is not the answer. This can be because you need to respond to some emergencies in the community, and so you need funds fast to address some of these critical needs. For instance, a family that lost their home in a flood or fire, or any other community emergency you need to sort out. So when you need funds to address urgent needs, fast grants will not be of help. Consider grants when you need funds for a specific program or project.
- To replenish funds
If you need to replace the money that you just spent, grants are not a good idea. In a case where your program had to use a lot of funds because of critical needs and needs keep on arising, your funds keep getting low. Grants will not be the answer to replenish your funds. In such a case, you need to find a grantor that will help you replace the money you already spent on it was for a good cause. Try an appeal to fill your fund back up or a virtual event.
- When you need sponsorship
Sometimes you may find yourself looking for grants while what you need is a sponsorship. So be clear about what you need to do with the grant money. Maybe you need office space, or you want to purchase a vehicle and put a logo for the funders on the side, among other things. In such a case, it is best to look for sponsors than grants. Plus, a lot can be sponsored for your nonprofit by individuals and companies. For instance, a vendor of yours can provide sponsorship for you and give you a deep discount, and others who can sponsor you for your nonprofit use.
To sum up, grants are a helpful source of funding and come in handy to start your non-profit or grow your program in acquiring the necessary piece of equipment and more. However, going after grants should not be the first thing you consider when you need money like the times above.