Does Your Organization need “more money”
Ask a nonprofit what they need the most and the usual answer will be “more money”. This need for money is why so much time and effort goes into preparing grant proposals. Yet, how often does someone submit a proposal telling why the organization needs money? All too often – and most funders don’t really care about why a nonprofit needs money; their concern centers around what do the clients of that nonprofit need and how will a grant help the organization meet that need.
To a busy nonprofit executive this may seem like a minor point but it isn’t. If you can’t clearly and succinctly write a brief statement that addresses the needs of your clients, it is unlikely that a foundation will grant you funding. How do you craft that needs statement? Begin with your mission. How does the program you seek funding for meet the needs of your clients while achieving the organization’s mission.
For example, you run a homeless shelter with a transitional housing program and your mission to help your clients live independently. These clients generally need job training to help them find work to support themselves. A needs statement for this program could read as follows: because many men and women who come to our shelter lack the work skills needed to find employment, we seek funding to create workforce development program. This statement lets the potential funder know how a grant can help your clients move towards independent living, a goal that they may be interested in funding.
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