Now that I have funding, how do I keep it?
Last fall, we hosted a special edition of Government Funding 101 for Canadian Nonprofits Micah Anshan, Director of Government Relations at Futupreneur, we examined a number of common questions that come up when exploring government funding options. Here, we’ve broken down some of the most common questions, and provided helpful insights to guide your fundraising journey.
1. What has been the most challenging part of government relations working with nonprofits?
Navigating the allocation of limited time and resources can sometimes be the biggest challenge faced by nonprofits. Ensuring that charities are strategizing and stewarding resources can make or break government funding relationships, as competing priorities often emerge when managing government relations and funding expectations. It is therefore crucial that nonprofits are intentional about pursuing the opportunities and relationships that make the most sense to their organisations and the kind of work they do.
2. Another important question to examine is, what is the return of investment (ROI) for the funding you’re seeking?
The answer to this question is not merely letting government agencies know what impact the funding will have on your activities, or even your project or proposal’s intended outcomes. It also includes examining the ROI for your team–is dedicating the time and resources for this application worth it for your staff as well? What are the pros and cons of applying for certain grants or funding opportunities? Does your organisation have the bandwidth to do this? While it is important to be able to meet your budgets, it is equally important to use your time and resources responsibly. Fundraising is important; but managing your time is also pivotal to your work. There is a cost to raising funding.
3. What if your organisation has never before received funding. Where do you start?
One of the most important things you can do before beginning your fundraising journey is to clarify your key messaging, your proposed asks, and doing your research to “cut through the noise” of competing government priorities. Providing funding is only one aspect of each government department or agency’s many competing priorities, and if you can make their decision easy, it will always work in your favour. For your outreach, quality over quantity can sometimes be your best bet! Create a map of the government departments you actually want to work with–whether that be the Prime Minister’s Office, or the Department of Finance for example, and then try to drill down to the specific Minister’s Offices/Agencies/Staff that are relevant to your work.
At JN Clarke Consulting, we are happy to support you by conducting this search, analysing the results and presenting it to you in a readable and clear format.
Would you or your team benefit from having our support to improve your government relationships? We offer strategic assessments, monthly support, workshops and training, depending on your needs.