#71 | Why is grant-seeking the first fundraising move most nonprofits make?

Coral Dill is my favorite grant-writer. Why? Because she’s got a great sense of humor, she’s usually good for some friendly banter, and she has always demonstrated that she understands how fundraising really works. Coral describes her relationship with her client as that of a shepherd - she doesn’t want to be the organization’s hero; she wants to guide and facilitate successful relationships between clients and their finders.

I pressed Coral for an explanation for why so many organizations opt first for grant-seeking over other methods. She graciously explained that many organizations incorrectly assume that grants are much easier and come with much higher success rates. She shared that she has several conversations a month with prospective clients who are not ready and she encourages them with specific steps that ensure they keep moving in the right direction.

What I found to be most interesting during our conversation was just how similar Coral’s approach is to my own. It’s important to recognize that the process of receiving a grant is not remarkably different from securing a gift from major donor or any other category of funder.

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Jason Lewis