You’ve heard it before: a goal cannot be achieved without a well-designed plan. For the nonprofit organization and its fundraising team, grants are a valued piece of the planning puzzle. If I gave you a trusted road map to help reach your funding goals, would you follow it? I would hope so. And what if this road map could be applied to virtually every aspect of your nonprofit strategies? Would you be interested in learning about it? I know you are. The principle I will share can be used to build a project, to implement or expand a program, and to organize a stellar grant proposal. Though there is never a guarantee of receiving a grant award, wouldn’t you like to increase your chances of success? Do you believe your organization could benefit from a new road map in many ways? I do too. That is why I developed an acronym that changed the way I wrote grant proposals and planned projects. Enter the C.H.I.P.SSM Principle.
In a nutshell:
- C – Collaboration. A grant reviewer once told me my proposal would have been so much better if I included other organizations that would work together for a united purpose. This reviewer explained that my denied request may have been fully funded if I had emphasized collaboration. I learned the importance of including all the organizations that can take an active role. For example, a Fire Safety Outreach Program can easily become a partnership between local fire departments, the police department and the local school district. The agency taking the lead could assemble a team from each of these organizations to collaborate for a fantastically successful program. RESULT: Since adding collaborative ideas to my projects, more of my requests have been funded.
- H – Humanity. The human element is often taken for granted in a funding request. Many grant applicants tend to focus on the financial component rather than emphasizing the humanity of their projects. We must show the granting agency that this project is a game changer- that there will be opportunities for volunteerism and that many lives will be impacted for the better. RESULT: Since focusing on the humanity of projects, more of my requests have been funded.
- I – Impact. The heart of every project and program is the accomplishment (that is, what will be accomplished) for the human element and the collaborators. It’s important not to overlook a key component of this impact. The funder wants to know how their contribution will be part of the game-changer. We often forget to describe the funding agency as a collaborator. Because of their generous award, they too are positively impacted by fulfilling their philanthropic mission. From every angle, impact is the key to a great project. RESULT: Since focusing on all the elements of impact, more of my requests have been funded.
- P – Progress. Progress is much more than just “making headway”. In the C.H.I.P.S.SM Principle, progress defines two necessary components. Firstly, it refers the advancement and implementation of the project or program. I am referring to milestones and successes within the project timeline. Milestones are specific goals that must be attained in order to create the desired impact for humanity and engage the collaborators. Secondly, progress refers to the progression (exact steps) required to meet the goals. RESULT: Once I began adding more details about the progress expected during the project, more of my requests have been funded.
- S – Sustainability. The final aspect of C.H.I.P.S.SM is the ability to maintain a program’s desired impact beyond the period of performance of the grant award. Think of it as an investment. If you invest $100,000 in your child’s college education, wouldn’t you expect to see a fantastic rate of return? A great education that betters your child’s life forever, provides an invaluable college degree and provides him or her with a solid lifetime income? That’s precisely what granting agencies want to see in your grant proposal. To determine sustainability, simply ask the question: “how will we keep this going for the next 25 years?” Grant funds are meant to assist in promoting ongoing impact. RESULT: Since including detail about the sustainability of projects, more of my requests have been funded.
All this makes sense, right? But you’ll need more…
We’d be honored to spend 90 days as your mentor. LDR ProSolutions, LLC has developed an unparalleled Consultative Education Course to help increase your organization’s capabilities, impact more lives and write solid grant proposals. We can customize a C.H.I.P.S.SM training that pertains directly to your unique mission. And we can do it at an unbeatable low cost. Nonprofits and volunteer organizations simply cannot pay astronomical consultation and grant writing fees. We pride ourselves in offering affordable solutions. Keep in mind that we cannot guarantee you’ll ever receive a grant award – however, we can guarantee we will do our best to teach you everything we know. Knowledge is power….