The process of building an organization is difficult. Especially in the case of nonprofits where funding is needed greatly. Established nonprofits themselves already experience difficulty in seeking for grants, what more for startup NGOs. Apart from grants are numerous documents needed for accreditation which may both be timely and costly. In addition, operational costs may be difficult to maintain during the time being while grants are still unattainable. Thus, aspiring nonprofits shouldn’t be discouraged and instead strive harder to attain their goals of giving support to those who need it most.
One of these simple tips can ultimately help your startup nonprofit into getting started:
1. Research and reach out
One thing is for sure: everyone starts somewhere. In your case, there are many stable nonprofits who have already established themselves and have aided numerous communities. Surely they have gone through the same struggles you’re currently experiencing. Try to get in contact with them and ask questions. There’s no one better to ask than those who have already accomplished what you aim to accomplish. Furthermore, established nonprofit organizations have also been recognized for their networking skills. As a startup, connections are necessary especially in seeking for grants. You can’t expect philanthropists giving away money to just find you. Apart from philanthropists, established NGOs have also created relationships with donor agencies for NGOs, international foreign funders for NGOs, and corporate funding for NGOs. Similarly, they can also refer you to organizations who give funds for new NGOs.
2. Secure funding
Numerous startups wonder and ask questions like how to get funds for NGOs. At times, startups would like to be sure and secure their documents and accreditation before moving forward and securing grants for their proposed projects. However, it would be best to continually look for grant opportunities. This way, you are able to maximize the operational costs you’re currently spending on. Additionally, this will also make your organization more productive especially if you are able to secure one before even getting accredited. In fact, some grant funding agencies even offer small grants specifically for startups who have yet to receive their accreditation. ****
Every successful NGO would have one thing in common and that’s grant-writing skills. Grant-funding agencies are very strict in handing grants over. Numerous NGOs, both established and startups are applying for grants and these agencies would like to accept the best of the best. Those who aren’t trained to do the job well will not even come close to getting a response from the places they applied for. This skill should continually be practiced even after your NGO has already established its name. In the end, funds need to keep coming and NGOs must optimize all the opportunities they can get.
Aside from the tips given above which startup NGOs must recognize, they should also be aware of other things such as corporate giving programs. Many companies have certain budgets allocated to matching gifts programs wherein they donate the same amount or more than what their employees have donated to NGOs. Similarly, companies also participate in volunteer grant programs where they will match the time their employees have allotted in volunteering through monetary means.
As a startup, it’s imperative to check out corporations who support the same initiatives you plan to achieve. Also, there are also quite a few grant-giving private foundations who try to aid as much startup nonprofits they can. For these private foundations to even consider you, you will need the following requirements, among others:
a. Cover letter inquiring about funding for your startup
b. Your organization’s business plan
c. Information about your mission and vision and the initiatives your organization aims to address
d. Financial needs such as the budget needed to successfully complete your initial plans