Making Grants Management a Win-Win: Balancing Grantmaking & Business Results
Apr 4, 2017 - Nita Kirby
A win-win outcome is the most ideal situation in all circumstances pertaining to business, especially when it comes to grants management. To achieve this, though, it’s time for foundations to think more holistically in terms of resources at their disposal and what they can provide to nonprofits. It’s not enough to write a check and a press release, nonprofits need more to make these partnerships work and so do the foundations.
It takes time and resources to approve these grants so it only makes sense to know your money is being put to good use and your getting some type of return on your investment. How do you find the perfect balance of ROI and giving when it comes to grants management, though?
Collaboration is the key to success when it comes to ensuring both parties are getting what they need out of a partnership. Giving nonprofits a resource rather than just a check is exactly what they’re looking for in a partner. It not only benefits the nonprofits but helps the foundations as well.
How should you be collaborating with your grantees? The transfer of knowledge is one of the best and most efficient ways to collaborate. The Center for Effective Philanthropy found only 36% of nonprofit leaders believe their grantors share the knowledge needed to improve the organization’s operations.
Sending a strategic team to the nonprofit you have recently partnered with gives the chance to guide them and help improve the organization’s operations. By doing this, you let them know you are not just a source of funds but a resource for strategy and expertise.
Arrive with a game plan as well as an open-mind so you have the ability to conform or pivot and ultimately collaborate on the best plan of action to put funds to good use. If you can’t physically send a team, reach out to let the nonprofit know the lines of communication are open and you’re ready to start working together. Try not to view it as an ‘us’ and ‘them’ circumstance but rather as a chance to share knowledge and ideas to make incredible happen.
Measurement & Tracking
How can you figure out if a specific partnership and collaboration is actually worth the time and money? Measuring and tracking the effectiveness of the program is the best place to start but, unfortunately, there is no exact formula to do so. The terms in which you define effectiveness will be tailored specifically to your foundation or company.
For example, a large software company might give funds to a nonprofit dedicated to growing interest in STEM subjects for children K-12. By doing so, it is helping these children expand their horizons as well as growing the community in terms of knowledge. In return, the software company may hope for a larger talent pool, as 79% of people prefer to work for a socially responsible company, or hope for the youths they’re influencing to enter college interested in STEM fields, join the workforce and possibly even their teams one day.
To ensure this type of tracking and measurement starts from the beginning, though, grant management pros should be providing this strategy to the nonprofits as soon as the collaborating begins. With a strategy, the nonprofits can then do the tracking internally and report back with the most valuable data in the long-term.
Make It Public
After collaborating and tracking progress and impact, finding the perfect balance comes full circle by making it public. Letting others know about the impact and good your foundation has done in conjunction with these nonprofits helps both parties. How? 90% of Americans say they’re more likely to trust and stay loyal to companies that actively try to make a difference.
Publicizing your partnership also helps the nonprofit gain exposure and hopefully boost donations. Going public doesn’t mean just putting out a press release either. Let the world know what your money actually did by getting on social media and sharing highlights from the program. The good you’re giving back to the world is never something to just keep to yourself.
Keeping up with the numerous grants and nonprofits is no easy feat, especially when the most effective grants management takes collaboration and tracking. That is why CyberGrants is a strategic partner with you. You don’t just get software, you get a whole team to work with you and accomplish these tasks efficiently together. Speak with an expert today to learn how CyberGrants can make grants management a win-win for you!