Companies in this digital age are most likely to invest in corporate sponsorship to build their brand’s reputation and earn their target market’s emotional share. In response to that, customers will not only believe in their mission but also the company’s capacity to deliver. Now that customers are more interested in brands that are committed to giving something back to people, several businesses are searching for the perfect charitable connection. While non-profit clubs are greatly appealing to profit-making companies, it is not enough to just sell your “vision”. Sponsors must be able to see the business opportunities of a certain cause. Your role as a non-profit club is to have a list of possible sponsors, create a promising proposal, showcase your worth and establish a relationship with your sponsor.
Use these tips to create a successful grant application:
1. Fully study and understand funding-company rules and guidelines when it comes to granting sponsorship.
Most companies only grant sponsorships to non-profit organizations that carry the same mission as theirs. Most of these companies specify what projects they sponsor and what kind of non-profit organization they wish to partner with. Before you even start thinking of submitting a grant application, make sure your project matches the company’s criteria. Then make sure you have read and understand the rest of their requirements for a successful grant.
2. Secure all necessary documents.
Organizations with complete up-to-date reports, government documents, and all supporting papers have a much higher chance to receive a grant. When you understand the required documents, then work towards ensuring you have them and that they are complete. Moving forward, ensure that all financial documents stay up to date so you can take advantage of opportunities as they arise. This removes the unnecessary pressure of trying to get documents completed.
3. Develop a detailed work plan.
Be specific in your grant application. Lay down a detailed project proposal, and fully state the budget needed (overall project budget and what you are requesting if it’s different). Specify the purpose of the funding, the project, and how your club will benefit from their grant. Make sure to include a return on investment document. A project timetable is a great visual and can solidify your success. The steps in this section show the company that you have a well-thought-out plan and that their money will be used efficiently.
4. Review the budget very carefully.
Do not charge unnecessary or silly items that can be easily obtained. Research different suppliers for your projects and use the average. Include an explanation of costs. Stick to the allowable budget of the funding company. This is where it comes in handy to show the total project budget and what you are requesting from the company as they might be only offering a percentage of what you need. If this is the case, it’s best to explain how the project will move forward if the grant only funds a partial amount of the project.
5. Meet the deadline.
While this seems like common sense, so many organizations fail to plan to meet the required deadlines. Make sure you know the deadlines and work on them. If this means you need to start months ahead to do a complete and thorough job, then that’s what it means. Creating a spreadsheet that lists out each grant opportunity and the appropriate deadlines is a good way to keep you on track and not miss a single opportunity.
If you don’t already have a grant proposal there are several ways you can find on the internet to adapt to suit your needs. However, simply creating a grant proposal is not going to guarantee success. Usually, when a grant is rejected, it’s because of one of the following reasons:
- Non-compliance with company-funding guidelines.
- Unable to meet funding company’s criteria.
- Incomplete requirements.
- The project proposal is too vague.
- Missed the deadline.
- Asks for too much.
- Lack of supporting documents.
The secret for successfully getting grant funding is to prepare and make necessary research about sponsor companies, their guidelines, and requirements. Organizations that fully prepare, plan and complete the documents needed are the ones that usually receive a grant. That means you must do your part and prepare a perfectly detailed proposal with supporting documents that shows full accounting of your expected expenses and projected returns.