If you are a nonprofit organization, then you know that securing funding is essential to your success. But finding grants can be difficult, especially if you don't know where to look.
Nonprofit grants also referred to as fundraising grants, are a financial sum given to a nonprofit organization as a donation. These grants are typically donated by foundations, corporations, or government agencies but can also be donated by individuals or families. Grants can range from a few thousand dollars to cool millions and aren't granted to individuals but rather to institutions and organizations. Realistically, many nonprofits are funded by grants they receive throughout the year.
In this blog post, we will discuss a unique type of grant available for nonprofits and how to secure it. We'll also provide tips on writing grant proposals that will increase your chances of being funded!
Improve Your Impact
Nonprofits always look for ways to improve their impact but often don't have the funds to invest in digital transformation.
It's no secret that technology is changing how we live and work and that it's more important than ever for nonprofits to embrace digital transformation. As daunting as a transition toward digital platforms may seem, the benefits are far too great to deny. You'll become more efficient and organized and save much more time that can be used to focus on what matters most.
The Importance of Securing Funding
As a nonprofit organization, securing funding is essential to your success. Many different types of grants are available for nonprofits, and finding the right one can be difficult. However, you can increase your chances of being funded with the right resources and tips!
Why is funding vital for nonprofits?
Funding is important for nonprofits because it allows you to invest in your organization and improve overall impact. Nonprofits often rely on grants to help with operational costs, so securing funding is essential to keeping your organization running.
There are many different types of grants available for nonprofits. However, we'll look at one specifically aimed at SaaS ventures.
What is the definition of a SaaS product?
Platforms, in general, and SaaS products, in particular, are software licensing and delivery models that utilize a subscription basis for software and centrally hosted servers. In other words, a SaaS product, as the name suggests, is software provided as a service. So instead of having to go through the trouble of installing and maintaining the software, you're able to access the software via the internet easily, and you pay a subscription fee for it. It provides you freedom from all the hassles and complexities that come with hardware and software management and gives you the time and space to focus on what you need to instead. Slack, Calendly, DocuSign, ZenDesk, and Dropbox are examples of SaaS solutions.
How do nonprofits benefit from grants?
There's no doubt nonprofits benefit from grants in multiple ways, but the main advantage is the ability to use the funds to run the organization. What's more, unlike loans, you do not need to pay a grant back. Because grants are usually gifted to nonprofits from large companies, they are generally larger than those from individual donors. Large grants for nonprofits can give a much-needed cash injection to help fund a project, market the organization, purchase supplies or get an initiative off the ground. This can help the organization enter a new phase of growth and attract new donors.
Grants not only contribute to the organization's running but improve visibility and credibility. In most cases, a nonprofit receiving a grant from established businesses will enjoy greater credibility. This could spur other organizations to provide grants to the nonprofit as well. This means that once grantmakers see that other organizations are funding your nonprofit, they are more likely to donate funds themselves.
The Digital Lift Software Grant
These are grants that Digital Lift gives to nonprofits. We'll give up to $1,000 per charity for eligible applications providing that you meet the criteria.
How it works:
If you are a nonprofit interested in applying for a grant, you can visit our website to learn more and fill out an application. We review all applications on a case-by-case basis, and if you are approved, we will provide you with the funds.
What is the project's aim?
The initial grant offer aims to assist nonprofits in lowering the entry barrier for new SaaS (software as a service) platforms. We want to help you with the costs associated with digital transformation so that you can focus on your mission.
Why should nonprofits make use of SaaS platforms?
As technology grows, our world is transitioning towards a more digitized reality. Many physical aspects are taking on digital formats, from books, music, and art to education, sports, and even our money. This digital transition has affected how we communicate, entertain ourselves, how we work and how we live our daily lives, making many things quick and easily accessible with just a few clicks. With the minimized use of paper, we're opting to store instead our information on the cloud, where it's not only easier to access but also safer to store.
Many programs fulfill varying needs, but having to switch between each program can be laborious. Thankfully, there are SaaS platforms that easily solve this issue. Cloud-based platforms such as Monday.com offer a wide range of grants management and fundraising CRM templates. These templates allow you to perform many tasks such as creating a donor and donation database and creating an event planning template. All your team members can view the progress of each task, creating an efficient and easy way to share information. You can set up automation tasks that will send automatic responses to emails or send reminder notifications to task-assigned team members.
In addition to streamlining applications, assigning tasks, creating reports, and tracking opportunities, many of these templates allow you to integrate apps such as Outlook, Excel, Dropbox, and Gmail. This allows you to have everything you need in one place, saving you time and creating an efficient workflow. No longer do you have to open multiple tabs for each program and switch between each one of them. Now you can have all the applications that you need in one place. With all the time you're saving, you can focus on other important tasks to make your nonprofit a success.
Those who have a valid charitable status with the IRS in the United States (501(c)3)) or similar governmental departments in other countries are eligible to apply. For example:
- Canada: documentation from your provincial or territorial government that indicates you are a registered charity or nonprofit organization
- In England and Wales, the Charity Commission for England and Wales is a good place to start. Alternatively, you may look up your charity's registration status at www.gov.uk/charity-commissions to verify that it is registered with a recognized charity regulator in the United Kingdom (e.g., The Charity Commission for Scotland).
- Israel: Registered NPO documentation ("Amuta reshuma" certificate)
- Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission paperwork
How to Go About Securing Your Grant
Now that we've gone over the software grants available for nonprofits let's discuss how to secure this grant.
One of the best resources for finding grants is digital-lift.org. We offer a variety of open grants that can help your nonprofit with digital transformation. We understand that change can be difficult, so we're here to provide support at every step. With our help, you'll be able to reach more people and make a bigger impact in your community.
Before submitting your application online, consider how you will flesh out your grant proposal. Below you will find some handy tips on grant writing.
Tips on Writing Grant Proposals
Now that you know where to find grant opportunities let's discuss some tips on writing grant proposals. First, make sure that your proposal is clear and concise. You want the grant provider to understand your nonprofit's purpose and why you're requesting the grant. Try to be as descriptive and specific as possible, and include any relevant details. It helps to provide any statistics and data or other information that will support your case. Remember, you need to convince them as to why they should approve your request for a grant. Second, be sure to include all of the required information and follow all of the instructions. The instructions are there for a reason, and you want to ensure that if your grant is rejected, it is not because of logistical errors but rather for legitimate reasons. Finally, don't forget to proofread your proposal before you submit it!
When writing your grant proposal, it is important to tell a good story. The team in charge of reading the grant proposals most likely read through thousands of proposals, each with a story of its own, but the reality is that not all of these proposals will receive a grant. You want to give them a proposal that will draw them in, thus increasing your chances of your grant proposal getting approved. One thing to keep in mind is to not make your proposal too long.
Another factor to keep in mind is the tone of your proposal. One of the biggest mistakes that nonprofits tend to make is focusing more on the problems they're trying to tackle while providing vague solutions they'll implement. It is important to highlight the reason for the nonprofit; however, focusing more on the problem than the solution gives the proposal a negative tone and could discourage possible grant providers from approving grants. It is best to focus more on the solutions your nonprofit is looking to provide and how the grant will assist in implementing those solutions.
Factors to consider when writing your grant proposal:
1. What is the purpose of your organization's use or desire to utilize this specific program?
2. What are you hoping to achieve with this program?
3. What will the impact of this program be on your organization?
4. In the end, how will this software benefit your nonprofit's beneficiaries?
With these tips in mind, you'll be well on writing a winning grant proposal.
Is it important to hire a grant writer?
A grant writer is a person responsible for writing the grant proposal. They typically have a background in education, English, writing, or communications. That said, anyone with professional writing competencies can write a grant proposal. Some nonprofits have employees skilled at crafting grant proposals, while others choose to outsource their writers to ensure all requirements are met. Grant writers can create compelling proposals once they understand the needs and values of your organization. They are recommended to be familiar with the organization from which you are requesting funds so they can more effectively connect with their interests and values.
If you're considering hiring a writer, make sure it's financially viable. If you opt-out of hiring a professional, ensure that your team can focus on crafting the proposal, including extensive research, creative thinking, and expert writing skills. Regardless of your choice, you must consider your budget and available resources before proceeding with grant writing. Hiring a professional writer on a contract basis may be the most effective and affordable option, but do some research before making a choice.
Slow and steady wins the race
Time plays a major role in almost everything we do, and that also extends to writing your grant proposal. Writing a grant proposal is not a task that can be completed in one day, especially one that is well-written. You want to allow yourself enough time to research, gather all your information, and compile an effective proposal that captivates the reader, supports your statements, and leads to successful grant approvals. You will most likely write multiple drafts, make countless edits, and double-check your stats and budget many times over. Even if you're considering hiring a grant writer, you want to make sure that the writer you're hiring has a clear understanding of what is needed for the proposal and that they'll do a good job.
Whether you're hiring a grant writer or you or a team member has the skills necessary to write your grant proposal, every aspect of the grant proposal takes time, so it is important to ensure that you have enough thereof. Like the tortoise and the hare, slow and steady wins the race!
What We Can Do to Help
At Digital Lift, our main goal is collaborating with nonprofit organizations to tackle their biggest problems via technology. We accomplish this by partnering, investing, and volunteering to provide nonprofits with the tools and assistance they need to have a long-term impact.
Ultimately, our grants program was put in place to assist nonprofits in closing the digital divide by lowering the cost barrier of new technologies, especially SaaS. In addition to providing free or low-cost monday.com licenses, we're broadening our reach to help more nonprofit organizations use the software as a service (SaaS) products and services to fulfill their missions.
We think today's social innovators are best equipped to have a long-term impact on society. Today's social entrepreneurs will benefit from access to the resources they need to succeed.
If you are a nonprofit interested in our grants program, please visit our website or contact us for more information.