Creating Effective Partnerships for Competitive Grant Proposals

Part 1

You may be surprised to learn that as grant writing consultants, Palmetto Grant Consulting often spends a lot of time asking our clients questions about partnerships. Common questions we ask include, “Who is helping your nonprofit conduct this project? Who is not? If not, why? If so, how?” The reason is that partnerships are increasingly critical components of grant proposals, and funders are getting smarter about the information they request to assess partnerships when reviewing proposals and making awards. Many funders require applicants to describe the partnerships they will leverage to attain successful outcomes. This information can be requested in the narrative or in attachments by requesting letters of support, Memoranda of Understanding, or contracts with strategic partners. Funders often want both narrative descriptions and documentation. Developing meaningful partnerships translates to building relationships, and that takes time and intentional communication – time you rarely have when putting together a grant proposal in 4-6 weeks. How can your nonprofit develop effective strategic partnerships that you can easily and quickly leverage when funding opportunities arise?

Community relations or strategic partnership plans are usually defined by the organization’s strategic plans and core values. Another key factor is the organization’s target population – what do they need the most that the nonprofit cannot offer on its own? For example, many social service nonprofits help their clients overcome challenges related to access. Nonprofits often form strategic partnerships with transportation companies, childcare providers, and food banks that help participants access services. These key alliances can boost the success of the services you provide, and raise the profile or your organization in the larger community. PGC can advise you on effective ways to integrate partnerships into your grant writing.

In our next blog we’ll share key questions to ask when contemplating a collaboration.

How do you incorporate collaborations into your grant proposals and overall marketing plans? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!


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