Credibility (Pt. 2 of 4) – Follow up to the Uncle Sam Analogy

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Work Together to Build Credibility Necessary for Successful Grants


Does it seem like the same established nonprofits are always the organizations that are awarded grants?

That’s because it is. The reason comes down to credibility.

Like Rome, credibility isn’t built in a day. The best qualified and most successful grant applicants have a solid history of good fiscal stewardship and an excellent track record with past grant-funded projects.

These organizations can provide pristine financial statements and audit reports, program evaluations and final reports demonstrating the success of their previously grant-funded projects, numerous references to substantiate their credibility and capacity and a broad network of established program partners.

Organizations with little or no prior experience with grants or new startups may be challenged to convey the credibility they need to beat out their competition for grant funding.

The best strategy is to have patience and a plan to build credibility and capacity over time. Begin by partnering with larger, more established organizations and applying for smaller grants. Here’s why.

Partnering with an experienced grantee, particularly one who serves as the fiscal agent for the grant and who retains ultimate responsibility for compliance and grant management, allows younger organizations to gain experience with the grant process. Further, your organization’s contributions to the project will be reflected in the evaluative results (or project outcomes) and will create credibility and/or a track record that can be cited in your future applications.

Sometimes it can be challenging for nonprofits and agencies to come together and work out mutually beneficial agreements. So if you’re struggling to establish these types of partnerships, working with a grant writing consultant can help.

At KFA, we often facilitate partnerships and collaborations among diverse organizations, creating a win-win for everyone involved. As an independent moderator and facilitator, we look out for each partner’s best interests and ensure everyone gets maximum benefits from a project. In the end, this effort creates some stunningly compelling grant proposals.

Remember our “Uncle Sam” analogy. The most experienced, impactful applicant with the broadest base of collaboration has the most compelling case in the grant application process. They have the best idea for addressing the social problem at hand and are the best qualified organization to address it.

If your organization struggles to be in this position, get in touch today. We can help get you there.

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