As we enter the new year, many groups are taking a moment to look back at what they've done, see how it helped, and plan for what's next. Some are in a tough spot, dealing with money issues that are stopping their community projects from growing.
In my work with different groups, I've seen people start community projects using their own money, turning them into important sources of help for the local community. Sadly, these groups are now facing problems stopping them from growing more because self-funding is getting tough.
On the other hand, some got money for the first part of their projects but are now struggling to get more for the next step. This leads groups to think about getting help from a grant writer.
Teaming up with a grant writer could be a good move if you've tried everything else and need new ideas. It makes sense why some groups might not want to do this. Getting a grant writer doesn't guarantee success; some think they should handle the grant writing process with volunteers to save money. These worries are fair and should be thought about carefully.
Many grant writers offer free consultations where you can chat about your group's mission and goals, and they'll explain what they can do for you.
Coming to a meeting ready with info and questions ensures you make the most of the session. Include things like the specific grant you have in mind, past successful and unsuccessful grants, details about your program's money needs, and your program plans and activities. Please be sure to share this information a few days before your meeting.
Here are some questions you can ask the grant writer during your meeting:
How much do you know about the current funding situation in our area?
How do you make sure you understand our group's mission and goals?
Will you work closely with our team during the process, and how much teamwork is involved?
Can you share the names of groups you've worked with before?
How much do you charge, and are there extra costs on top of that?
This way of approaching things makes sure that you, as the decision-makers in your group, can really figure out if the grant writer is a good fit for a helpful partnership in the future.
Grant writer consultations are a chance to find the right help for your project. By asking the right questions and sharing information, you can start a partnership that might lead to new opportunities.