Like most organizations in the Fall 2011 State of Grantseeking survey, education organizations received more grant funding from private foundations than other sources of grant funding. Fifty percent also received Federal government grants (vs. 45% of all organizations in the survey) and 56% received state government grants (compared to 50% across all organizations).
Note: educational institutions include colleges and universities, where education nonprofit organizations are nonprofits that are focused on education. Please see the State of Grantseeking in Educational Institutions and State of Grantseeking in Education Nonprofits fact sheets for details about each type of organization's grantseeking activities.
The average largest grant for all education organizations was $398,144, higher than the $312,000 average largest grant across all organization types.
Other key statistics about education organizations from the State of Grantseeking survey:
44% submitted 3 to 10 grant requests in the first six months of 2011
35% received 1 or 2 grant awards
Education organizations' greatest grantseeking challenges were the reductions in State and Federal funding and the corresponding reduction in resources
Download the Education Organizations State of Grantseeking Fact Sheet to read the rest of the results.
Youth development organizations in the Fall 2011 State of Grantseeking report received more grant funding from community and corporate foundations and were less likely to receive Federal or State government grants than other organization types.
The average largest grant for youth development organizations was $191,560, lower than the $312,000 average largest grant across all organization types.
Other key statistics about youth development organizations from the State of Grantseeking survey:
66% submitted six or more grant requests (compared to 53% across all organizations)
52% were awarded 3 or more grants
Youth development organizations' greatest grantseeking challenges were reductions in staff time due to budget cuts and the reduction in grant award amounts
Download the Youth Development Organizations State of Grantseeking Fact Sheet to read the rest of the results.
Compared to other organizations, human services organizations received more grants from all grant sources, according to the Fall 2011 State of Grantseeking survey. Human services organizations are likely to fall into the category of "safety net" organizations. Several other organization types cited the redirection of grant funds to safety net organizations as one of the greatest challenges in their own grantseeking activities.
Some key statistics about human services organizations from the Fall 2011 State of Grantseeking survey:
Human services organizations were more likely to request 6 or more grants (69% vs. 53%) and receive 3 to 10 grant awards (53% vs. 37%)
70% of human services organizations received the same number or more grants as they had in the same period the previous year
Human services organizations cited declines in State and Federal government grant funds and the corresponding reduction in resources as the greatest challenges to their grantseeking activities
Download the Human Services Organizations State of Grantseeking Fact Sheet to read the rest of the results.
While private foundations were the largest source of grants for educational institutions, as they were across the board, educational institutions were more likely than other types of organizations to receive Federal and State government grants (76% vs. 54% on average for Federal government grants and 76% vs. 50% for State government grants). The average largest grant to educational institutions was $575,130 compared to the average of $312,000 across all organizations.
Other key statistics about educational institutions from the State of Grantseeking:
The average educational institution was more likely to apply for 6 to 20 grants (53% vs. 39%) than the average across all organizations types
30% of educational institutions received 6 to 10 grant awards
Educational institutions cited declines in Federal funding for education as one of their key grant seeking challenges.
Download the Educational Institutions State of Grantseeking Fact Sheet to read the rest of the results.
Community Impact/Community Building (CICB) Organizations received more grants from private foundations than from any other grant source in the Fall 2011 State of Grantseeking Survey.
The average largest grant for CICB organizations $95,411, compared to $312,000 for all organizations in the survey.
Other key statistics about CICB organizations from the State of Grantseeking:
54% of CICB organizations applied for 3-5 grants in the first six months of 2011, over twice the number in other categories that applied for 3-5 grants (26% across all organizations)
27% received one grant; 31% received no grants
60% received the same number or more grant awards than they had in the first six months of 2010.
Download the CICB Organizations State of Grantseeking Fact Sheet to read the rest of the results.
Arts, Culture, and Humanities organizations (broadly grouped as “arts organizations”) receive more grants from private foundations than from any other grant source.
The average largest grant for the 100 arts organizations in the State of Grantseeking survey was less than a quarter the size of the average largest grant for all organizations in the survey -- $71,028 for arts organizations versus an average largest grant of $312,000 for all organizations.
Other key statistics about arts organizations from the State of Grantseeking survey:
- 50% of arts organizations submitted 6-10 grant requests in the first six months of 2011
- 24% received 3-5 grant awards;
- 68% received the same number or more grants than in the first six months of 2010
Download the Arts Organizations State of Grantseeking Fact Sheet to read the rest of the results.
You may be thinking, "The State of Grantseeking is a great report, but how does it apply to my arts organization?" Or you may be thinking. "The State of Grantseeking is a great report, but how does it apply to my human services organization?"
Or you may be thinking… you get the idea.
In collaboration with GrantStation, PhilanTech is pleased to release a series of fact sheets for the top issue areas represented in the State of Grantseeking report:
- Arts, Culture, Humanities
- Community Improvement, Capacity Building
- Educational institutions
- Education nonprofits
- Health Care
- Human Services
- Social Services
- Youth Development
Each one page fact sheet outlines the top grant funding types, challenges, numbers of grant requests and awards for the specific issue area compared to all organizations in the survey.
We’ll release a new fact sheet every few days for the next few weeks.
We look forward to your thoughts about the fact sheets and to continuing to provide the information and tools you need to be successful in your grantseeking.
2011 ended on an optimistic note for grantseekers. Despite the fact that grantseeking activities didn’t result in increased numbers of awards for most nonprofits, according to the State of Grantseeking Fall 2011 Report, 81% of nonprofits felt optimistic that they would receive the same number or more grants in the first six months of 2012 as they had in the first six months of 2011.
To get you started on the right foot, here are four grantseeking resolutions for 2012:
- I will stay in touch with my funders. Current funders can be an excellent source of ongoing support. Building relationships with new funders takes time. If you have existing relationships with institutional funders, they require care and feeding. Take the time and invest the effort to maintain those relationships so that your current funders know what you’re up to, what successes you’re having, and where you might need some additional support.
- I will only apply for grants when my organization fits the funder’s stated criteria. With increased competition for funding dollars and fewer resources available for grantseeking, it’s more important than ever for nonprofits to focus their efforts on pursuing the opportunities that are most likely to yield results. If the funder doesn’t fund in your area (geographic area or issue area), consider it an extremely long shot and spend your resources elsewhere.
- I will create a grant strategy and use it to guide my decision making. Picking up on the limited resources theme, it’s important to know what varieties of funders you should be pursuing, who is likely to fund your projects and organization, and how you are going to approach those funders. The beginning of the year is the perfect time to take stock of what has worked for your organization in the past, where your best relationships are, what resources you have to pursue grant funding, and how you’re going to leverage those resources this year. Setting out a plan can help prevent you from pursuing opportunities (with all of the time and energy that takes) that may not be the right fit for your organization.
- I will use professional resources for grantwriting. One of the more interesting findings from the State of Grantseeking Fall 2011 report was that organizations that used professional grantwriters (either staff members or consultants) were more likely to be awarded grants. 57% of the organizations that used either board members or volunteers to write proposals received no grants at all in the first half of 2011. You may not be able to afford a staff person, but explore consultants (and stay tuned for some PhilanTech developments on that front in coming months), connecting existing staff members with training opportunities, and try to build your organization’s grantwriting capacity.
What are your top grantseeking resolutions for 2012?
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/danmoyle/6601589893/
I recently committed to raise $500 for an organization I care about -- the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN), an organization that helps nonprofits across the sector use technology skillfully and confidently to further their causes. Since virtually every organization has some sort of fundraising appeal at this time of year, and I was going to be asking friends and colleagues to donate, I knew I needed to do something to make my fundraising appeal stand out.
So I wrote a song.
You can hear (and watch) it at http://www.razoo.com/story/Championgoldstein (and please consider making donation to NTEN! Every dollar donated will be matched by their board).
The process got me thinking about grantwriting and a similar challenge faced by grantseekers.
Foundation program officers read a lot of grant proposals. In smaller foundations where there may only be one staff person, that person has very limited time and pours over a lot of information. He or she may recruit trustees to read proposals as well (or the foundation may have a review process that involves trustees or directors or a grant review committee). Even in foundations with more staff members, each person reads a lot of proposals.
Many - if not most - of those proposals are compelling. They are written by organizations that have reviewed the foundation's requirements and have crafted a proposal that outlines how their organization meets those requirements, why the organization's work is important, and why it is requesting support. (Nonprofits do this to varying degrees of success -- more about that in the coming weeks and months.)
The number of proposals submitted is increasing, according to the most recent State of Grantseeking survey - more nonprofits are submitting more grant requests to try to make up for funding shortfalls in other areas.
Now, more than ever, it's important to make your message stand out -- to convey memorable information in a compelling way to catch your reader's attention.
Here are a few tips:
- Review the foundation's guidelines and ensure that your proposal addresses how your organization fits. You have virtually 0% chance of getting a grant funded if it falls outside the foundation's stated guidelines;
- Provide enough information to make a compelling case, but not so much that the funder is inundated. We hear from grantmakers frequently that applicants send them more information than they request. While that may seem helpful ("let's send them samples of our publications so they can see how great they are"), it generally isn't, and risks burying your message. A notable exception to this rule is if the funder asks for additional information (e.g., "please send us any other relevant information or publications"). Even then, be judicious in what you send;
- Write compelling prose and use data where you have it. Some funders will ask for information about impact or expected outcomes in quantitative form; some will not. Particularly in the absence of specific direction from the funder, a mix of qualitative and quantitative information is a good way to go.
Finally, think about the one thing that you want your reader to remember when they put down your application, and ensure that message carries through the proposal.
Immediately after writing a blog post about the need to blog more regularly (just as grantseekers need to communicate with their funders more regularly), I then didn't blog for two months.
But I have a good excuse! (I know. You're saying you also have good excuses for not communicating more regularly with your funders. And we're both wrong -- we don't have good excuses. We should be making the time.)
We at PhilanTech have been busy bees lately. In addition to working with our happy clients and growing their ranks with new grantmakers and grantseekers using PhilanTrack, we have:
- Released a new feature for grantmakers - integrated review functionality within PhilanTrack;
- Added grant research for grantseekers, through a partnership with GrantStation. Now, within PhilanTrack, grantseekers can search GrantStation's 7,000+ current funding opportunities;
- Worked with GrantStation (speaking of GrantStation) to publish the State of Grantseeking Fall 2011, based on responses to our semi-annual survey. It will be released broadly on Monday, so stay tuned!
- Developed some other educational resources around grants that will be released in the coming months. And we're working on more, too;
- Been selected by the Pipeline Fellowship as its first investee. We're super excited to have a talented group of investors backing our efforts to help the nonprofit sector.
Contact us to learn more about the review functionality for grantmakers or research functionality for grantseekers.
Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jelene/3399436299/