Very few charities (and their projects) are purely one dimensional. Realizing all the various dimensions to every project means that more foundations, corporations, and individuals will be able to appreciate your good work and see it as important to their funding priorities. I recommend the following steps to help get yourself and your fundraising colleagues thinking about these many dimensions:
- List out every person (or type of person) who will be involved with the project and be as detailed as possible (ex: "volunteers" is a type, but if you know you'll need volunteers with social media experience then that's even better). The people involved can range from staff to those being aided by a project to single-day volunteers.
- Write down every item you will need to be successful and, again, be as detailed as possible. This could include physical office space for an intern, food to feed people, new database, etc.
- Think about where your organization is located and, if applying for program specific funding, where the program will take place. Don't just say what city you're located in, but go beyond to thinking about the regional definitions.
- Similarly to #3, think about who will benefit from the program or your organization and where they are located.
- Write down the project's goal then think about all its direct and indirect benefits. For example, if your goal were to protect a forest from development then a direct benefit might be the preservation of open space for people in the community, but an indirect benefit might be that the community is a more desirable place to live and do business because of its open space.
- List out what problems will be solved if the organization is successful and break down each problem into its components. As an example, a workforce education program might solve unemployment, but it might also contribute to solving the problem of improving the self-esteem of participants.
Sometimes a grant writer is lucky to find one foundation to entirely support a project, but more often than not many foundations, corporations, individuals, and community groups must be called upon to make a project a reality. The more creatively you think the more possibilities will open up to you and the more likely you'll be to find the funding you need.