Congratulations! You’ve officially started your non-profit organization. You’ve come up with a creative name for your organization — perhaps a combination of your names, a clever way to honor a beloved friend, parent, or your journey to this point. You’ve told all your friends, coworkers, family (anyone who has ears, really) that you. finally. did. it. Your non-profit is live! Motivated by wanting to give back to your community, solve a local problem, or serve others, you moved forward in faith that if you could only get started, things would fall into place. The joy you felt was indescribable – you are over the moon. Remember that feeling. Hold on to it. We’ll revisit it soon.
You know there is a “but” coming, right? There always is. Except this time, you probably know the “but” before I even say it. Let’s say it together…3…2…1….FUNDING. Creating your non-profit, perhaps even filing for your 501c3 designation, are important and steps you should be proud of. However, they are just the beginning of the journey. Something many people forget is that just because you are doing work on behalf and in the community, does not mean that the community will immediately be paying for those services. “Fine, Shaïnah,” you may say, “I get that. I don’t expect the community I am serving to pay for my programs. The reason why I even stumbled onto your site is because I am looking for grant funding and grant sources.” First, welcome to the site – it is wonderful to have you here! Second, while I have no doubt in my mind that your organization will be awarded grants, what many non-profit founders do not realize earlier on is that, those grant awarded funds may be months, even years, away.
At this point, you are probably feeling a bit defeated in your pursuits. You are probably thinking you will never read this blog ever again. Wait! Before you make up your mind, remember that feeling I suggested you hold at the start of this post? The one of pride, accomplishment, and pure joy at starting your non-profit? That’s the one. Find it and breathe. All is not lost. Rather, you are just getting started and I am going to let you in on a little secret that many Founders have never heard. I promise, this secret will change your (funding) life.
You ready? Here it goes: there is such a thing as being “grant ready.” If you are not grant ready, well, you guessed it, you are not going to be getting any grants. Except perhaps funding specifically intended for emerging organizations, but that is a topic for another post.
If at this point in the post your question is, “Shaïnah, how do I get my organization grant ready?” you are absolutely in the right place. This blog will be chock-full of resources, tips, tricks, and even news about upcoming funding sources. Together, we can put the “fun” back in “funding.” Oh — there will be plenty of puns, “dad” jokes, and overall Shaïnah-ness over here. Welcome, so glad to have you in the Innovative Solving family!