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Advocating For Your Grant Budget

Updated: Oct 6, 2023

No matter what your role -- board member, executive director, grant professional, program staff -- you play a part in making sure that your organization is budgeting for grants.

But spending money can pinch, even if the data supports the fact that grant seeking is an INVESTMENT with a 5:1 return.

Here are some tips that will help you make a case for increasing the expense line for grants (not just the income line):

  1. Set realistic expectations for your stakeholders:

    1. The national ROI for grants is 5:1

    2. Only about 10% of grant proposals are funded

    3. Organizations that submit 11-20 proposals a year have a 99% chance of being awarded at least one

  2. Grants are important!

    1. Grants may cost more to secure than other types of fundraising, but they are a vital part of the nonprofit's funding mix. It depends on the organization, but having 10-20% of the annual budget from grants is a sustainable goal.

    2. Grants are an excellent opportunity to develop pilot programs and grow the capacity of the organization.

What if you don't have the staff or time necessary for grant seeking and management?

According to Grant Station, the #1 barrier to seeking grants is a lack of staff and time! If that is true for you, you are certainly not alone!

Most grant professionals (74%) are internal employees of organizations. Smaller nonprofits may not have the resources for a staff member.

Consider hiring a qualified consultant to handle your grant seeking activity. An excellent contracted grant professional can handle the bulk of the grant work, freeing your staff to do mission-critical tasks.


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