GRANTS: Not the Easy Way Out

When a nonprofit calls about grants, I often find that they just got their 501©3 and consider grants the fastest, easiest, and surest way to get the money they need.

Grants – just like relationship-building – take time and effort to be done right, and are not a path to quick cash. Individual giving accounts for +/- 70% of philanthropic giving in this country, compared to +/- 17% for grants.

Without even starting down the road towards individual donor giving, they assume grants is the best path forward because they can outsource it, and it’s less scary than asking “real people” for donations.


Grants are awarded by “real people” (the foundation board), to other “real people” (your agency). Transactional giving is the least likely way to make money for your organization. Personal contact, cultivation, and stewardship are all means to success with grants, just like they are with individual donors

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