Successful management in a nonprofit organization requires many professional traits and skills, including the ability to efficiently acquire funding for the organization’s projects. Many nonprofits depend largely on outside funding from grants to continue operating. Nonprofit grant writing is a skill that requires hard work and practice, but it can have a dramatic impact on an organization’s funding for years at a time. Pursuing an MPA in nonprofit management is an effective way to receive valuable training in nonprofit grant writing for the betterment of your career and your organization.
Funding Your Nonprofit Through Grant Writing
According to Charity Navigator, nearly $77 billion are awarded every year in the U.S. through corporate and foundational grants. That money goes to nonprofit organizations of all sizes, so it is in the best interest of any nonprofit to invest in hiring or training an individual to handle all the nonprofit grant writing.
Every successful grant proposal begins with thorough research of the types of available grants that could benefit your nonprofit. Some funding sources look to support new nonprofits that are just getting their operations up and running, while others desire to assist organizations within their local geographic area. Many grants fund a specific project within a finite time frame, but you can also find grants to fund your organization’s regular operational budget, capital campaign or endowment funding. Meticulous research should lead to at least one if not several potential opportunities to which your organization can submit grant proposals.
Developing Your Management Skills Through Nonprofit Grant Writing
Aside from the potential funding your organization could receive, another tremendous benefit of focusing on improving your nonprofit grant writing is the improvement of your organization’s overall management as a result of the grant writing process. Corporate and foundational funding sources are looking to provide support to organizations that they feel can succeed. They expect your grant proposal to reflect a high level of organization, planning, budgeting and emphasis on reaching specific goals.
In order for your grant proposal to meet their expectations, your organization in general and your nonprofit management in particular will need to sharpen its skills in each of the preceding areas to make sure that you can earn the confidence of the funding source. The grant proposal will include several sections, such as a cover letter, description of your organization, project narrative, and letters of endorsement from partners within your community. Writing each component of your grant proposal gives you an opportunity to develop diverse skills benefiting your overall professional career.
Achieve Long-Term Goals Through Grant Applications
Nonprofit grant writing also allows your organization to focus on planning for long-term goals. Many grant applications require your organization to specify the long-term objectives of your particular project or your overall organization. Through the grant writing process, your organization can discuss and refine those goals and develop a sharper focus on the tasks and projects required to succeed.
Additionally, grant writing gives nonprofit managers an opportunity to develop perseverance. The process of applying for grants can require months of effort and waiting, and often you will need to apply multiple times to more than one source before receiving the funding you seek.
Involve Others in Your Nonprofit’s Cause
The process of nonprofit grant writing allows outside funders to become involved in your organization’s cause. Applying for grants gives you an important opportunity to tell both your organization’s and your project’s stories so that others can catch the vision for how important it is and cultivate a desire to be a part of making your dream a reality. As you spread the message of your organization’s mission through grant writing, you can also develop vital nonprofit management skills and improve your organization’s overall chances at success.
An online MPA program with a focus on nonprofit management will include coursework and practice in the area of grant writing and administration. Graduate students will learn each step of the grant writing process, how to write successful grant proposals, and additional aspects involved in using grant funding within a nonprofit organization. Developing nonprofit grant writing skills can be a valuable asset for the duration of your nonprofit career.
Learn about the Arkansas State University online MPA program.
Charity Navigator: Giving Statistics
Nonprofit Hub: Don’t Start Your Nonprofit Grant Writing Until You Read This
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Career Outlook — Grant Writer