#SmartSnippet: Build before applying for grants

As a part of a new series, we will be sharing smart snippets, tidbits if you will, from people who work in the public benefit sector. Today we have a snippet from Gail Koelln on the importance of building a reputation before applying for grant funding.


People starting their own non-profit organizations often want to start sending out grant proposals shortly after the ink is dry on their organization’s shiny new IRS 501c3 letter. However, my experience has taught me that very few foundations, government entities or corporate funders will give grants to new non-profit organizations. Most want to see that you’ve done some of the work you’ve set out to do already and that you have had some success doing so. Therefore, find other ways to raise funds in the early days, such as by organizing fundraising events, running a crowdfunding campaign and/or reaching out directly to individual donors. Once your organization has been out there creating a track record for a year or two (or three), then it might be time to take a look at the possibilities of raising funds through grants.”

Gail Koelln, President of GK Grant Writing and Co-Founder of One Earth Conservation.


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