Strategy > Reactivity

Feb 02, 2024

by Aliess Kingsley, COO of Granted


Let’s make a list of the things that end up better if they’re done at the last minute


Scheduling a flight? 

Nope, 3X the cost of planning ahead. 


Finishing an assignment?

Nope, you get it returned to you covered in red ink. 


Making reservations for Valentine’s Day?

Oh, goodness, you’re in trouble. 


So why, then, would chasing after a grant at the last minute yield anything but the same frantic results? Great question. It wouldn’t. 


Let's start at the beginning. 


Most things in life require strategy of one kind or another. Baseball, gardening, running a marathon—you wouldn’t go into any of these without a plan and a goal. In gardening you may create a map of what plants you’d like. Baseball players spend hours at practice and coaches develop plays and watch films of opposing teams. Running a marathon … you get the picture. Each of these take thoughtful planning and execution. So if seemingly everyday tasks and games take strategy, why then would you, a development director, executive director, or grant writer, think fundraising would be any different? You wouldn’t. You would start the year with a fundraising goal and a list of grants organized in such a way that you can achieve said goal without overextending yourself or others. 


The problem, of course, is that as the development director, executive director, or grant writer, you’re probably also wearing the hats of a program director, administrator, event planner, and data specialist. With so many hats on, it isn’t hard to visualize the number of tasks any one person may be juggling, leaving strategy and plan lost in the crowd. All of this juggling leaves your organization left in a state of reaction, with hearts racing and time slipping through your fingers.


It is this reactive mindset that leads to last minute grants, missteps, and small but mighty mistakes. While red marks all over an assignment in school can cause embarrassment, missing the mark because you’re rushing to get a grant submitted at the last minute can cause negative reviews of the organization as a whole. Like red flags in dating, these negative reviews are hard to erase and can affect long term fundraising strategies. Your first grant submission to a new funder is your first date with them. Is a rushed application, with all the inevitable missteps within, the story you want potential funders to walk away with? 


Yeah, we didn’t think so. So what do you do? 


Enter Granted Fundraising Consultants. We advise and support organizations to get and stay proactive. With your designated grant writer, not only can we get grants submitted a month before their due dates, we can also help research any last-minute grants that may come across your desk. Instead of choosing the path of panic, rushed storytelling, and bad first impressions, your grant writer can instead help support and reinforce a proactive approach by either thoughtfully reorganizing your calendar or putting the newfound grant in question onto next year’s calendar. By looking at grants holistically and having this bandwidth to look at an entire year’s plan together, we can not only achieve this year’s funding goals, but also offer a diversification of funding opportunities for next year. Imagine what you could accomplish if your fundraising could remain 30 days ahead of schedule? Would your headache subside? 


In the end, being proactive can not only help you reach the goals of this year, reduce stress, and reinforce focus, it can help continue a path forward for long term success. 


Who doesn’t love that?