Applying for grants can be a daunting task. Many nonprofit leaders go into the grant-writing process asking themselves, “We want to apply for a capacity-building grant, but how do we do that? What are funders even looking for that my nonprofit can provide?"
According to our recent Foundation Reporting Study, foundations and charitable trusts are requiring nonprofit organizations to show how they impact their communities and constituents. The best way to show that impact is through collecting relevant data from your service delivering and reporting on it overtime.
Michael Weinstein, Director of Mission Sales at Social Solutions, explains it as “impact investing”. Instead of simply giving based on mission or location, funders want to actually gauge the change nonprofits are creating in the communities they are investing in. "The only way to be able to gauge that change is to have a tracking system at the nonprofit level that allows [nonprofits] to quantify [their] interactions with clients and see real change over time."
In fact, reporting requirements have risen in the last five years and are only slated to increase in the next five years. So, having robust reporting in place at your organization is essential to proving your impact and gaining more funding. Michael puts it this way - "being able to tell what you’ve done in the past will enable you to get more funding for the future."
Once your nonprofit is ready to apply for funding, it's important to showcase the data you collect and report on to prove that your nonprofit's impact is important, scalable, and something worth investing in.