Your stakeholders matter
In Part I wrote about informing people about your funding submission. Your communication with stakeholders in your organisation and the project at this point, and through to the funding announcement (and beyond if successful) needs to be next level.
Because real partnerships need to be nurtured.
How many times have you been asked for a letter of support and never, ever heard from the entity again?
Step 1: make a list of the entities who have supported your application and what they have contributed to the application itself, and have committed to contribute should the program go ahead. Ensure you have the key contact on the list and if your key contact is somewhat down the pecking order in the organisation make sure you have the head honcho’s contact details as well and add to your list. (Ideally this will all live in your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System).
Step 2: Decide on how you want to keep these people / entities informed through the process and make sure they feel special as you do so. Why? These people have gone out on a limb to work with you and support your community – information is your most immediate way of giving thanks. Chances are they will never read it… BUT They will see your entity come up in their in-box or social media feed and know that you’re still there. They can retrieve the information later if they need to (and often they will).
Step 3: However you’ve decided to stay in touch do it on a regular basis and keep it up over and beyond the life of the grant. These entities will be your champions and these relationships are most certainly worth nurturing.
If you plan to co-deliver the program with another entity ensure you have your agreement in writing before the grant is announced. This will save any ill feeling down the track. Ideally the agreement will be signed off at a committee level. Depending on the level of funding and the intricacies of the agreement you may need the support of a solicitor to draw up a contract.
Do your stakeholders agree to be named in marketing / media? If so make sure you have their logo and a testimonial at hand. (These things are good to have in any case).
Sure, you did the hard yards in pulling the application together but nothing happens alone. Seek out ways to give thanks to your stakeholders. Perhaps a letter of thanks to your working partner’s committee praising the support of the organisation’s CEO, a social media acknowledgement or a coffee or lunch. All great ways to give thanks and mark a moment in time.
Community jobs are busy ones and when we are focused on the most dire issues at hand it’s easy to forget all of the good that happens in between times. Giving thanks and showing gratitude will not only make you feel good, it will also assist you to build stronger relationships which ultimately will build a more cohesive community.
Part 1 Finding the funding source
Part 2 Get your Game face on and
Part 3 Your funding toolkit
Part 4 Supporting data
Part 5 The funding concept
Part 6 Writing the application
Part 7 Grant writing pitfalls
Part 8 Raising awareness
Kerry Grace – Evolve Network Founder and CEO