7 questions you should ask a funder

How much do you really know about the funder? That’s the question you should be asking yourself before you call them to discuss a grant proposal. In his book “How to Win Grants,” Alan Silver wrote that once you’ve identified potential funders for your project, you should visit their websites to gather information about them. The information you gather from these pages will help you determine whether they even have the capacity to fund your project.

    Silver listed the most important things you need to know about a funder, including:

  • Mission and current funding priorities;
  • Whether they fund organizations likes yours;
  • How much grant money they have available;
  • Current grant opportunities, guidelines, timelines;
  • Funding patterns — grantee names, amounts, abstracts of funded projects, percentage of applicants funded;
  • Whether they encourage potential applicants to call with questions or discuss proposed projects; and,
  • Downloadable publications that will help you in your planning.

While on the funder’s site, Silver also recommended bookmarking their grants page, and to register for email notifications of new funding opportunities.