Regardless of your experience, skill level, or even the quality of your competition, with enough time, the following principle will allow you to win grant funding for your organization! The single principle that will give your organization a huge advantage and will virtually guarantee your success is CONSISTENCY.
In fact, the only thing that can stop you from developing a successful grant strategy and securing the funding your organization needs is to not utilize this principle...
and that is the number one reason why incredibly deserving, compassionate, and valuable ministries never obtain the funding they need to survive and why they eventually close their doors as a result.
Many wonderful ministries get frustrated when they start to implement a grant development strategy and do not see the results quickly enough.
They look at their competitors and notice the amount of funding they have secured and wonder why they are not yielding the same results.
Having an organized approach is, of course, important.
However, I have found that the number one reason ministries fail at grant writing is that they quit before they start to see results.
A lot of people become gung-ho about new goals or opportunities, and they charge out of the gate in an explosion of activity - yet their intensity and commitment quickly fizzle.
Meanwhile, those who begin the journey with less flash but a greater commitment to consistency eventually catch up to their flamboyant peers and leave them in the dust.
Your ministry should do what most ministries do not: Stay consistent.
Darren Hardy notes that the "lack of consistency is the subtle stealer of dreams.
The stop and start process kills progress in any pursuit.
In fact, inconsistency is one of the biggest reasons people don't achieve their goals.
" When you start thinking about slacking off on your action plan, routines, and rhythms, consider the massive cost of inconsistency.
It is not the loss of the single action and the tiny results it creates; it is the utter collapse and loss of momentum your entire progress will suffer.
Zig Ziglar uses the analogy of a hand-pumped water well.
The water table is 25 feet below the ground.
A pipe runs down to the water, and you have to pump the lever to create the suction that brings the water above the ground and out of the spout.
When most people start a new endeavor, they grab the lever and start pumping really hard; they are excited, committed, and resolute..
They pump and pump and pump, and after a few minutes, when they don't see any water, they give up pumping the lever altogether.
The same principle applies to grant writing and development.
Many start a new grant writing endeavor by submitting a flurry of application to dozens of foundations.
A few months later when they still have not received any grants (or sometimes even any responses), they conclude that grant writing just will not work for their ministry and therefore give up.
If they persevere and continue to pump and pump the lever, eventually a few drops of water will appear.
At this point, a lot of people say, "You've got to be kidding! All this pumping, and for what? A few drops of water? Forget it!" A ministry may say, "after a full year of grant writing we only secured one $5,000 grant.
What good will that do my ministry?" They don't see the results they were expecting (expectations can really hurt us at times).
They think their plan isn't working, and they quit.
The wise ministry will persist and continue to pump in their grant development efforts.
If you continue to pump, eventually, you will get a full and steady stream of water.
Congratulations, success! Now, here is where grant development gets really exciting...
Once the water is flowing, you no longer need to pump the lever as hard or as quickly.
It's easy to keep the pressure steady by just pumping the lever CONSISTENTLY.
But now you need to KEEP pumping! So, what happens if you let go of the lever for too long? The water falls back down into the ground, and you're back at square one.
If you come back and pump the lever easily and steadily, you still won't get any water.
You have lost the vacuum, or the momentum of your compounded effort.
The only way to get the water flowing again is to start all over.
The ministries that persist long enough to start to see funding have a new problem when it comes to consistency...
they forget to keep pumping.
The problem is that they work really hard to get the funding flowing and then take a break.
Ugh! Now they have to pump like crazy again just to get back to even.
Living life in a constant state of fits and starts is frustrating and demoralizing.
Consistency is one of the most important principles of grant writing success.
Does this sound like your ministry? Is your grant development process full of starts and stops? Flurries of activity followed by months of stagnation? Have you quit grant writing because you determined that it just will not work for your type of ministry? Here is the message: Grant writing works for every ministry! If you have a consistent, persistent, and organized effort you will see success.
This is not a question of IF you will see success but WHEN you will see success.
If you are thinking that your ministry simply does not have the resources to do this the right way, consider using an outsourced grant development consultant.
A consultant will develop an organized grant development strategy and then implement that strategy in a consistent and persistent manner.
If you are patient, and the consultant is up-front and honest with you about what to expect, you will see success and your ministry will gain the funding it needs.
My thanks go to Darren Hardy ( http://blog.
com/author/darren-hardy/ ) and Zig Ziglar ( www.
com/ ) for the principles and analogies used in this article.