Updated: Oct 1, 2019
When considering engaging with a grant management company, particularly TurnKey Writing Solutions and our very unique approach, your Board of Directors will have some questions. Rightfully so. Their purpose is to ensure that the nonprofit is being managed effectively and funds are being spent wisely. Grant management is a big decision, but one that can change the financial future of your organization and significantly impact the lives of your clients.
Below are some of the most common questions we’ve received from clients’ board members:
1. Why can’t we manage grants ourselves in-house? There are typically three reasons why nonprofit organizations cannot manage grants in-house: time, resources, and expertise. Let’s start with resources. Most nonprofits that are building programs and beginning to serve clients don’t have the funds available to pay a full-time grant writer (read more about how much it costs to hire a grant writer) or a consultant. They are devoting all of their funds to operational costs and programming. Often, nonprofits in this stage are being run by Executive Directors who got involved to meet a need in their community with little to no experience themselves in fundraising. If they do have the expertise themselves, they typically don’t have the time to spend 8-10 hours on a grant proposal (or potentially hundreds for a federal grant request), countless hours researching opportunities, follow up, organizing requests, etc.
2. Assuming we are successful in month 6 of 12, then what? Do we still have to pay every month for the rest of the year? Do we start a new ‘year’? With a TurnKey subscription, we base the amount of grant proposals submitted on your behalf (which varies with each subscription level) on a 12-month calendar from the date on which you subscribe. So, for example, if all of your grant proposals were submitted by month 6, your subscription and monthly fee would continue for the remaining six months.
There are two significant reasons for that. First, we've built the cost of drafting your grant narrative into the subscription and spread it out over the 12-month subscription (instead of what most grant writers and consultants charge $1,000+ for prior to any research and on top of grant management fees). Secondly, the grant research continues on your behalf for the remaining six months and you will continue to receive monthly reports of the grantmaking organizations that are a good fit for your project. Since we've provided you with an editable copy of your grant proposal, cover letter, and letter of inquiry at the beginning of your subscription, you could potentially apply for those opportunities on your own or we could add that on to your fee that month. Then, with each new starting 12-months, we could review your proposal and shift your funding priority or continue to move forward seeking funds for the same need.
3. What is TurnKey’s experience in grant writing? With more than ten years in nonprofit fundraising and multiple millions of dollars in grant awards secured, you can be confident that your nonprofit is partnering with experienced and successful professionals who are experts in their field and understand the nuances of grant seeking.
4. How would our nonprofit stack up against TurnKey’s other prospective clients? Can we reasonably assume that TurnKey is working with other nonprofits like ours? Would we be in competition? TurnKey Writing Solutions seeks to partner with clients across the country that do not have the time, resources, or expertise to successfully manage grants within their own staff. We absolutely understand that we will have clients that are serving the same types of clients and meeting the same needs within their community. However, our process is set up to identify each client’s specific and unique funding priority. With this approach, we are typically casting a smaller net than we would be if we were simply researching general operating expenses, for example. We would be finding grantmakers based on the specifics of your need, not simply your type of organization.
And, with a limited amount of grant submissions per year, we aren't peppering the landscape with your proposal. We've researched and qualified every match based on data available online, through 990s, and through contact made to the grantmaker asking questions to validate the match. We ensure that any submission we make on your behalf has a high likelihood of success because, at the end of the day, we want you to be successful in your grant efforts so you continue to work with us. So, we'd never just submit something to put a check in the box.
In the very rare case that two of our clients are a strong match for the same opportunity, you can be confident that you have a strongly written grant proposal and that, in our expert opinion, you have a very good chance of success with a submission. And the same would be true for any other client. In the case where two organizations are both qualified for the same opportunity, it would be up to the grantmaker to determine the proposal that best aligns with their funding priorities and the amount they have to distribute that year. And who knows, both may be awarded!
Helping your Board truly understand the need and value of grant management is critical. Got a question not listed here? Contact TurnKey Writing Solutions to learn more about our unique grant management process and how it could fit in your fundraising strategy.