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The outlook for fundraising has changed a lot over the past few years, particularly due to the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic on philanthropy.
Not all of the changes that resulted from the pandemic are bad. Since 2020, donors have remained committed to philanthropy, with many even increasing their giving during the pandemic.
This is good news for grant writers and nonprofit fundraising consultants alike. It means more opportunities for winning more grants and raising more money for your clients.
Don’t forget, though, that the grant writing landscape is constantly in flux. Along with increases in giving, there are also many more nonprofits and consultants asking for money, meaning the landscape is becoming more competitive.
If you are a grant writer, it’s critically important that you keep up with—and stay ahead of—trends in grant writing. My platform, Instrumentl is one tool you can use for that purpose. Here’s a list of grant writing podcasts that provide timely ideas and interviews with well known experts.
Now, on to a list of ways that grantwriters can gain more clients in 2023.
Marketing yourself is key to reaching more clients and landing more grant writing gigs.
If you build a website, make sure it is effective—tell people who you are and what you can offer them. Consider testimonials from current or former clients who are happy with your work. You can even create an online “portfolio” with samples of your work that potential clients can review.
Keep it simple: a clean, streamlined layout, bold colors, and concise language will go a long way in helping you sell yourself to potential clients.
Most importantly, include a way that clients can contact you.
You can put your portfolio on Linked In or other social platforms, too. LinkedIn can be an effective way to establish your brand, get the word out about your services, and build your network.
Facebook and Twitter (still!) are also platforms you can use to reach more potential clients. As you build your digital presence, be sure to connect with fellow grant writers and consultants. They’re often a great resource and a potential connection point for new clients. ACN has a members only LinkedIn group where you can share what you have to offer/what you’re looking for and meet peers to compare notes.
Find some organizations that interest you and reach out! Maybe you connect to their mission, or you feel passionate about the impact they have had on your community. This may work best with small, local nonprofits that could really benefit from your expertise.
When you make a cold pitch, be sure to include the following:
- A brief, yet professional, introduction
- A summary of the services you offer
- Why you are the best (share your success rate!)
- How hiring you will benefit their organization
- Some grants that they might be eligible for
That last item will take some leg work on your part, but it will pay off. This is a great way to show potential clients that you are knowledgeable about grant writing and that you already have a short list of potential grants that you could win for them. The return on the investment of your time can be high.
Building your network using digital platforms is great. But there is sometimes no substitute for old-fashioned networking. It’s important to see and be seen.
In addition to ACN (of course!), consider joining networks like the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the Grant Professionals Association, or another group relevant to your work. These organizations have local chapters that often host in-person and online meetings, networking events, and training sessions.
The grant writing landscape is changing—and getting more competitive. As a grant writing consultant, you must be flexible and adaptable to stay ahead of the game.
Take a grant writing course (from us or others) to keep your skills sharp, work on building your network and your brand so you can reach more potential clients, and consider using the Instrumentl platform to streamline your efforts and help you win more grants.
If you follow this advice, you’ll be sure to have an amazing 2023!
Will Yang leads growth at Instrumentl, a marketing partner of ACN that provides nonprofits with grant prospecting, tracking, and management. (It’s available at discounted rates to ACN members).
Remember, ACN members can add comments or questions on each blog post.
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