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Learning to attract grants for organizations

As the Nonprofit Leadership column continues the next series will focus on grant writing.
In the nonprofit sector we constantly hear grants, grants, grants. Many nonprofits, because of the economy, are looking to foundations to help with the short fall in donations. To capture that support they are also currently searching and hiring grant writers.
Wikipedia defines grant writing as: Grant writing refers to the practice of completing formal and/or informal application processes by one party, often a nonprofit entity, educational institution or business – but also by individuals to another party such as a government department, corporation, foundation or trust. Such application processes are often referred to as either grant  “proposals” or “submissions.”
With more and more nonprofits jumping into the grant writing and submission arena many foundations find themselves with a lot more applications and less money to disperse, due to the economic times. Many nonprofits may not realize that currently in the United States we have 1.6 million nonprofits, 3,000 new ones are charted every month. For every nonprofit cause there are over 1,000 nonprofits dedicated to that cause in the United States. I constantly hear from nonprofits, oh we are the only ones doing this program or service. I assure you with the numbers I just quoted – you are not the only one.
This has caused a new way of thinking among donors and foundations. They are now looking at nonprofits who partner and collaborate resources. So, how do you stay salient in a crowded field and get the grants you apply for?
One way is to make sure and follow the directions and guidelines the foundations set. The second way is to think in for-profit terms – ROI (return on investment).
Many foundations are held accountable to the donors who gave them or are giving them money and in order to prove they have invested their money wisely within a nonprofit the results must be paramount. Third always deliver the results and think of ways to partner or collaborate with other nonprofits.
The next article will focus on searching for grants.