Americans face challenging times. However, in many communities, high unemployment, disparate educational outcomes and financial uncertainty are not just features of the COVID pandemic but have long been realities of the minority experience.
Returning to a pre-pandemic America is neither desirable nor sufficient. Whether the outcomes be economic or health-related, educational or representational, we can and should do much better to ensure everyone can participate in the future.
It should encourage us, then, to see the recent surge of federal dollars into economic relief and educational initiatives for historically disenfranchised communities.
Whether it is the National Science Foundation’s $11 million to improve STEM education in Hispanic-serving institutions and $10 million to boost minority participation in the STEM workforce, or the Department of Health and Human Services’ commitment to assist state and local efforts to “assess and address structural racism in health policies,” there seems to be a concerted effort to do better.
We can only hope we are seeing an important readjustment in prioritizing federal investments. These investments hint at a sea change we should welcome and put to good use.
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INSIGHTS FROM TPMA
Mission Drift in a Sea of Grant Opportunities
By Joely Pope – Project Consultant
As foundations, corporations and government entities release grants to aid COVID-19 recovery, and diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, many organizations are struggling. They are caught between applying for much-needed funding and ensuring their missions and programs align with the intent of the grants.
How does one keep their mission from drifting when caught up in a sea of new grant opportunities? At TPMA we believe the answer lies in understanding organizational priorities and critical analysis of opportunities.
If 2020 has taught us anything it is how to adapt and pivot. Before pursuing grant funding, organizations should think strategically about whether their priorities shifted during the crisis. It is okay to let go of priorities that are no longer feasible.
Based on the priorities identified, organizations also should examine if their mission is still relevant or if it needs to be adjusted. Understanding priorities will help identify grant opportunities that align with the work rather than allowing the money to direct priorities.
Once priorities are set and the mission is reaffirmed or adjusted, the next step is to carefully analyze grant opportunities:
- Does it fit our mission and programs?
- Does it support new programming that aligns with our priorities?
- Can we deliver on this grant’s objectives?
Having a strong sense of mission and priorities, and critically analyzing each grant opportunity will allow organizations to pursue grant funding without being caught up in mission drift.
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WHAT’S NEW AT TPMA
Six Reasons Why TPMA Keeps Landing Grants
By Thomas P. Miller – President & CEO
TPMA has been highly successful at securing grant funding for our partners and clients—over $280 million to date. I am often asked how we maintain these results. Below are our principles that help us achieve consistent success:
- Grant applications should demonstrate a compelling vision, plan, or some rationale for your request. An outstretched hand won’t garner grant dollars, but an engaging story will.
- Build credibility by citing evidence, data and rationale that clearly demonstrates your need and/or vision.
- Be succinct but specific. The writing and the visual depiction of your request need to be clear.
- Demonstrate integrity. Build trust with potential funders through transparent record-keeping and clear metrics for success.
- Build relationships. People invest in organizations they know and trust, and which have a track record of success. Investors and funders desire success for the funds they provide—so make it easy for them to say “Yes.”
- Not all requests will be funded, but we don’t consider “No” a rejection. Mitigate losses by preparing the core proposal in such a way that it could be shared with other potential funders. The grant writing experience should be immersive and fruitful so that even a “No” is one step closer to eventual success. Ask for feedback after being turned down and don’t give up. Be persistent.
We are always on the lookout for new grant opportunities and open to working with new clients to secure funding. Feel free to contact me if you would like to learn more about our services.
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