I was doing great until…


We hear this from grantseekers ALL the time!  They’re in the middle of filling out our grant application and they’re stumped.  The section they’re referring to is the part of our application entitled, “The Difference You Will Make.”  For short, ‘the results section.’

This section IS difficult!  So, let’s break it down.

Through this set of questions we want to understand something very important.  That is, if we make the grant that you’ve proposed:  What will change?  How much will it change?  How will you know whether or not anything actually happened?

Let’s say that you’re a community center that’s proposing an after school program.  Your result might be expressed like this:  Increase by 50 (from 75 to 125) the number of 6th-8th graders who will state:  “I am not home alone after school anymore,” and “I feel like my community cares about me.”

If you’re a parenting organization that’s proposing to build its capacity through updated technology, your statement might read:  Decrease staff paperwork time per employee by 2 hours per week; measured by employee time logs. The time saved will be spent serving 20 additional parents over the next year.

Maybe your organization is going to build or remodel. Here’s a sample result from a youth center that’s proposing to put in new windows:  Decrease heating and cooling bills by $2,400; measured by a comparison of last year’s and next year’s utility bills.

Bringing in a consultant to help solve problems (we call them Nonprofit Toolbelt Grants) might read something like this:  Increase the revenue from our annual fund from $52,000 to $75,000; measured by the net proceeds of our annual fund drive.

And what if your organization’s revenue doesn’t meet expenses?  A result might sound like this:  Decrease the gap between our revenue and expenses by $20,000, from $37,000 down to $17,000 by 12/31/18; measured by our 12/31/18 financial statements.

Grantees tell us that one of the best things that we do as a funder is hold them accountable for the grants they receive.  That’s why we work so hard to help you think about the changes that are desired and what needs to happen so that those things come about.  If project results aren’t completely met, it doesn’t mean that we’ll never make another grant to your organization.  What we do expect though, is a thought process of continuous improvement.

That thought process is summed up in one of our favorite phrases:  SUCCESS = What you accomplished + What you learned!

Let’s keep working together on that section that makes you crazy!