By Amber Alarid, JVA Consulting

As some of you may already know, Grants Manager Camron Bridgford and I recently co-hosted a training with the Denver Office of Strategic Partnerships (DOSP), offering guidance on finding foundation, city, state, and federal funding and securing the right partnerships to create competitive proposals. We were fortunate to be joined by panelists, Beth Truby, from the Office of Economic Development, Lisa Gedgaudas, from Denver Arts and Venues, and Laurel Delmonico, from the Budget and Management Office, who shared information about applying for City funding in particular. We wanted to take this opportunity to thank our partners at DOSP and the panelists, as well as to share some of the top tips that came out of this training.

Collaborative efforts can make your application stronger. Securing the right partners can help you meet more of the funder’s requirements, leverage shared resources and maximize the impact of every grant dollar.

Collaborations are not limited to nonprofits. Nonprofits and government agencies often have programs or resources that are complementary, so don’t limit yourself in terms of potential partners to reach out to.  If you think that a particular government agency would make a good partner on a proposal, check out its website to find the best person to contact.

Don’t mold your application to a funder’s guidelines; look for a genuine fit. Unless you are creating a new program and researching best-practice models recognized by funders, don’t change or create programs around a particular funder’s open funding opportunities. Instead, look for connections to the funder’s mission, vision and guidelines.

Outcomes set your application apart—but outcomes aren’t just about big numbers. Even small, grassroots organizations can be competitive when applying for city funding if they are making a significant difference in the lives of those they serve. You just have to make sure that you share the extent of your work in the proposal.

Are you looking for more ways to make your proposals competitive? Join us for one of our upcoming grantwriting trainings to learn from our experts how to make your foundation and federal grant applications stand out from the rest. Also, check out our website or give us a call (303.477.4896) for more information about our grantwriting services.