Protecting Your Government Funding
First things first: If you are reading this and have any idea at all as to why my text is formatted so oddly, please let me know! Thanks, Lisa
A friend of mine who worked in the mayor's office of a small city told me this story:
The City invited local nonprofit organizations that operated recreational programs to apply for
funding. Among the applicants were a nonprofit organization that offered swimming classes,
enjoyed by a broad cross-section of residents, and an organization whose only program was a golf
course, enjoyed by a small but loyal base of fans. The golf club was awarded money; the swim
program was not.
My friend felt that, for the most part, the swim club needed and deserved the money more than the golfers did. But, she said there was one complicating consideration:
The golf club's representatives regularly visited City Hall and updated key people in the grant-
making process about the golf club's programs, events, maintenance challenges, and more. The
swimmers did not visit City Hall, and offered no updates.When it came time to decide which
groups got money, the grant-making folks had much more information about the golf program than
about the swimming program.
Here are my five notes-to-self from this story. (What are yours?)
1) DON'T assume that your organization's good work speaks for itself.
2) DON'T assume that fundraising and other activities not directly related to your mission don't
constitute good work.
3) DO cultivate relationships with government officials and staffers.
4) DO advocate funding for their services.
5) DO these things on an ongoing basis.
Check back tomorrow for 33 ways to protect your government support.