After wrapping up our Opening the Outdoors grant cycle in April 2015, we are excited to partner with 12 local organizations doing great work to protect and connect natural areas and increase access to the outdoors, especially for our most park-poor neighborhoods such as South County.

But before any grants were given, there was a thoughtful application and decision-making process that happens every grant cycle.

During these early stages, we collaborate with our 18-member volunteer review committee, whose expertise and guidance are essential in determining how to best invest in local projects and nonprofit organizations.

Now let’s dive a little deeper into the process to better help groups understand some key details that may help for future grant cycles.

How to Set Your Nonprofit Apart

The question often asked after completing a grant cycle is: What set these grant recipients apart?

Here are the three most important tips we heard from our volunteer committee:

  • Tell your story.
    We know you are passionate about your work, so tell us why! How is your work important to the community you serve and to fulfilling the goals of the funder? Why is this project of high need to the region? Share why you are inspired by this work!
  • Long-term impacts.
    In addition to telling a great story about the need for your work, we want to hear about the long-term impacts beyond just this project. What other funds will you be able to secure as a result? What specific metrics will you use to show the short-term and long-term results of your work? This shows how far our funding can reach beyond just a specific project.
  • Highlight your partnerships.
    Supporting collaborative efforts for greater community impact is a priority for The San Diego Foundation. Talk up your partners and highlight the importance of your work together for the good of our community.

Grantwriting Training for Nonprofits

We hope these tips will be helpful in pursuing future funding opportunities from The San Diego Foundation as well as other local and national funders.

Nonprofit Management Solutions provides management training to local nonprofits and offers many tools you might find useful in your fundraising and grantwriting efforts. Check out their website for a list of upcoming workshops and resources for nonprofits.

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