What Granters Ask When Funding Web Sites?
15 April 2002 at 1:04 pm
What are the 5 most important things that granters will ask your organisation when you want funding for websites?
Our US colleague Rick Christ who offers Internet news and views for the Not for Profit sector, directs readers to an article from the DotOrgAdvisor at http://www.dotorgadvisor.com for these tips.
We publish them for Pro Bono Australia readers with thanks.
1. Does the site truly extend the reach of the organisation?
All funders agreed that a website is useful and necessary but the question
is will it truly extend the reach of the organisation? Is it merely an
information repository or does it actually reach-out to people? Is the
membership/target population using the Internet and will they use this
website? Most importantly, can the organisation show a measurable result
from getting funding for their website.
2. Is there a concrete strategy?
While many funders admitted that they used grant money for
organisational websites without much close inspection, most say they have
started to ask for very concrete strategic plans. The organisation needs to
outline a path to their goal; showing the funder how they plan to get there.
This often requires outside consulting. Time spent on some outside help,
however, made it clearer and easier for granters to make the decision. One
funder said “Nearly every grants proposal we see includes some kind of
Internet component – with 500 proposals something has to make the
organisation look like a more effective place to put that money.”
3. Is this an effective use of funds for the organisation’s immediate
The organisation needs to make a case for why spending grant money on a
website will be an effective place to put money. The Internet is often
more-cost effective than print-materials but it is important to outline that
comparison to funders; they like to know that the money they are spending on
your organisation is money well spent – money that wouldn’t go further
4. Does the organisation have the expertise to do it themselves? If not,
have they secured some good know-how?
Grantmakers are increasingly insistent on understanding how an
organisation is going to carry out the project – it isn’t so much a case of
committing to specific individuals as much as demonstrating that the
organisation knows what its doing and has the capacity to make sound
decisions when it comes to hiring someone or out-sourcing the project.
5. Does the plan for the website include additional planning and
strategising for a larger Internet campaign?
Organisation websites have been out there long enough to know that if you
build it people will not necessarily come. A site needs a strategic plan
for marketing and publicity. Even Not for Profits need to think about marketing
their sites as a business endeavour. Granters are increasingly looking at the
ways in which a website fits into an organisation’s larger Internet
strategy; combined with email, newsletters (paper and electronic),
fundraising, e-commerce, and partnerships.
Getting funding for a much-needed website used to be a question of asking
the right people. Now those right people want to know what you are going to
do with it and if it’s a good thing for them to spend their money on.
Developing a solid strategic plan using knowledgeable staff and good outside
consulting will get you further along the funding path and closer to
building an effective website.
If you would like to share you own experience of obtaining funding for a website why not join our on-line Forum at probonoaustralia.com.au.
You can check out the work of Rick Christ at www.rickchrist.com.