Before you and your organization get started applying for grants, it helps to have some of the basics figured out. This page will walk you through some of the initial steps to take before you start searching for funding opportunities.
The first step to establishing your organizational identity is to draft your mission statement. This should be a concise statement that identifies your organization's unique role and purpose. In addition to a mission statement, you may want to consider developing a vision statement and/or writing out your organizational values. By developing a clear, concise, and compelling mission statement, you'll be better prepared to convey your organization's importance to potential funding sources.
You can review mission statements from other organizations to get some ideas of what a mission statement may look like. For example:
After developing a mission statement, it is important that you and organization spend some time identifying your organization's goals and objectives. Part of the strategic planning process includes identifying your organization's important objectives.
The University Libraries have some resources to walk you through the strategic planning process, including such materials as:
Many organizations make their strategic plans publicly available. You can review the strategic plans of similar organizations to get an idea of what a strategic plan can look like. For example:
After you have identified your organization's mission and goals, the next step is to evaluate your organization's capacity and opportunities for growth. These steps are also included in the overall strategic planning process. One common strategy for evaluating capacity and opportunity for growth is through a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis.
The University Libraries has a number of different SWOT analyses that you can review for examples, including:
In addition to the SWOT analysis, there are other types of needs assessments you may want to consider performing for your organization. For example, it may be helpful to explore your organization's financial sustainability.