A Strategic Approach to Grant Seeking and Fundraising

Not-for-profit Read time 4mins
18 Dec 2023
Now Reading: A Strategic Approach to Grant Seeking and Fundraising
As the philanthropic sector evolves, it is important for for-purpose organisations to apply strategic thinking to their fundraising programs. In partnership with Strategic Grants, Evans & Partners recently hosted a series of educational seminars, exploring how not-for-profit (NFP) organisations can enhance their fundraising capacity. Here are some of the key takeaways.


Don’t wait until the last minute.

Grant funding cannot be relied upon for last-minute financial needs. Grant processes are not designed to accommodate such urgencies, and instead, should be viewed through the lens of longer-term relationships. Most grant deadlines occur annually, and the assessment and decision-making process can take anywhere from one to six months. Therefore, organisations seeking grants must engage in strategic forward planning to meet these timelines.

Measuring and reporting your outcomes.

Funders have clear expectations. Projects should be mission-aligned and should demonstrate a tangible purpose. Funders are interested in understanding the impact of their contributions. Organisations must be able to measure the outcomes of their projects (either quantitatively or qualitatively) and report this back to their funders. Despite the rigour involved, many funders expect transparency to support authenticity and ensure long-term multi-year funding partnerships.

Building relationships and trust.

Relationships with your donors is critical for long-term grants success. To access longer term, unrestricted, multi-year funding, funders must trust an organisation to deliver projects aligned to their stated mission. This means communication is key. Clear communication ensures that potential donors understand the purpose, goals, and intended outcomes of projects, allowing them to make informed decisions. Regular updates and transparency on how funds are utilised also provides accountability, reassuring donors that their contributions are making a meaningful difference.

Setting the organisation up for success.

For organisations looking to elevate their chances of fundraising success, Strategic Grants ‘Best Practice Tracker’ outlines seven core areas of focus.

Consideration Key Indicators
Strong organisational governance & leadership
  • Is the CEO and Board willing to talk to major donors?
  • Is there strong internal collaboration between teams, for planning, performance measurement and donor engagement?
Internal project development & evaluation
  • Is there an agreed process for internal project planning and development?
  • Is monitoring and evaluation built into projects?
  • Is there a centralised, prioritised ‘wishlist’ of pipeline projects?
Key messages


  • Is there a ‘Key Messages’ document, containing key organisational information that donors and funders typically require to assess organisation’s capabilities?
identification & matching
  • Is there an efficient, regular and systematic approach to finding the right funding and grant opportunities for each of your projects?
Strong donor communications & funding applications
  • Does the organisation have the writing experience and skills internally to prepare strong donor and funding submissions?
  • Do submissions succinctly provide strong evidence, rate highly and leave no unanswered questions for funders?
Funding success & reporting your outcomes
  • Are donor and funder reports delivered for funding received?
  • Are they on time?
  • Are partner expectations exceeded?
Donor & funder engagement & stewardship
  • Is time spent building relationships with funders prior to applying for grants and funding?
  • Are robust outcomes reports provided to exceed donor expectations?

Source: Strategic Grants, Best Practice Tracker

Getting professional advice.

Fundraisers are increasingly recognising the need to seek professional advice to optimise their efforts and enhance organisational efficiency. External organisations can play a pivotal role in improving the strategic capabilities of philanthropic entities.

For further information on our Not-for-profit specific advice offering, or to contact a specific member of the team, please visit our Not For Profit Advice page.



This information was prepared by Evans and Partners Pty Ltd (ABN 85 125 338 785, AFSL 318075) (“Evans and Partners”). Evans and Partners is a wholly owned subsidiary of E&P Financial Group Limited (ABN 54 609 913 457) (E&P Financial Group).

The information may contain general advice or is factual information and was prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any advice, you should consider whether the advice is appropriate to you. Seeking professional personal advice is always highly recommended. Where a particular financial product has been referred to, you should obtain a copy of the relevant product disclosure statement or offer document before making any decision in relation to the financial product. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

The information may contain statements, opinions, projections, forecasts and other material (forward looking statements), based on various assumptions. Those assumptions may or may not prove to be correct. Neither E&P Financial Group, its related entities, officers, employees, agents, advisors nor any other person make any representation as to the accuracy or likelihood of fulfilment of the forward-looking statements or any of the assumptions upon which they are based. While the information provided is believed to be accurate E&P Financial Group takes no responsibility in reliance upon this information.

This communication is not intended to be a research report (as defined in ASIC Regulatory Guides 79 and 264). Any express or implicit opinion or recommendation about a named or readily identifiable investment product is merely a restatement, summary or extract of another research report that has already been broadly distributed. You may obtain a copy of the original research report from your adviser.

The Financial Services Guide of Evans and Partners contains important information about the services we offer, how we and our associates are paid, and any potential conflicts of interest that we may have. A copy of the Financial Services Guide can be found at www.eandp.com.au. Please let us know if you would like to receive a hard copy free of charge.