Coming up soon, on Friday December 4th, is the 10th Annual South Sound Funders Forum (click here for more info on the PSGA website.) This year’s event will be online rather than the event held at the University of Puget Sound.
As a funder, I appreciated the opportunity to talk with grant seekers. Every year I’d see new people and new organizations along with long-time acquaintances. I learned something new each year about community needs, and I appreciate PSGA and its South Sound group for all the work they put into these events and recommend them highly to you.
This year’s event will be quite different with funders sharing their thoughts in a series of online presentations. So rather than my regular advice to grant writers on how to get the most out of a funders forum, I want to suggest how you can get the most out of this year’s event.
Here things I would listen for:
• What is the funder’s view on emergency assistance for COVID response?
• Does the funder have in mind a time frame for when its granting for COVID needs might end?
• How does the funder feel about the fact that organizations may have higher operating costs due to COVID precautions?
• Has the funder changed its focus due to the COVID crisis such as prioritizing different populations, geographic areas, or services?
• Is the funder still looking at longer term investments such as capital campaigns? If not, does the funder have a view on when it might return to such grants?
• Has the funder revised its grant process because of COVID such as eliminating paper forms in the process?
Of course, there are dozens of other questions. It is unfortunate that this year’s forum can’t be an in-person event and won’t allow for give and take. Yet there is a lot grant writers can learn.
A positive of this year’s online approach is that you don’t have to travel. It means that people who usually wouldn’t attend due to location can participate.
Finally, happy holidays, and I wish you all the best in your important work.