Jackson, MS – In today’s environment of economic hardship for many non-profits, occasioned by the down turn in the economy and its resulting impact on the level of philanthropic support, many organizations must look to new, improved and efficient strategies to obtain funding support. Organizations can no longer rely on the traditional methods of obtaining funding for programs and operations. Southern Echo’s Resource Development Committee, responding to the expressed need to expand “in-house” grant writing and proposal development skills capacity as a way of shoring up fundraising practices by our partner organizations of the Mississippi Delta Catalyst Roundtable, designed and implemented a grant writing workshop.
The Grant Writing Workshop was lead by Echo’s Director of Resource Development, Amelia Hunter, and the Executive Director, Leroy Johnson, and facilitated by the members of the Resource Development Committee. During two full days of workshop training, participants gained an understanding of the principles and elements of a grant/proposal; the importance of fundraising, buy zolpidem 10mg relationship building with funders, community constituents, partners and stakeholders; the importance of marketing and branding their work and; the importance of the ability to succinctly tell “their story” through a community organizing lens and; what funders really want and expect inside of a grant. Some other program outcomes included the participants improved knowledge in budget preparation; ability to design a project profile; assembling “boiler plate documents and ability to take further steps in the funding process, irrespective of grant results.
The Evaluation of the Workshop, conducted through survey responses from each participant, indicated that the workshop training was a success. Many of the participants however wanted more time for the hands on exercises and said that they wanted some additional mentoring and follow-up. These concerns will be considered by the resource development committee as part of its ongoing training initiatives.