Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Move Beyond the Low Hanging Fruit of Funding

Something that is easy to obtain in business is usually called the low hanging fruit. Of course these days, there’s not much fruit left on the trees and the low hanging stuff is always the first picked. This post is about how you reach the fruit that’s higher up and harder to harvest.

It’s easy to pick low hanging fruit because it’s there within easy reach, you don’t have to seek it out. These are the volunteers that give lots of their time, the donors who write regular checks, the agencies that give you grants every time you ask, and the corporations in your area that give you regular donations. These are you low hanging fruit, and it’s good. You don’t have to climb any trees to find it.
But how can you move beyond the low hanging fruit?
  • Get a ladder – Sometimes you need to go where the fruit is. Meet with people, get out there, network, shake hands, kiss babies, be known.
  • Don’t pick one side of the tree – Fruit grows all over the tree. Remember that there are companies, associations, foundations, wealthy private donors, and online fund raising functions. Get all the way around the funding tree.
  • Don’t forget to care for your trees all year – Care and feeding is crucial to ensure there’s a good harvest each year. Feed them, fertilize them, prune them, try to keep pests away.
So, to wrap up this long-winded metaphor.....when you are tending an orchard of donors, there’s more than just low-hanging fruit to be picked during your campaigns, but harvesting it is going to take some extra work!


This post was written by non-profit consultant and grant writing expert, Derek Link.
Have you seen our free grant writing and program evaluation webinars?

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Woodland, CA, United States
Creative Resources and Research is a consulting firm specializing in grant writing, grant seeking, program evaluation and professional development training. We have worked with hundreds of clients including public and private schools, school districts, universities, non-profit organizations, and social service agencies throughout California, securing over $155 million from federal, state and private foundation funding sources over the past decade. Our primary grant writers and program evaluators have over 50 years of combined experience in the education and social services fields. At CRR we prefer a personal approach to the clients we work with; by developing long term relationships, we are better suited to match client’s needs with available funding sources. We provide a variety of services to help assist you, including grant writing, evaluation consulting, professional development opportunities, and workshops.