Wearing my grant-seeker’s cap, I am researching potential funders for a large-scale nonprofit initiative on behalf of a client. During my efforts today I was struck by how many well-intentioned grant-makers offer vague descriptions of the sorts of organisations and causes they support:
“The relief of poverty,” said one. “The advancement of education,” said another. My favourite, however, said simply: “For general charitable purposes.”
I don’t mean to be critical of people whose hearts are in the right place, but these directions are entirely unhelpful. They waste the grant-seeker’s time, and almost guarantee an application to fail due to the sheer number of applications that will undoubtedly be the result of such generalisations. I believe that charitable vehicles should be as clear in their mission as the nonprofit organisations they aim to assist. It would be one practical way we could start to more effectively address the bigger question of supply and demand.