Merriam-Webster defines rapport as:
: a friendly, harmonious relationship
especially: a relationship characterized by agreement, mutual understanding, or empathy that makes communication possible or easy
One of the most underutilized approaches to obtaining a Federal, Private, or State Grant is building a rapport with the grantor. The irony is building a rapport with the grantor is one of the easiest things an applicant can do. Let’s take a deeper dive into why this strategy is so effective and how to do it.
First, every Federal, Private, and State Grant has a point of contact or POC. Their responsibilities are:
- Answer any questions about the specific Grant process
- Review and approve the Grant Application and Grant Justification Paper
- Get the check cut for the approved grant
The Grant POC is the difference between having the equipment, software, and training you need to get home safely and keep the community safe.
Why the Grant POC is Important:
It is the Grant POC’s responsibility to spend the allocated funds on viable, sound projects. It is a misconception that grant funding is scarce or can be taken away by the grantor. Once the grantor has determined they will allocate money for projects they deem a problem that needs to be solved, they will stay on task and give away the entire amount of funds allocated. The Grant POC understands the grant they are in charge of and the mission of the grantor. It is their job to help grantees with all questions. Therefore, establishing rapport with the Grant POC is Essential. The Grant POC is there to make sure you, the applicant, successfully get the funding as long as they understand the project and feel it is sound, well thought out, and viable.
Now understand the why. Below are the steps you want to make the most significant impact and get your project funded!
- Introduce yourself to the grantor so they know who you are and your agency.
- Confirm you are speaking with the person that decides which projects are funded for the grantor.
- Explain what your project is about, precisely what how the project will add value to your community.
- Ask for tips and advice that will increase your chances of success.
- Take detailed notes. This information the grantor is sharing is the road map for success.
- Share with the grantor your takeaways from the conversation for final confirmation. Make sure you didn’t miss anything.
- Ask if there is more information the grantor can share that will increase your chances for success.
- Repeat steps 5, 6, and 7 until the grantor shared with you everything you need.
- Thank them for their time.
The conservation with the grantor is one of the most powerful tools in your search for funding. It will save your time as you search for the necessary project funding to stay safe and keep your community safe.
Please feel free to contact me or come to one of my FREE Grant Funding Assistance Strategy Classes to learn more.
My goal is simple: To solve the public safety funding problem!