Altus Dynamics Blog

How to Think Like a Funder When Planning Your Technology Project

Posted by Dhebi Hay on Apr 5, 2016 1:09:22 PM


Technology is changing fast, and having the most up-to-date internal technology system is a sure-fire way to help your nonprofit organization keep up with the times. However, this beneficial technology can often come with a pretty hefty price tag, and nonprofits don’t always have the resources available to afford the cost.

To help with this problem, many foundations offer grants that give nonprofits the ability to purchase the technology they need to improve their business processes. One of the biggest challenges that nonprofits face when trying to secure this funding is writing a grant proposal that communicates the information that potential funders need to hear. But why is this process such a struggle for so many?

As someone working in a nonprofit organization, you are accustomed to looking at your organization through the lens of your programs and how they benefit your constituents. On the flip side, most funders want to see your organization’s projects and programs from the perspective of what the projects’ components are. This is because funders want to feel secure in the knowledge that all aspects of a project have been accounted for, as this is usually a good indicator that any funds they award will be used efficiently towards the project items they were intended for.

So, what is the best way to communicate the “what” of your technology project? The answer is to build the project plan with potential funders in mind. This means that before you have even begun designing your project plan you should be working to put yourself in the mindset of a funder. If you consider all of the possible costs and details of your project while you are still in the process of building it, then you are less likely to miss key information or incorrectly estimate a cost.

To ensure that you are thinking like a funder, ask yourself the following 5 questions during the planning of your project:

  1. Have we planned all of the major program components in detail?

  2. Have we accounted for all of the minute details for each major component?

  3. Have we built contingency plans in the event that a certain aspect doesn’t go to plan?

  4. Have we considered all of the costs of each minute detail of each program component?

  5. Have we determined how we want these costs to be covered?


These questions will help you in the beginning stages of your project, but what about when you are ready to start writing your funding proposal? Watch our 60-minute webcast to learn 8 tips on how to write a strong proposal for technology project funding that your potential funders will not be able to deny!



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This Post Was Written By Dhebi Hay
Dhebi Hay is a Client Success Representative here at Sparkrock, serving as a main point of contact for customers. Her education, NFP background, and passion for helping others put her in a unique position to understand customer’s experiences and help them get the most out of their solution.