Grant Geek

Tips for Finding the Best Partners for Your Grants


Partnerships and collaboration are essential components of a successful grant proposal. Some funders require at least one or more partners. Having partnerships and in-kind resources strengthens your project’s approach and can give you a huge advantage and greater visibility among grant-seeking organizations.

Three key things to keep in mind when asking for partnerships are 1.) to remember your target audiences, 2.) to clearly identify the roles and contributions of each partner, and 3.) to develop lasting professional relationships for any possible future funding.

Find The Right Partners

Once you have determined the grant you want to apply for, carefully read the funder’s requirements for the type of partners and number of partners you many need. Prepare a fact sheet about the grant program’s purposes, goals, and outcomes and share this with your partners. Do enough research about your potential partners to ensure they are able to play the role your envision in your grant program.

Some potential partners may include:

  • Tribal/Non-Tribal
  • Schools
  • Tribal governments
  • Community-faith based organizations
  • Businesses
  • Individuals
  • Universities

While you are in the early stages of writing your grant, give your partners time to develop a strong letter of commitment (LOC) that states their support for your grant application and proposed project and outlines how they will contribute to your grant. Once a partnership is agreed on, develop a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or Memorandum of Agreement (MOA),. These are working agreements that detail the scope of services you and your partners will perform in order to achieve your goals and objectives.

Roles and Contributions

Determining the key roles for each partner and the level of their contribution to your grant is vital. Remember to only include organizations in your grant that you have established a Memorandum of Understanding or Letter of Commitment with. Avoid working with partners who you have not met and who have no knowledge of your grant.

Once you have selected partners and established the required Memorandum of Understand or Letter of Commitment, discuss with your partners’ their roles. Consider the following questions.

  • Are the partners’ roles clearly delineated?
  • Have I given my partner enough information about the grant I am applying for?
  • Does my partner have the time for planning meetings and discussions?
  • Developing professional relationships

Once you and your partners’ have established a good working relationship keep in mind that funders will look at your collaborative partners and the roles they play with your organization. Funders like to see continuation of current and new partnerships in your grant applications.

It is best to have at least 10 collaborative partners in your grant application. Funders use partnerships to evaluate your networking skills and to determine if you are leveraging other organizations in your community to their fullest potential. Including less than 10 partners could be detrimental to your application. Having multiple and long-term partnerships and in-kind resources strengthens your project and can make your grant application more competitive.

Identifying and developing partners for your organization can be time consuming but it’s vital to your organization’s success and fundability. Resource Associates’ new Partner Coordination Services simplify and streamline the process of securing partners and gathering the required documentation for grant applications. Learn more about how our Partnership Development services can benefit your organization.

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