When it comes to increasing revenue, an organization has two main options: grow sales or create new revenue streams. When it comes to increasing sales, there are thousands of books, videos and classes designed to help. If you are a business, then you are probably already enacting several new sales strategies to combat the drastic consumer changes we have all experienced since March. Many businesses and organizations are also exploring grant opportunities; however, the biggest hurdle they encounter is that they do not know what grant opportunities are available to them. Coconino County identified this need and has stepped in to clear this first – and often most challenging – barrier.
Coconino County has invested in a grant management software program that perpetually searches for available federal, state, local, private and foundation grants. Literally tens of thousands of grants exist nationwide, but out of those opportunities, only hundreds would consider funding your Coconino County business or organization. The county identifies those relevant grant opportunities each and every week and posts a Weekly Grant Opportunity Report on its public website. The grants identified are for non-profits, private entities, schools, academic institutions, local governments, Native American Tribes, Tribal organizations and school districts in Arizona. Identifying the grant opportunities is the first challenge in accessing new revenue, and this weekly report helps you to quickly find opportunities fitting for your organization’s purpose.
The Weekly Grant Opportunity Report can be downloaded here: coconino.az.gov/2435/Grant-Opportunities.
The report includes the titles and a brief summary for the grant’s purpose, along with which entities are eligible to apply. A new report is uploaded every week, with the listing of grants changing by about 40 opportunities every week, as new grants are added and expired grants are removed. While the first hurdle to adding a new revenue stream through grant funding is cleared by this weekly report, hurdles accessing the grants and receiving funding remain. The county has compiled a few tips that will help your organization unlock grant funding:
Download the Notice Of Funding Availability (NOFA) or an application packet and read it fully. You don’t want to waste time on opportunities that do not fund your organization’s mission.
If the grant requires a funding match, have a plan in place for covering the match.
Dedicate time and effort into completing the grant research and application. Don’t underestimate the resources grant writing requires.
Grant funding is not free money. Be aware of the ongoing reporting and grant management requirements of accepting the grant funding.
Submit your fully completed grant application exactly as it is requested to be submitted by the funder.
Coconino County recognizes that increasing your organization’s revenue at this point in time is a challenge, and that is why we will continue to help you identify opportunities and gain access to new revenue funding streams. For more assistance on the information provided by Coconino County, visit coconino.az.gov. FBN
By Chris Vasquez Pasterz
Chris Vasquez Pasterz is the economic development manager for Coconino County.