When applying for a grant, be thoughtful as to whether you’re asking for a Grant or a Gift. There is a significant difference between the two, which should be understood and which a Grantor will quickly recognize.
A Grant emphasizes responsibility on behalf of the recipient prior, during, and after the grant has been awarded. A Grant-based request commits your actions, policies, and efforts towards building long-term relationships. Emphasis on proper management of the grant and responsiveness to recognizing grantors well after the funds have been spent is an essential part of the process.
A gift implies symbolic efforts, immediate excitement, and short-lived appreciation. A gift-based request, by and large, is more of a solution to a problem—to resolve organizational matters or to finance items that are more of a wish list than an organizational objective. A Gift simply provides a means to an end rather than improve fundamental organizational matters for long-term success.
Why it matters
As a Grantor, the Hind Foundation looks for indicators that might reveal whether an organization’s request is from a Grant or Gift perspective, and we know we’re not the only foundation to do so. To avoid misrepresenting your intentions, answer questions thoroughly, show an in-depth knowledge of the project and how it relates to your goals, respond timely to requests, and demonstrate the impact the grant will have on your organization and/or project. There is a difference between something that will truly be beneficial and game changing versus something that would be nice to have—and that’s the difference between a Grant and a Gift.