How to Plan for a COSF Challenge Grant
We encourage you to plan for a COSF challenge grant by considering your fundraising goals for the upcoming year and how a challenge grant could help you achieve or exceed these goals. Past recipients of challenge grants have found the following process helpful:
- Consider what you know about the donors who support your organization and what new prospects you could reach.
- Review your current fundraising strategies and campaigns (annual campaign, major gifts, foundation and corporate contributions, special projects, etc.).
- Review your current fundraising toolbox (direct mail, phonathon, email, newsletters, personal solicitations by board members, special events, house parties, grant proposals, sponsorships, etc.).
- Craft a strategy connecting: (1) the donor groups you think would appreciate the opportunity to multiply the impact of their dollars, (2) your fundraising programs that would lend themselves to a challenge component, (3) the tactics available to communicate your challenge story, and (4) the available resources.
- From the date of submission, it typically takes COSF three to four months to notify you of a decision. Please note any dates of special concern with respect to the timing of the challenge grant (for example, the date of a special event in which you would like to use the challenge grant in a paddle raise or the mailing date for your direct-mail solicitation).
Circle of Service Foundation considers Pre-applications and Applications on a rolling basis, and, unless we have told you otherwise, we do not have specific deadlines. Most organizations will hear from us within 45 days of the submission date of a Pre-application and within 120 days of the submission date of an Application. Further, given our challenge-grant orientation, we strongly encourage you to consider your fundraising calendar when determining when to apply for a grant. If you are a current grantee, you can apply for a new grant 90 days before your grant term ends.