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Giving Thanks to Funders: Tips for Being a Good Steward


by Steve Yoder, Community Development Regional Educator, Purdue Extension 


If you find yourself in the fortunate situation of needing to thank a funder for awarding a grant proposal that you’ve submitted, note that there are several ways to go about it. Whatever you end up doing, most seasoned proposal writers suggest that you start by mailing a handwritten thank-you card to the funder as soon as you hear the good news. 

That handwritten note is just a starting point, however. If the funder says that it is OK to do so, you should also consider including their logo on program materials, news items, and reports. You can also consider crediting them as a partner when you receive successful outcomes associated with the project. Please note that some funders wish to remain anonymous, so make sure you are following their guidelines. 

In addition to thanking the funder, there are steps you can take throughout the project’s life cycle to help maintain a high level of stewardship over the resources you’ve been entrusted with. If the funder has a reporting requirement, make sure that you complete reports on time and in the proper format. Make sure that you use funds only as designed, and if a change needs to be made to the budget, make sure that you discuss that with the funder. Budget changes, if they are reasonable, are usually something a funder is willing to work with you on. They know that circumstances change. 

In the end, thanking funders and being a good steward of their gift helps develop a positive relationship with them and improves your chances of securing future funding opportunities. 

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