During one such discussion, I asked, “But is bigger always better? What if an organizational geographic reach of one town or one county is enough?” The answer was surprising – there were more similarities than differences between organizations with smaller geographic reach and larger geographic reach.
I dug into the data and found that most (69%) of our respondents represented organizations with a larger geographic reach: international, national, multi-state, one state, or multi-counties. Generally, larger reach implies larger annual budgets and more staff members.
However, annual budgets were only slightly smaller for organizations with a smaller geographic reach of one county, multi-city/town, one city/town, or other municipal entity, i.e., township, borough, etc.
There was also less variation among staff size by geographic reach than I had anticipated, although organizations with a smaller reach (30%) reported one to five staff members more frequently than did organizations with a larger reach (24%).
So, the key demographics of annual budget and staff size were very similar for organizations, regardless of geographic reach.
Grantseeking activity was also similar - 84% of survey respondents from organizations with a smaller geographic reach applied for grant funding during the last six months of 2016, vs. 85% of survey respondents from organizations with a larger geographic reach. Collaborative grantseeking was somewhat more prevalent among organizations with a larger geographic reach (30%) than those with a smaller reach (26%).
There were some differences in the frequency of sources of funding when viewed through the lens of geographical reach. The most notable was local government funding, which was reported more frequently by organizations with a smaller, more local geographic reach.
And, there was some variation in award sizes. The median largest award of survey respondents from organizations with a larger geographic reach was $50,000. The median largest award of survey respondents from organizations with a smaller geographic reach was $45,300.
Among the top five challenges to grantseeking, organizations with smaller geographic reach more frequently reported that grantseeking’s greatest challenges stem from the lack of time and staff for grantseeking activities. This was interesting given the similarities in budget and staff sizes among the two groups.
Organizations with a larger geographic reach more frequently reported that grantseeking’s greatest challenges stem from relationship building with funders, which aligns with lower rates of local funding (and relationships, perhaps).
Grantseeking can be challenging regardless of your organization’s geographic reach, annual budget, or size. GrantStation Membership provides the resources for all your grantseeking needs, from finding grantmaking leads to submitting the proposal that will win you awards. We hope that you take advantage of the free State of Grantseeking reports, and invest in a GrantStation Membership, to help your organization’s grantseeking program.