Necessity is the Mother of Invention – Fox Advancement’s National Grants Strategy

Written By Emily Cole-Jones

When the pandemic took hold, our nonprofit clients made immediate, creative, and necessary service delivery pivots to meet the intensified needs of their communities. In the process, many organizations realized that these pivots could be “evergreen,” allowing them to serve more people, both during and after the pandemic, ultimately helping them to expand their reach—and their impact.

As our clients made the shift to virtual platforms, Fox Advancement also adapted our service model to meet the evolving needs of our clients. Working remotely became a necessity for the safety of our team, our clients, and their constituents. With a steady stream of CARES Act and pandemic response grant opportunities emerging, and dozens of already-stretched nonprofits in need of funds but short on grant writers, we were pressed to identify a solution.

Like our clients, we quickly learned that our “new normal” had opened a new realm of possibility for our firm. Moving our work to virtual platforms eliminated geographic restrictions, both in terms of our staff and our clients. We were able to quickly ramp up and launch a nimble grant writing program that immediately increased our grant writing capacity while allowing us to expand our client reach beyond the Upper Midwest.

Using Zoom, we recruited a pool of over 40 extremely talented grant professionals from coast to coast. Within a few short weeks, our first opportunity to test our model on a large scale came when a Washington D.C.-based trade association contacted us, needing six USDA grant applications written on behalf of their member organizations scattered across the country. We assembled a cohort of writers from our pool, who knocked it out of the park. All six applications were funded, totaling over $23 million in awards. Now, we are providing grant writing, research, and management services to a wide variety of clients throughout the nation.

While none of us could have foreseen the extraordinary circumstances in which we currently find ourselves, there are many extraordinary opportunities that may not have arisen otherwise. Fox Advancement is now expanding our campaign consulting services nationally, using a similar model.

We are proud to be your trusted, national, fundraising consulting firm, and we look forward to hearing how your organization is innovating for impact during this historic time.


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