Raising over $300,000 from a $19,000 Grant

By Peter Brach


The SDG Philanthropy Platform (SDGPP) is a global and national facilitator working to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As of 2017, they secured their most important funding needs. What SDGPP did not have funding for is something too often ignored across the philanthropy sector: needed capacity support to grow their work. In this case, SDGPP had numerous prospective funders to reach out to, but no one on staff had time to write funding proposals. Our foundation responded with a modest sum of $19,000 to hire a short-term grant writer. This brought in several grants totaling over $300,000.

One grant helped villagers in 72 villages in India reclaim land entitled to them by law. Other issues addressed included advancing women entrepreneurs, investing in girls, and water harvesting. A second grant involved conducting the research needed to enable impactful actions to stop violence against children in Tanzania and South Africa. A third grant involved building collaboration in the MENA region by first identifying 172 foundations and banks as prospective partners.

If you are wondering if it is that easy to help a nonprofit, you are right — it is not. This was a special and unusual situation. My hope is to write more on the investinpeople.org site about what might constitute an exceptional opportunity to achieve substantial impact with relatively small amounts of giving.