Using Leverage As A Grassroots Start-Up

Leverage can be used to connect your organization to people, places and things to help it flourish. Not to mention, leverage can be used to advance your mission much faster.

What exactly is leverage and how can it be used in the nonprofit sector? In this case, we’re defining leverage as using one source of funds to get a commitment from another funding source. However, leverage can come in many other forms as well.

Nothing brings a smile to a potential funding source’s face like the phrase: “Your dollars will be matched dollar for dollar by somebody else.”  

Leveraging is attractive to funding sources because:

  • It shows that others believe in the project
  • Addresses the issue of sustainability
  • Adds stakeholders to the project

When completing grant applications its important to mention other funders and stakeholders throughout the application. Getting that first grant will be tough but once you get your first, you’ll have more leverage to show to get the second, and so fourth.

The same applies when organizations ask for other financial support and contributions, in this way you are leveraging ability to show impact. Your funding sources are worth mentioning, such as, when asking for support using letters for corporate sponsorship requests.

This is why impact reporting and having good documentation and tracking systems in place as a nonprofit is so important. The Empowerment Center provides these resources for nonprofits for improving evidence of outcomes.

Other leveraging sources – your board members affiliations, impact and outcome statistics, organizations expert staff or other unique abilities your organization has.

Overall, you must get out there and start. The more support you have, the better chances you have to those first grants, donations and sponsorships. Spread the word about your programs and stay active.

Thanks for reading!

Written by Samoine Flanagan, Founder & Principal Consultant at The Empowerment Center

To learn more about leveraging resources, you can write me @

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The Empowerment Center, LLC , A Business Empowerment Consulting Firm

Published by The Empowerment Center LLC

We are a business empowerment consulting firm located in Cleveland, Ohio. We provide economic empowerment services to nonprofit and public sector businesses to include grant writing, development and consulting.

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