Do you want to make a big splash with grant dollars, but you can only make a small gift? Not a problem! Some of the most effective change starts with a small grant. By following a few simple strategies, you can create a growing ripple effect with a small gift. The following are 12 ideas to help you make a big impact. Whether you invest in a person or an organization, partner with other donors, make a multiyear investment, or choose another avenue, you will discover that there really is no such thing as a too-small gift.

  1. Educate yourself. Be fully informed about your issue.
  2. Invest in a great leader. Identify leaders you believe in, find out what they need to become more effective, and then provide support for them.
  3. Invest in a great organization. Identify a nonprofit that is creating social change and contribute to its long-term sustainability by funding organizational capacity building.
  4. Focus your giving. The more focused your giving, the greater your impact.
  5. Provide multiyear funding. If you would like to make a grant that helps free up some of the nonprofit’s fund-raising time, make a multiyear commitment.
  6. Leverage your resources. What kind of gift can you make if you pool your resources with other grantmakers who share your passion for a purpose, a region, or a population in need?
  7. Convene nonprofit leaders. You can play a critical role by simply bringing people together to learn from one other.
  8. Fund an evaluation. Nonprofits know they need to conduct thorough evaluation of their programs, but they also often lack the time, resources, and expertise to conduct unbiased and scientific evaluation.
  9. Fund policy change. Effective policy change can start with small steps, but funding for advocacy and policy change often gets put on the back burner behind program support.
  10. Provide program-related investments. Extend your resources by providing program-related investments (PRIs).
  11. Fund globally. Small grants go far when you send them across the world.
  12. Offer challenge grants. Jump-start an organization’s development efforts by offering a matching grant.

Read the full article about small grants by Kris Putnam-Walkerly at the National Center for Family Philanthropy.