Here we have designed a strategy to improve the electronic conductivities of polyoxometalates (POMs) via property-oriented organic grafting for use in lithium-ion batteries (LIBs). POMs usually exhibit limited electronic conductivity that hinders their use in electronic applications. Organic grafting of POMs defines a valuable path for improving electronic conductivities of POMs, due to the enhanced metal to ligand charge transfer (MLCT) via d-π electronic interactions, and results in their feasible application in LIBs. Comparative practical and theoretical study of the effect of functional groups revealed that grafting of the remote electron withdrawing group (-SCN) on POMs via organo-imidoylization along with lower values of lowest unoccupied molecular orbitals (LUMO) results in an enhanced performance as Mo6-SCN shows initial discharge capacity of ∼1678 mA h g-1 with ∼85% capacity retention and coulombic efficiency ∼100% after 100 cycles. 2014 The Royal Society of Chemistry.