Writing a grant proposal should not be a single experiment. You don't write a grant proposal - you write many grant proposals. Grant proposal writing should be an ongoing process and an integral part of your overall fundraising program.
Grant writing begins long before you have the grant to write. Your primary tool is information. Even before you start looking for funders, an in-depth understanding of your organization's mission and activities plus a trove of easy-to-tap organizational information are essential.
02Searching for and Cultivating Funders
Looking for appropriate organizations that might fund your grant can be overwhelming. Cut it down to size with a system. Follow these tips for a start.
Have you been in touch with any grantmakers today? Are they even on your to-do list? Finding ways to get to know funders before you even think about asking for a grant can increase your odds of success tremendously.
So you're small. Does that mean you can't get grants? How can small nonprofits compete for grants and where should they look for grantors? The answers are "yes" and "locally."
03Working Through the Grant Writing Maze
There are at least three ways to request funding. Two are rather short. Check out these descriptions and then decide which works for your proposal.
Most full grant applications require the same basic information. Many grant-making organizations have their own proposal/application forms, although a few may only give you some basic guidelines. In any case, here are the most common sections of grant proposals and the information you should include.
Martin Teitel gives us the view from the other side of the desk as the ED of a foundation who has seen thousands of proposals over the years. He says that there are five common mistakes that proposal writers make.
04Polishing Your Prose
Writing a proposal will be much less daunting if you pretend you're a journalist, writing a story. Just explain the who, what, where, when, why, and how of your proposal and you'll have it made. Plus, your proposal will be much easier to read and understand.
Someone will be reading your grant, whether it's the program person at a foundation or a panel of reviewers for your government grant. Just remember that they are people too. You can appeal to them by following these guidelines.
Not all grants are on paper and sent through the mail. Online applications have become popular with foundations. But there are tricks to the trade. Here are the dos and don'ts of online proposals.
Are you even sure that you want to write grants? Perhaps it would make more sense to hire a professional grant writer for a fee. Here's what you should know about hiring outside help.
4 Grant Writing Tips From Prospecting to Final Draft
Organizing to Proofreading
Grant writing is not for the faint of heart. It takes a genius for research and organization, the nose of a journalist, the organizational skills of a report writer, plus those of a master storyteller. There are at least four stages of grant proposal writing, Here are suggestions for being better at all of them.