Writing a strong grant requires clear and concise writing to effectively explain your program and justifications for funding. However, it often also requires organization and thought to truly shine. The following are four helpful tips that will help you develop a strong application now and position your organization for strong future requests from the same foundation.
Do your research in advance to ensure that the program for which you are requesting funding is a good match with the grantor and that your funding request is reasonable. Keep a good grant calendar so that you are aware of upcoming deadlines and are not rushing an application. Give yourself time to think and write. Have important attachments at the ready.
Write as Team (when possible)
Especially for new programs or new applications, it can be helpful to sit down with staff from development, programs, and finance to review the questions and potential answers. This is also a good time to discuss budgets - how much you will need and what attachments will be required. Be sure to give everyone a chance to provide input.
Review as a Stranger
When reviewing your work, make sure you do not use acronyms or jargon that may be unfamiliar to someone outside your organization, your issue area, or even the nonprofit field. If possible, find a friend or peer that would be willing to review your responses and ask questions. At the very least, ask someone in your organization who is not involved with the program to review the grant.
Be Responsive After Funding
Most grants require that a report be submitted at the end of the grant year or even quarterly. Once funded, be clear with your team about about who is responsible for writing narrative, pulling data, and collecting financials. Be sure to start reports well in advance of their due dates and submit them on time. Even if a grantor does not require a report, it is still a good idea to send a brief letter or report letting them know their funds were appreciated and how they were used.
by: Seeds for Change Consultants Andrea Torres and Amy Nunn
The Seeds for Change Consulting SEEDS OF WISDOM blog has contributing authors from our fabulous team of consultants as well as occasional guest authors. With over 180 years of non-profit professional, employee, board and volunteer experience, we love to share what we know with you. Please comment so we can continue to tailor our blogs to meet your needs, wants, and thirst for knowledge.