Grant Writing Resources

29 Sep

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Grants are offered for all types of purposes and to all kinds of organizations. They are a rich resource for funding projects to perpetuate and enhance your mission. If you have an important project planned but aren’t sure that your budget will cover it, consider applying for a grant. Here are some tips to follow. (Note: This is in no way a complete list, but simply a summary of my experience in the world of grant writing.)

Getting Started

Here are some questions to ask yourself before you start. They will help narrow your focus and make searching for a qualified grant much easier.
1. What is my main goal for writing this grant narrative? What am I hoping to accomplish if I get funded?
2. What is my timeline? (You will need to specify in the narrative. And some grants are only open on a once-per-year basis so you need to watching constantly for opportunities.)
3. What philanthropic organizations award grants for similar purposes?

Based on your answers to these questions, you can begin looking for grant opportunities that fit your needs. There are thousands of philanthropic organizations that are just waiting to fund a good cause.

The Search: Where Do I Begin?
The search alone can be daunting, especially if you haven’t set a clear goal. However, you are likely to find opportunities easily by entering keywords into your search engine. If you have a broad search, Grants.gov is also a great place to start.¬†Or you can narrow your search to a specific organization in your field. For example, the NIH offers grants for medical research. The National Endowment for the Arts offers grants for all art media. The Pepsi Co. and Target are also generous grant funders for child-related programs. Check out community foundations where your institution is based or where you have programs and constituents. The amounts might not be as high, but the opportunities are great.

Tips on How to Get Funded
– Be confident in your mission and your project, and therefore, write with conviction. The more you believe in what you are proposing, the more that will show in your writing.
– Be able to give hard evidence and facts to back up your proposal. Review boards need to know that what they are considering has potential. Prove it by providing performance metrics, historical data, etc.
– Make sure you can track — and therefore, do track — the results and progress of your venture because, in all likelihood, you will be asked to present a final report to your funder when the grant period has ended.
– Another good tip is to get involved with the organizations that are potential funders. Go to their open houses, speaking engagements, etc. Arrange to meet the Executive Director. Bottom line: build a relationship!! and they’ll remember you when you go to submit an application.

Grant writing really is a rewarding process (especially when you get the award notice!) and I hope that you enjoy it. And if you don’t get funded for one grant, make the necessary modifications to your narrative and submit it again to another organization. Best of luck! Please let me know how I can support your efforts.

If you still need help or you don’t have the staff time to research and write the grant narrative, that’s ok because I offer a grant-writing service to ease that burden. Contact me for more details.

~Laura~

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